1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: German
  4. >
  5. "Die Knöpfe sind rund."

"Die Knöpfe sind rund."

Translation:The buttons are round.

October 28, 2016



What is the different between (Knopf,Knopfe,Knöpf,Knöpfe)?


Number and case.

Singular (one button):

  • nominative - der Knopf
  • genitive - des Knopfes
  • dative - dem Knopf ("dem Knopfe" would be very old-fashioned or poetic)
  • accusative - den Knopf

Plural (many buttons):

  • nominative - die Knöpfe
  • genitive - der Knöpfe
  • dative - den Knöpfen
  • accusative - die Knöpfe

Knöpf does not exist as a noun - but could be the short imperative or first-person form of a verb, as in Knöpf ihn dir mal vor! or Den knöpf ich mir mal vor from vorknöpfen. (Not sure how to translate that. Ignore it for now :D)


"Knöpf ihn dir mal vor!" = give him a good talking to!


Building on your post, I see there are essentially 4 forms:

Singular (1) Knopf - der, dem, den (2) Knopfes - des

Plural (3) Knöpfe - die, der (4) Knöpfen - den

It would be useful to know what other words follow this pattern...


Does Knopf mean button only in the sense of clothing? My confusion arises since in English the knobs and switches on machines can also be called buttons


"Knopf" can also mean button as in on a machine, but another word is "Taste" which can mean a key on a keyboard as well as a button on machine


You can also use Knopf in the sense of buttons on machines. :)


Elevator buttons, piano keys.

With nouns, just do a google (or other) image search to get some ideas.


Die knöpfe sind rund...since sind(are)is here why not knöpfen??


Neither of those is correct.

What you need here is die Knöpfe with capital K, since the buttons are the subject of the verb and so you need the nominative case.

den Knöpfen would be dative case in the plural ([to] the buttons).


Is it incorrect to say "großer roter Knopf"?


That would be OK as a label, but in a sentence you would usually have an article or other determiner before that, which might cause the adjective endings to change. For example, “the big red button” would be der große rote Knopf.


With the plural rule for 1 syllable nouns, shouldn't it just be an "e" added, making it "Knopfe"? Why is the umlaut added into this plural?


There is probably some historical reason, but as far as today's speakers are concerned, "that's just the way it is".

There are no rules which always work to form the plural -- in general, you have to learn the plural along with the singular.

And sometimes, several plural are possible (e.g. der Ausdruck : die Ausdrucke, die Ausdrücke) with different meanings.


what is the difference between knopfe and taste?


My German-speaking ancestors (from Berne, Switzerland) were Amish, and they had long arguments about buttons vs. hooks and which were permitted to be used in their clothing.

Learn German in just 5 minutes a day. For free.