Ein vs. Einen

What is the difference between "ein" and "einen"? As in lesson 2 "ein Apfel" and "einen Apfel."

December 20, 2011


It's "ein Apfel" when it's a subject and "einen Apfel" when it's an object. An apple is round. = Ein Apfel ist rund. I want an appel. = Ich will einen Apfel.

December 20, 2011

So in the sentence "This man has a horse", should it be ein Pferd or einen Pferd?

February 6, 2018

i'm pretty sure it should be ein Pferd since it is the object and possessive of der Mann. Pferd has a neutral gender as well so ein doesn't really change unlike masculine words like der Hund und der Apfel which will always change depending on whether it is Nominativ, Akkusativ, Dativ or Genitiv i believe!

June 10, 2019

Pferd is a neuter noun, so it's: "Das Mann hat ein Pferd"

March 5, 2018

Shouldn't that be "Der Mann"? :)

August 25, 2018

True, it's der mann Follow me bitte (I need one more follow)

August 27, 2018

i thought when the word begins with a vowel we use einen an when it starts witha consonant we use eine isn't this true ?

June 18, 2019

No. It has nothing to do with pronunciation.

June 18, 2019

It's all about the case of the noun. In German there are the Nominativ, Akkusativ, Dativ and Genitiv cases. Here is a good explanation of the four cases in German

December 28, 2011

Almost identical to Latin.

August 21, 2013

Also such grammatical cases exist in Russian, Ukrainian and other Slavic languages. We have even more than 4 cases (Ukrainian - 7, Russian - 6).

Nouns and adjectives change extensively its endings and suffixes depending on grammatical case, however there are no articles, which makes it a little bit easier)

October 16, 2017

Hello, the problem with learning German grammar such as the Normative,Accusative, Dative and Genitive is that when as a beginner and trying to speak German, you do not have time to check which is the correct case to use when speaking. Sure grammar is important but we should not focus too much on grammar at the expense of more important aspects of learning German

February 3, 2018

And why is "Leist du ein Buch?" instead of "Leist du einen Buch?". I think book is the object

February 25, 2012

As I understand it, Buch carries a neuter grammatical gender. Das Buch. The neuter indefinite article is 'ein' for both nominative and accusative forms.

March 25, 2013

The form of the indefinite article (a,an) is determined by the case, the gender of the noun, and the number of the noun. If you look at the table at the bottom of you can see exactly which form to use. So for apple (masculine), if the apple is the subject of the sentence, you use the Nominative row and the masculine column and you get "ein Apfel ist rot". If apple is in the accusative (usually the direct object of the verb) then you use the Accusative row and the masculine column to arrive at "Ich esse einen Apfel".

January 5, 2012

Unfortunately, the website is now defunct.

November 3, 2018

thank you for spamming us with that bad url...

April 22, 2019

The original comment was posted seven years ago, if the website is down by now, that's no fault on the OP's part.

May 30, 2019

Ok I missed it was a neuter name. I'm still having difficulties determining the gender of the words

February 26, 2012

Ein = Nominative (Subject); Einen = Accusative (Object)

July 27, 2013

The German database on Supranet mentioned by AndrewCorby sounds like it would have been helpful, but it's gone. Did anybody find something like this elsewhere?

July 31, 2017

It's because "das Buch" (neuter) has a different grammatical gender from "der Apfel" (masculine). Take a look at the website Andrew posted. The very last chart is relevant here.

February 25, 2012

Wow this was posted 4 years ago!

March 28, 2016

And now 6

October 30, 2018

And now 7! wow!:)

May 8, 2019

put it simple, that's the nominativ (Subject of the sentence) and Akkusativ (direct complement of the sentence), both in Masculin form. Example:

ein hund spaƟ macht mit einen man.

ein hund -> masculin subject (can be neutrum, duno), hence EIN einen man -> masculin direct complement, hence EINEN

Check out Nominativ und Akkusativ Artikels

November 1, 2013
Learn German in just 5 minutes a day. For free.