German Cases

A grammatical case describes what kind of role a noun or a pronoun plays in a sentence i.e. whether it is a subject or an object, or whether it is some other grammatical identity. In German, verbs and prepositions are the main deciding factors for cases. Certain verbs and prepositions require specific cases. In English, there is not much declension of articles and pronouns, that's why, cases are not visible in English. The 4 German cases are:

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  1. Nominative case in German
    Articles in the nominative case
    Nominative case and adjectives
    Verbs with nominative case
    Predicate nominative
  2. Accusative case in German
    Articles in the accusative case
    Accusative case and adjectives
    Interrogative sentences in accusative
    List of accusative verbs in German
    Predicative accusative
  3. Dative case in German
    Dative articles in German
    Sentence structure in dative case
    Dative adjective endings
    Interrogative sentences in dative
    List of dative verbs in German
  4. German genitive case
    German genitive articles
    Genitive adjective endings
    Sentence structure in genitive case
    Asking questions in genitive case
    German genitive verbs

Nominative case in German

der Nominativ → subjective case → shows subject in a sentence
The subject is usually a noun, a group of nouns, a pronoun or a phrase about which the information is given or which performs an action on the object.

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Subject Verb Complement
Jan ist Techniker.
Jan is a technician.
Der Techniker bleibt meisten zu Hause.
The technician stays at home most of the time.

Articles in the nominative case

Articles in the nominative case are in their original, undeclined forms.

Definite article
Maskulin → der Mann
Neutral → das Buch
Feminin → die Frau
Plural → die Leute

Indefinite article
Maskulin → Maskulin → ein Mann
Neutral → ein Buch
Feminin → eine Frau
Plural → keine Leute

Nominative case and adjectives

Definite article + adjective + noun

In the nominative case, adjectives after definite articles take "-e" endings (weak declension of adjectives).
Maskulin → Der gute Mann (The good man)
Der gute Mann ist Techniker. (The good man is a technician.)
Neutral → Das gute Buch (The good book)
Feminin → Die gute Frau (The good lady)
Read more about German articles.

With plural nouns in the nominative case, adjectives with definite articles take "-en" endings.
Plural → Die guten Leute (The good people)

Demonstrative and relative pronouns + adjective + noun

Demonstrative pronouns dieser, jener, derjenige, derselbe and relative pronoun welcher also follow the weak declension pattern of adjectives.

Maskulin → Dieser gute Mann (This good man)
Neutral → Dieses gute Buch (This good book)
Feminin → Diese gute Frau (This good lady)
Plural → Diese guten Leute (These good people)

Indefinite article + adjective + noun

In the nominative case, adjectives after indefinite articles extract their endings from definite articles, (mixed declension of adjectives) i.e.
Maskulin → Der → ein guter Mann (a good man)
Neutral → Das → ein gutes Buch (a good book)
Feminin → Die → eine gute Frau (a good lady)

With plural nouns in the nominative case, adjectives with definite articles take the same "-en" endings.
Plural → Keine guten Leute (no good people)

Possessive pronouns (attributive) + adjective + noun

Possessive articles (possessive pronoun before a noun) also follows the mixed declension pattern. Possessive articles are also called "Attributive possessive pronouns" in German.
Maskulin → Mein guter Mann (My good man)
Neutral → Mein gutes Buch (My good book)
Feminin → Meine gute Frau (My good lady)
Plural → Meine guten Leute (My good people)
Read more about German pronouns and possessive pronouns.

Zero article + adjective + noun

Adjectives after zero articles also extract their endings from definite articles, (strong declension of adjectives) i.e.
Maskulin → Der → guter Mann (good man)
Neutral → Das → gutes Buch (good book)
Feminin → Die → gute Frau (good lady)
Plural → Die → gute Leute (good people)

Verbs with nominative case

There are only a few verbs in German that only take the nominative. These are:
sein (to be)
werden (to become)
bleiben (to remain / to stay)
heißen (to be called)
scheinen (to shine, to appear)

Predicate nominative

Predicate nominative or Predicate noun (in German: Nominativ als Prädikativ) is not the subject but it has properties of the subject, so predicate nominative is also in the nominative case. Predicate nominative always refers back to the subject of the sentence. A Predicate nominative is only possible with above described nominative verbs, i.e.
sein (to be)
werden (to become)
bleiben (to remain / to stay)
heißen (to be called)
and scheinen (to shine, to appear).

Er ist Techniker. (He's a technician.)
Techniker in this sentence is predicate nominative (predicate noun) but it's not the subject.
The subject in this sentence is the pronoun er, so this sentence has two nominatives. The second nominative, Techniker is refering back to the subject of the sentence.

Asking question in nominative case

The nominative case answers the questions was and wer.
Wer ist er? (Who is he?)
Er ist mein Bruder Jan. (He is my brother Jan.)

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Accusative case in German

der Akkusativ → direct objective case → shows direct object in a sentence
The object is usually a noun, a group of nouns, a pronoun or a phrase which gives the information about its subject or on which an action is performed.

Most of the verbs in the German language take a direct object.

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Subject Verb Object
Jan hat einen Kuli.
Jan has a pen.
Der Techniker trinkt den Kaffee.
The technician drinks the coffee.

One advantage of declension and cases is that if we change the order of a sentence e.g. bring the object before the subject, still the sentence makes sense and meanings are clear.

Den Kaffee trinkt der Techniker.
This sentence still can be translated as, The technician drinks the coffee.
Such constructions are used for emphasis in spoken German, but are not possible in many other languages.

Articles in the accusative case

In the accusative case, only the masculine definite and indefinite articles add -n and -en endings respectively.

Definite article
Maskulin → den Mann
Neutral → das Buch
Feminin → die Frau
Plural → die Leute

Indefinite article
Maskulin → einen Mann
Neutral → ein Buch
Feminin → eine Frau
Plural → keine Leute

Accusative case and adjectives

Definite article in accusative + adjective + noun

There is very simple rule regarding adjective endings:
whenever an article declines, no matter in what case, the adjective ending coming after it declines to -en.

Like in the accusative case masculine definite article der declines to den, so does any adjective coming after it adds an -en suffix. As the rest of the articles (neuter, feminine, and plural) don't decline, their adjective endings remain unchanged.
Maskulin → Den guten Mann (The good man)
Der Techniker besucht den guten Mann. (The technician visits the good man.)
Neutral → Das gute Buch (The good book)
Feminin → Die gute Frau (The good lady)

Adjective endings of plural nouns remain same -en in the accusative case.
Plural → Die guten Leute (The good people)

Demonstrative and relative pronouns in accusative + adjective + noun

Demonstrative pronouns: dieser, jener, derjenige, derselbe
Relative pronoun: welcher, der, das, die

Maskulin → Diesen guten Mann (This good man)
Neutral → Dieses gute Buch (This good book)
Feminin → Diese gute Frau (This good lady)
Plural → Diese guten Leute (These good people)

Indefinite article in accusative + adjective + noun

According to the adjective declension rule, only the masculine indefinite article declines so does the adjective coming after it adds the -en suffix.
Maskulin → Einen guten Mann (a good man)
Neutral → Ein gutes Buch (a good book)
Feminin → Eine gute Frau (a good lady)
Plural → Keine guten Leute (no good people)

Possessive pronouns (attributive) in accusative + adjective + noun

Maskulin → Meinen guten Mann (My good man)
Neutral → Mein gutes Buch (My good book)
Feminin → Meine gute Frau (My good lady)
Plural → Meine guten Leute (My good people)

Zero article in accusative + adjective + noun

Maskulin → Guten Mann (good man)
Neutral → Gutes Buch (good book)
Feminin → Gute Frau (good lady)
Plural → Gute Leute (good people)

Asking questions in accusative

Accusative case answers the questions was (what) and wen (whom).

Was suchst du? (What are you looking for?)
Ich suche meinen Kuli. (I'm looking for my pen.)

Wen suchst du? (Whom are you looking for?)
Ich suche dich. (I am looking for you.)

Interrogative with accusative preposition:
Auf wen wartest du? (Whom are you waiting for?)

List of accusative verbs in German

The accusative case is required after certain verbs and prepositions. To read about prepositions that require an accusative, please visit the section Prepositions with accusative case on the page German prepositions. Most of the German verbs take an accusative case so, the complete list of accusative verbs is quite long. Some verbs strictly require accusative case and some take both accusative and dative. Following are the important German verbs that take the accusative case.

abholen (to pick up, to collect)
Julia holt ihren Bruder vom Flughafen ab. (Julia picks up her brother from the airport.)

anrufen (to call (via phone))
Wen rufst du an? (Whom are you calling?)

aufräumen (to clean up, to tidy up)
Alle Zimmer müssen jeden Tag aufgeräumt werden. (All rooms must be cleaned every day.)

bekommen (to get)
Hast du mein Geschenk bekommen? (Did you get my present?)

bestellen (to order)
Julia bestellt einen neuen Spiegel. (Julia orders a new mirror.)

besuchen (to visit)
Unsere Eltern besuchen uns heute. (Our parents are visiting us today.)

bestehen (consist of, to pass)
Die Maschine besteht aus zwei Teilen. (The machine consists of two parts.)
Er hat die Prüfung bestanden. (He passed the exam.)

bezahlen (to pay)
Sie bezahlt ihn einen Euro. (She pays him one euro.)

brauchen (to need)
Er braucht noch zweitausend Euro. (He still needs two thousand euros.)

einladen (to invite)
Sie lädt ihn ein. She invites him.

essen (to eat)
Er isst einen Hamburger jeden Tag. (He eats a hamburger every day.)

finden (to find)
Die Polizei haben den Dieb noch nicht gefunden. (The police have not yet found the thief.)

fragen (to ask)
Ich frage dich nicht. (I am not asking you.)

genießen (to enjoy)
Wir genießen die Fahrt. (We enjoy the ride.)

gründen (to establish)
Herr Schäfer will eine neue Firma gründen. (Mr. Schäfer wants to establish a new company.)

glauben (to believe something, to think something)
Ich glaube es nicht. (I do not believe it.)
However, "to belive somebody" takes dative: Ich glaube dir. (I believe you.)

haben (to have)
Er hat einen Hund. (He has a dog.)

hören (to hear)
Ich höre dich nicht. Hörst du mich? (I do not hear you. Do you hear me?)

kaufen (to buy)
Sabine kauft einen Pullover. (Sabine buys a sweater.)

kennen (to know)
Ich kenne dich nicht so gut. (I do not know you very well.)

kopieren (to copy)
Kopieren Sie den link und schicken Sie mir. (Copy the link and send it to me.)

kosten (to cost)
Was kostet den Pullover? (What does the sweater cost?)

lesen (to read)
Sie liest seine E-mail während des Unterrichts. (She reads her e-mail during the class.)

lieben (to love)
Ich liebe dich. (I love you.)

machen (to do)
Ich mache es nicht mehr. (I don't do it anymore.)

meinen (to mean)
Was meinen Sie damit? (What do you mean by that?)

nehmen (to take)
Nehmen Sie mein Kuli. (Take my pen.)

probieren (to try)
Wir probieren es noch einmal. (We'll try it once again.)

putzen (to clean)
Sie putzt ihr Zimmer täglich. (She cleans her room daily.)

rauchen (to smoke)
Er raucht E-Zigaretten ab und zu. (He smokes e-cigarettes now and then.)

reparieren (to repair)
Der Elektriker repariert den Ventilator. (The electrician repairs the fan.)

sehen (to see)
Ich sehe dich. (I see you.)

singen (to sing)
Der Musiker singt ein altes Lied. (The musician sings an old song.)

suchen (to search)
Ich suche meinen Kuli. (I'm looking for my pen.)

spielen (to play)
Anna spielt Tennis. (Anna plays tennis.)

stören (to disturb)
Stören ich dich? (Am I bothering you?)

studieren (to study (in a college or university))
Sebastian studiert Medizin. (Sebastian studies medicine.)

trinken (to drink)
Er trinkt einen Kaffee und geht sofort weg. (He drinks a cup of coffee and and leaves immediately.)

überlegen (to consider, to think over)
Sie überlegt und fängt von Anfang an. (She thinks about it and starts from the beginning.)

vergessen (to forget)
Warum vergisst du immer sein Name? (Why do you always forget his name?)

verkaufen (to sell)
Herr Schäfer verkauft sein Motorrad. (Mr. Schäfer sells his motorcycle.)

verlieren (to lose)
Die alte Dame verliert ihr Geld im Zug. (The old lady loses her money on the train.)

verstehen (to understand)
Sie versteht dich nicht. (She doesn't understand you)

vorbereiten (to prepare)
Bist du für die Prüfung vorbereitet? (Are you prepared for the exam?)

Predicative accusative

As predicate nominative refers back to the subject of the sentence, the predicate accusative refers back to the direct subject of the sentence. Predicate accusative has properties of the direct subject but it's not the subject. It just refers the information back to the direct subject. However, the predicate accusative itself is also in the accusative case.
Predicative accusative always comes after the direct object in a sentence.

Verbs like nennen (to call), schelten (to scold), schimpfen (to rant), schmähen (to taunt), and taufen (to baptize) can take predicate accusative after them.

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Subject Verb Direct Object Predicate Accusative
Ich nenne ihn einen Idiot.
I call him an idiot.
Sie nenne ihn einen Strohkopf.
She scolded him a straw head.

In the above sentences, einen Idiot (an idiot) and einen Strohkopf (a straw head) are predicate accusatives. They refer the information back to the direct object ihn (him).

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Dative case in German

der Dativ → indirect objective case → shows indirect object in a sentence
The indirect object is usually a noun, a group of nouns, a pronoun or a phrase, which is recipient of the direct object. The direct object gives the information about the subject or on which an action is performed.

Dative articles

All the definite and indefinite article decline in the dative case.

Definite article
Maskulin → dem Mann (Maskulin)
Neutral → dem Buch (Neutral)
Feminin → der Frau (Feminin)
Plural → den Leuten (Plural)

Indefinite article
Maskulin → einem Mann (Maskulin)
Neutral → einem Buch (Neutral)
Feminin → einer Frau (Feminin)
Plural → keinen Leuten (Plural)

Sentence structure in dative case

Depending upon the use of nouns and pronouns, sentences with dative case (indirect objective case) can have four types of word orders.

(i) Only a dative noun
der Nominativ + das Verb + der Dativ

If the verb in a sentence takes only dative (indirect object), the dative noun or pronoun is placed after the verb.
For example, helfen is a verb that takes only the dative case (indirect objective case).

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der Nominativ
Subject
das Verb der Dativ
Indirect Object
Jan hilft Julia.
Jan helps Julia.
Jan hilft ihr.
Jan helps her.

(ii) A dative noun and an accusative noun
der Nominativ + das Verb + der Dativ + der Akkusativ

If the verb in a sentence takes both dative (indirect object) and accusative (direct object), and both of them are nouns, the dative noun is placed directly after the verb and before the accusative noun.
i.e. if both dative and accusative are nouns:
Subject + verb + indirect object + direct object
For example, geben and bringen belong to the verb group that can take both dative and accusative.

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der Nominativ
Subject
das Verb der Dativ
Indirect Object
der Akkusativ
Direct Object
Der Richter gibt dem Täter eine Chance.
The judge gives the perpetrator a chance.
Sebastian bringt Julia ein Geschenk.
Sebastian brings Julia a present.

(iii) One object is a noun, other is a pronoun

If one object is a noun and the other is a pronoun, then the pronoun is placed before the noun.
A direct or indirect object is irrelevant in this situation. A pronoun always precedes the noun whether it's a dative or an accusative.

If the dative (indirect object) is a pronoun, the sentence follows the normal sentene order, i.e.
Subject + verb + indirect object + direct object

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der Nominativ
Subject
das Verb der Dativ
Indirect Object

Pronoun
der Akkusativ
Direct Object
Ich bringe Julia ein Buch.
I bring Julia a book
Ich bringe ihr ein Buch.
I bring her a book

If the accusative (direct object) is a pronoun, the sentence structure changes and pronoun is placed before the noun.

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der Nominativ
Subject
das Verb der Akkusativ
Direct Object

Pronoun
der Dativ
Indirect Object
Ich bringe es Julia.
I bring it to Julia.

(iv) Both of the objects are pronouns
der Nominativ + das Verb + der Akkusativ + der Dativ

If both, direct and indirect objects are pronouns, the direct object (accusative) is placed before the indirect object (dative).

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der Nominativ
Subject
das Verb der Akkusativ
Direct Object

Pronoun
der Dativ
Indirect Object

Pronoun
Ich bringe es ihr.
I bring it to her.

Dative adjective endings

Definite article in dative + adjective + noun

According to the rule regarding adjective endings:
whenever an article declines, no matter in what case, the adjective ending coming after it also declines to -en.

Since in dative case all the articles decline, so all the adjective endings also decline and add -en in the end of the word.

Maskulin → Dem guten Mann (The good man)
Ich bringe dem guten Mann einen Kuli. (I'll bring the good man a pen.)
Neutral → Dem guten Buch (The good book)
Feminin → Der guten Frau (The good lady)
Plural → Den guten Leuten (The good people)

Demonstrative and relative pronouns in dative + adjective + noun

Demonstrative pronouns: dieser, jener, derjenige, derselbe
Relative pronoun: welcher, der, das, die

Maskulin → Diesem guten Mann (This good man)
Neutral → Diesem guten Buch (This good book)
Feminin → Dieser guten Frau (This good lady)
Plural → Diesen guten Leuten (These good people)

Indefinite article in dative + adjective + noun

Maskulin → Einem guten Mann (a good man)
Neutral → Einem guten Buch (a good book)
Feminin → Einer guten Frau (a good lady)
Plural → Keinen guten Leuten (no good people)

Possessive pronouns (attributive) in dative + adjective + noun

Maskulin → Meinem guten Mann (My good man)
Neutral → Meinem guten Buch (My good book)
Feminin → Meiner guten Frau (My good lady)
Plural → Meinen guten Leute (My good people)

Zero article in dative + adjective + noun

Maskulin → Gutem Mann (good man)
Neutral → Gutem Buch (good book)
Feminin → Guter Frau (good lady)
Plural → Guten Leuten (good people)

Asking questions in dative case

The dative case is also known as "Wem-Fall". It answers the questions wem (whom).

Der Busfahrer hilft der Frau beim Einparken. (The bus driver helps the woman to park.)
Wem hilft der Busfahrer? (Whom does the bus driver help?)

Der Arzt hilft ihr. (The doctor helps her.)
Wem hilft der Arzt? (Whom does the doctor help?)

Interrogative with dativ preposition:
Julia wohnt bei seiner Mutter. (Julia lives with his mother.)
Bei wem wohnt Julia? (With whom lives Julia?)
Nach wem suchst du? (Whom are you looking for?)

List of dative verbs in German

Dative case is required after certain verbs and prepositions. To read about prepositions that take dative case, please visit the section Prepositions with dative case on the page German prepositions. Some important verbs that take the dative case are:

absagen (to refuse / reject something)
Der Professor will den Vortrag absagen. (The professor wants to cancel the lecture.)

ähneln (to resemble)
Ich ähnele meinem Bruder. (I resemble my brother.)

antworten (to reply)
Sie antwortet ihm nicht. (She doesn't answer him.)

begegnen (to encounter)
Er begegnete einem Wolf beim Joggen. (He encountered a wolf while jogging.)

befehlen (to command, to order)
Der General befiehlt den Soldaten. (The general orders the soldiers.)

beistehen (to assist, to stand by)
Der Arzt steht dem Patient bei. (The doctor assists the patient.)

beitreten (to join)
Sie will unserer Union beitreten. (She wants to join our union.)

danken (to thank)
Ich danke dir sehr. (Thank you very much.)

dienen (to serve)
Die Welle dient als Führungsstange. (The shaft serves as a guide rod.)

drohen (to threaten)
Er droht ihr mit einer falschen Schlange. (He threatens her with a fake snake.)

entgegengehen (to go to meet somebody)
Ich gehe ihr morgen früh entgegen. (I'm going to meet her early in the morning.)

entgegenkommen (to approach somebody, to comply with)
Die Firma will fast jeden Wunsch der Kunden entgegenkommen. (The company wants to meet almost every customer request.)

einfallen (to come to mind)
Momentan fällt mir keine Lösung ein. (I can't think of a solution at the moment.)

fehlen (absence, missing, lack)
Es fehlt dir nur ein bisschen Geduld. (You just lack a little patience.)

folgen (to follow)
Plötzlich kam ein Polizeiauto vor meinem Auto und blinkt "Bitte folgen". (Suddenly a police car came in front of my car and flashes Please follow.)

gefallen (to like)
Dein rotes Hemd gefällt mir. (I like your red shirt.)

gehören (to belong to)
Wem gehört dieses auto? (Whose car is this?)

gehorchen (to obey)
Die Armee sollte der gewählten Regierung gehorchen. (The army is supposed to obey the elected government.)

glauben (to believe)
Glaubst du mir jetzt? (Do you believe me now?)

gelingen (to succeed)
Die neue Marketingstrategie hat mir gut gelingen. (The new marketing strategy worked well for me.)

genügen (to suffice, to be adequate)
Eine Pizza genügt mir. Ich bin satt. (One pizza is enough for me. I am full.)

gratulieren (to congratulate somebody)
Sebastian gratulierte Julia zum Geburtstag. (Sebastian congratulated Julia on her birthday.)

helfen (to help)
Der Polizist hilft der alten Frau. (The police officer helps the old woman.)

hinterherlaufen (to run after somebody)
Kinder spielen und laufen dem Ball hinterher. (Children play and run after the ball.)

missfallen (to displease, to dissatisfy)
Der neue Geschäftspartner von Herrn Schäfer missfällt seinen alten Kollegen. (Mr. Schäfer's new business partner displeases his old colleagues.)

misslingen (to fail, to miss)
Diese Prüfung misslingt vielen beim ersten Mal. (Many fail this test for the first time.)

nachlaufen (to chase, to run after)
Kinder spielen und laufen dem Ball nach. (Children play and run after the ball.)

(sich) nähern (to approach)
Das Unwetter nähert sich dem Hügel. (The storm is approaching the hill.)

nutzen (to use)
Das nutzt mir nichts. (That’s no use to me.)

nützen (to use)
Das nützt mir nichts. (That’s no use to me.)
There is no difference between nutzen and nützen.

passen (to fit)
Dieses Hemd passt mir nicht mehr. (This shirt doesn't fit me anymore.)

passieren (to happen)
Was ist ihm passiert? (What happened to him?)

platzen (to burst)
So platzte seiner Kontakt zu Tom Tailor. (So his contact with Tom Tailor broke.)

raten (to advise somebody)
Ihre Mutter ratet ihr, zum Facharzt zu gehen. (Her mother advises her to see a specialist.)

schaden (to harm/damage somebody/something)
Das schadet mir nicht. (It doesn't harm me.)

schmecken (to taste)
Kaffee schmeckt ihr nicht. (She doesn't like coffee.)

stehen (something suits somebody)
Die neue Jacke steht ihm. (The new jacket suits him.)

trauen (to trust)
Sie traut ihm nicht mehr. (She no longer trusts him.)

vertrauen (to trust)
Sie vertraut ihm nicht mehr. (She no longer trusts him.)

vergeben (to forgive)
Sie vergibt ihrem Mann nicht. (She does not forgive her husband.)

verzeihen (to forgive)
Sie verzeiht ihrem Mann nicht. (She does not forgive her husband.)

wehtun (to hurt)
Sein Zahn tut ihm weh. (His tooth hurts.)

widersprechen (to disagree)
Er widerspricht seinen Kollegen. (He contradicts his colleagues.)

zuhören (to listen)
Ich höre dir zu. (I listen to you.)

zustimmen (to agree)
Sabine stimmt dem Argument der Firma zu. (Sabine agrees with the company's argument.)

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German genitive case

der Genitiv → possessive case → shows affiliation or ownership
Genitive case is used in possessive noun-constructions. There are also certain verbs, prepositions and adjectives that require genitive case.

German genitive articles

All the definite and indefinite article decline in the dative case.

Definite article
Maskulin → des Mannes
Neutral → des Buches
Feminin → der Frau
Plural → der Leuten

Indefinite article
Maskulin → eines Mannes
Neutral → eines Buches
Feminin → einer Frau
Plural → keiner Leuten

Masculine and neutral nouns add -s or -es ending in the genitive case.

  1. Nouns that consist of single-syllable get -es ending, e.g. der Mann → des Mannes.
    -s ending is also possible and is used in some regional dialects but -es ending is formal and sounds better.
    Also, nouns that end in letters s, ß, x, and z get an -es ending, even if they are multi-syllable.
  2. Nouns that consist of multi-syllable get -s endings, e.g. der Reiter → des Reiters

Weak masculine nouns take an -n or -en ending in the accusative and dative cases, also take the same -n or -en in the genitive case.
To read more about German nouns and noun declension, please visit the page German nouns.

Genitive adjective endings

Definite article in genitive + adjective + noun

According to the rule regarding adjective endings:
whenever an article declines, no matter in what case, the adjective ending coming after it also declines to -en.

Since in genitive case all the articles decline, so all the adjective endings also decline and add -en in the end of the word.

Maskulin → Des guten Mannes (Of the good man)
Das Auto des guten Mannes ist rot. (The good man's car is red.)
Neutral → Des guten Buches (Of the good book)
Feminin → Der guten Frau (Of the good lady)
Plural → Der guten Leuten (Of the good people)

Demonstrative and relative pronouns in dative + adjective + noun

Demonstrative pronouns: dieser, jener, derjenige, derselbe
Relative pronoun: welcher, der, das, die

Maskulin → Dieses guten Mannes (Of this good man)
Neutral → Dieses guten Buches (Of this good book)
Feminin → Dieser guten Frau (Of this good lady)
Plural → Dieser guten Leuten (of these good people)

Indefinite article in genitive + adjective + noun

Maskulin → Eines guten Mannes (Of a good man)
Neutral → Eines guten Buches (Of a good book)
Feminin → Einer guten Frau (Of a good lady)
Plural → Keiner guten Leuten (Of no good people)

Possessive pronouns (attributive) in genitive + adjective + noun

Maskulin → Meines guten Mannes (Of my good man)
Neutral → Meines guten Buches (Of my good book)
Feminin → Meiner guten Frau (Of my good lady)
Plural → Meiner guten Leute (Of my good people)

Zero article in genitive + adjective + noun

Maskulin → Guten Mannes (Of good man)
Neutral → Guten Buches (Of good book)
Feminin → Guter Frau (Of good lady)
Plural → Guter Leuten (Of good people)

Sentence structure in genitive case

Genitive case can be part of the

  1. subject (subjective noun construction) where it shows ownership of subject,
  2. subject (subjective noun construction) where it shows ownership of subject,
  3. or it can be part of both.

Following are examples and explainations of above described situations.

Das Auto meines Vaters ist rot. (My father's car is red.)
Das Auto → nominative case → subject.
meines Vaters → genitive case → shows ownership of subject.

Ich mag das rote Auto meines Vaters. (I like my dad's red car.)
Ich → nominative case → subject.
mag → verb (mögen) takes accusative case after it.
das rote Auto → accusative case → object.
meines Vaters → genitive case → shows ownership of object.

Die Frau meines Bruders fährt das rote Auto meines Vaters. (My brother's wife drives my father's red car.)
Die Frau → nominative case → subject.
meines Bruders → genitive case → shows affiliation of subject.
fährt → verb (fahren) takes accusative case after it.
das rote Auto → accusative case → object.
meines Vaters → genitive case → shows ownership of object.

Proper nouns in the genitive case

Proper nouns and nouns without articles get an -s ending.
Julias Vater ist Arzt. (Julia's father is a doctor.)

If a noun in genitive case ends in letter s, ß, x or z, apostrophe is also added along with the ending -s.
Herr Fuchs' Auto ist rot. (Mr. Fuchs' car is red.)

Asking questions in genitive case

The genitive case answers the questions wessen (whose).
Wessen Auto fährst du? (Whose car are you driving?)
Ich fahre das Auto meiner Frau. (I am driving my wife's car.)

German genitive verbs

Following are some verbs that take genitive case. Please note that many of these verb can also be used with accusative or dative prepositions.
To read about the prepositions that take genitive case, please visit the section Prepositions with genitive case, on the page German prepositions.

anklagen (to accuse somebody→accusative of something→genitive)
Die Polizei klagt den Täter des Diebstahls an. (The police accuse the perpetrator of the theft.)

(sich jemandes / einer Sache) annehmen (to take care of somebody→genitive or something→genitive)
Die Krankenschwester nimmt sich des Verletzten an. (The nurse takes care of the injured.)

bedenken (to consider of→genitive something)
Sebastian muss auch die Folgen seines Handelns bedenken. (Sebastian also has to consider the consequences of his actions.)

(sich) bedienen (to use somebody→genitive or something→genitive)
Sie bediente sich eines Freundes, um neuen Arbeitsvertrag zu bekommen. (She used a friend to get a new employment contract.)

bedürfen (to require something→genitive)
Seine Dokumente bedürfen kompletter Überprüfungen. (His documents require complete reviews.)

(sich) bemächtigen (to take possession of something→genitive)
Die Polizei hat sich des Gebiets bemächtigt. (The police have taken control of the area.)

berauben (to steal something→genitive from somebody→accusative)
Er beraubte ihn des Rechtsanspruchs. (He deprived him of legal rights.)

beschuldigen (to accuse somebody→accusative of something→genitive)
Sie beschuldigen ihn des Diebstahls. (They accuse him of theft.)

(sich) besinnen (to think about something→genitive)
Er besann seines Handels. (He was thinking about his deal.)

(sich) bewusst sein (to be aware of something→genitive)
Sei dir deiner Schwächen bewusst! (Be aware of your weaknesses!)

bezichtigen (to accuse somebody→accusative of something→genitive)
Sie bezichtigen ihn des illegalen Geschäfts. (They accuse him of doing business illegally.)

(sich) enthalten (to abstain from something→genitive)
Er enthielt sich des Vortrags. (He abstained from the lecture.)

(sich) erfreuen (to enjoy something→genitive)
Erfreust du dich deines Aufenthalts in Berlin? (Are you enjoying your stay in Berlin?)

(sich) erinnern (to remember something→genitive)
Sebastian erinnerte sich ihres Namens nicht. (Sebastian didn't remember her name.)

ermangeln (to lack something→genitive)
Das Ehepaar ermangelt der Liebe. (The couple lacks love.)

(sich) erwehren (to resist against something→genitive or somebody→genitive)
Der Kranke ist mutig und erwehrt sich der Krankheit. (The patient is courageous and resists against the disease.)

(sich) fürchten (to be afraid of something→genitive)
Sie fürchtet sich der Krankheit. (She is afraid of the disease.)

gedenken (to remember something→genitive or somebody→genitive)
Jedes Jahr am 3. Oktober gedenkt man der Wiedervereinigung. (Every year on October 3rd the reunification is commemorated.)

(sich) schämen (to be ashamed of something→genitive)
Der Politiker schämt sich seiner Korruption. (The politician is ashamed of his corruption.)

spotten (to defy something→genitive)
Der Chef spottet jeder Beschreibung. (The boss defies every description.)

überführen (to convict somebody→accusative of something→genitive)
Er war unschuldig, aber sie überführten ihn des Diebstahls. (He was innocent, but they convicted him of stealing.)

verdächtigen (to suspect somebody→accusative of something→genitive)
Der Chef verdächtigt den Systemtechniker des Datenlecks. (The boss suspects the system technician of the data leak.)

verweisen (to expel somebody→accusative from a place→genitive)
Das Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge verwies die Flüchtlinge des Landes. (The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees expelled the refugees from the country.)

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