German Steps

Genitive case: Nouns and articles

In German there are four cases: nominative, accusative, dative and genitive. Nouns (and related words) are declined – that means they change their form according to the case. The four cases indicate the role that the noun has in the sentence. 

Nouns with definite article

Masculine Feminine Neutral Plural
Nominative der Mann die Frau das Kind die Leute
Accusative den Mann die Frau das Kind die Leute
Dative dem Mann der Frau dem Kind den Leuten
Genitive des Mannes der Frau des Kindes der Leute

Nouns with indefinite article

Masculine Feminine Neutral Plural
Nominative ein Mann eine Frau ein Kind Leute
Accusative einen Mann eine Frau ein Kind Leute
Dative einem Mann einer Frau einem Kind Leuten
Gentive eines Mannes einer Frau eines Kindes Leute

An extra -s or -es  is added to masculine and neuter nouns in the genitive.

-es is often added to nouns with only one syllable:    das Buch – der Titel des Buches/der Titel des Buch

-es is always added to nouns ending with -s, -ß, x, – z, -tz:    das Glas – die Farbe des Glases 

-s is added to nouns with more than one syllable:    das Hotel – der Name des Hotels 

Exercise 1

Exercise 2

Exercise 3

Exercise 3: Genitive after prepositions

See also: Genitivattribute.