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  5. "Mein Patient mag starken Kaf…

"Mein Patient mag starken Kaffee."

Translation:My patient likes strong coffee.

November 3, 2013



Why is it "starken" why not "starke". As per my understanding if noun is not preceded by an article then adjective shall end with "e". Is this correct?


Not quite. There is more than one factor (article or no article) to take into account.

In this sentence, "starken" is an "attributive adjective" (= an adjective before a noun). Other examples of attributive adjectives are: "a nice man", "my new car", "the red apple" ...

The endings of attributive adjectives depend on:

1) the type of article word used with the noun the adjective refers to (e.g. "the", "a", "this", "my", no article ...)

2) the case of the noun the adjective refers to

3) whether the noun the adjective refers to is masculine, feminine, neuter OR plural

i.e. here:

1) no article is used with "Kaffee" (= you have to use the "strong inflection" for the adjective)

2) "Kaffee" is accusative (it's the direct object in this sentence, and the direct object is almost always in the accusative case)

3) "Kaffee" is masculine

Because of these three factors (strong inflection, accusative, masculine), the attributive adjective gets the ending -en: starken

See these tables:



Great explanation Katherle


I thought that since it was masculine, the ending would be er like schoner hund, but now I see that's only in nominative. Is there any easy way to remember all of this?


Not really. There is an alternative explanation that might be easier to memorise, though:


In addition, there's "Das doofe Fischlied" ("The dumb fish song"), whose lyrics include attributive adjectives for the weak ("the") and mixed ("a", "my, your, etc.") inflection for masculine, feminine, neuter and plural nouns in the nominative, accusative and dative cases (no genitive case, unfortunately, and no strong inflection):


Nominative Case

Der gutE Mann (masculine, nominative, weak inflection; "The good man")

Ein gutER Mann (masculine, nominative, mixed inflection; "A good man")

Accusative Case

Schlag den gutEN Mann nicht (masculine, accusative, weak inflection; "Don't hit the good man")

Schlag einen gutEN Mann nicht (masculine, accusative, mixed inflection; "Don't hit a good man")

Dative Case

Gib dem gutEN Mann einen Fisch (masculine, dative, weak inflection; "Give the good man a fish")

Gib einem gutEN Mann einen Fisch (masculine, dative, mixed inflection; "Give a good man a fish")


Nominative Case

Das schönE Haus (neuter, nominative, weak; "The beautiful house")

Ein schönES Haus (neuter, nominative, mixed; "A beautiful house")

Accusative Case

Schlag das schönE Haus nicht (neuter, accusative, weak; "Don't hit the beautiful house")

Schlag ein schönES Haus nicht (neuter, accusative, mixed; "Don't hit a beautiful house")

Dative Case

Gib dem schönEN Haus einen Tisch (neuter, dative, weak; "Give the beautiful house a table")

Gib einem schönEN Haus einen Tisch (neuter, dative, mixed; "Give a beautiful house a table")


Nominative Case

Die kleinE Maus (feminine, nominative, weak; "The small mouse")

Eine kleinE Maus (feminine, nominative, mixed; "A small mouse")

Accusative Case

Schlag die kleinE Maus nicht (feminine, accusative, weak; "Don't hit the small mouse")

Schlag eine kleinE Maus nicht (feminine, accusative, mixed; "Don't hit a small mouse")

Dative Case

Gib der kleinEN Maus einen Fisch (feminine, dative, weak; "Give the small mouse a fish")

Gib einer kleinEN Maus einen Fisch (feminine, dative, mixed; "Give a small mouse a fish)


Nominative Case

Die gutEN Freunde (plural, nominative, weak; "The good friends")

Meine gutEN Freunde (plural, nominative, mixed; "My good friends")

Accusative Case

Schlag die gutEN Freunde nicht (plural, accusative, weak; "Don't hit the good friends")

Schlag meine gutEN Freunde nicht (plural, accusative, mixed; "Don't hit my good friends")

Dative Case

Gib den gutEN Freunden einen Fisch (plural, dative, weak; "Give the good friends a fish")

Gib meinen gutEN Freunden einen Fisch (plural, dative, mixed; "Give my good friends a fish")

Full lyrics:


The song:



I didn't look at this particular post, but you definitely deserved lingot for such detailed explanation :)


Strongly support the nthuleen technique to determine adjective endings. It might not be the best in terms of the grammatical analysis, but it is way easier to memorize and USE in daily situations. Once you handle the endings one could complement it with the "official" explanations of strong, weak and mixed declensions. What's more, I could resume the nthuleen technique to only four rules:

1) if there's no article before the noun, decline the adjective normally according to case number and gender 2) if the case mandates that the ending is differently from the "normal form" (ie "-en" for masculine, "-em" for m and n, "-er" for feminine), OR the noun is plural, use "-en" 3) if the article doesn't identify the gender and you have a masculine or neuter noun, use -er or -es accordingly 4) use -e


I was following the nthuleen diagram, and it says that when there is no article, you should use the "der-word" ending, which in this case would be "-er", since it's "der Kaffee". Is the diagram wrong, or what am I missing??


You would use -er as a suffix if Kaffee were Nominativ.

In this case, however, Kaffee is a direct object. One must therefore use the article or suffix for Akkusativ: "-en".


Well spoken, take a linget


Man, I could have sworn it was neuter.


No. The first rule on http://www.nthuleen.com/teach/grammar/adjektivendungenexpl.html is that the adjective is declined like dieser (a "der-word") when it appears before a noun but without an article or determiner.


Aren't masculine nouns supposed to end in -en when in accusative with no article? Or do adjectives take the role of the article in these cases?


The adjective does all the work here. There are only a small handful of nouns in German which still change their endings for accusative cases (i.e. der Herr, den Herrn). For most nouns, you look to the article and the adjective for the case.


I'm dying over this too. When would it be "starker kaffee"?


Starker Kaffee is the nominative, starken Kaffee is the accusative (the direct object of "Mein Patient mag..." in this example).


An example would be: "Starker Kaffee macht mich nervös."


dark coffee wrong ?


Mein Patient mag dunklen Kaffee.


which case is this is it mixed or weak inflected and why ?? the word "mein" affects only patient not also coffee right ?


In this sentence mein applies only to Patient. The adjective stark is "stongly inflected" because there is no article. See this DuoLingo comment or this Wikipedia article.


Isn't black and strong coffee equal?


No. "Black coffee" is coffee with neither sugar nor cream. (Although, to be honest, coffee with sugar only is still black in color, but the term is idiomatic.)

"Strong coffee" is coffee made from either a high ratio of grounds to water, steeped for a long time, or made from darkly roasted beans.


"Ein starker Kaffee ist mir am morgen sehr wichtig." I think this means: "A strong coffee is very important to me in the morning." Can anyone point out "die Fehler"?


Morning is Morgen. I think that as you have it, the am is an unnecessary modifier to morgen meaning tomorrow. You may also be able to say "Ein starker Kaffee ist mir morgens sehr wichtig" to mean "a strong coffee is very important to me in the morning."


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