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About 2 weeks ago I finished my color lesson in German. However, I learned a very important grammatical lesson from it: Inflictions. But, I have difficulty memorizing all the different inflictions and when to use them. What would be some tips to remembering these different inflictions?

May 30, 2017



I liked inflictions better.

Are you have problems with der, ein/kein, adjective endings, everything?


No, not everything. Just adjective endings.


OK. That makes it a little easier.

There are two types of determiners. der-words (der, dieser, welcher, etc) change endings like der. ein-words (ein/kein, mein, etc) follow the pattern of ein. A noun phrase can start with a der-word, ein-word, or neither.

Rule of thumb: whenever there is an adjective, something in the noun phrase must have the der-word ending. If the determiner doesn't do it, the adjective has to.

If there is a der-word, that takes care of it, so the adjective has a generic ending -e or-en. -e is used in the singular nominative for all three genders and in the accusative singular for feminine and neuter. -en is used everywhere else.

ein-words have the same endings as der-words except in the masculine and neuter singular nominative and neuter singular accusative. The determiner has no ending in these three situations, so the adjective must have the der-word ending. (der alte Mann/ein alter Mann, das kleine Kind/ein kleines Kind). Everywhere else the adjective has the same ending as when used with a der-word.

If there's no determiner, the adjective has to have the der-word ending. (A text book I have says this combination rarely comes up in the genitive case in modern German and doesn't bother list the adjective endings. You would still need to know this for the other three cases.)

Based on what you say you're having trouble, I've assumed you know when to use each case and what the determiner ending is based on the number, case, and gender of the noun phrase.

Hope this helps.


Should've made that more clear. :/


Ignore the typo. I meant to say, "Inflections."

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