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How do cases in German work when with other words?

I know that you use cases when saying things like "Ein Auto, Das Auto..." but if I wanted to say that the car is mine, do I say "Mein Auto" or "Mein des Auto" or just "Des Auto", and why?

June 2, 2017



There are other better places to learn about cases, so I'll just answer your specific question.

'Das Auto ist mein.' = 'The car is mine.'

'Das Auto' is in the nominative case because it is the subject. 'mein' is a possessive pronoun. It is also in the nominative because the verb is making an equivalence between 'Das Auto' and 'mein', so they have be the same case.

'Mein Auto' means 'My car'

'Mein des Auto' is incorrect whichever way you look at it. 'Des Auto' would have to be 'Des Autos' and means 'of the car' so it would have to follow another noun. Ex. 'der Fahrer des Autos', 'the driver of the car'.


Another option is "Das Auto gehört mir" where gehören means to belong to and you use the dative mir.


Good point. There is also 'Ich besitze das Auto', 'I own the car'. But I learned 'gehören' long before 'besitzen'.


While 'Das Auto ist mein' is grammatically correct you might sound like a super villain. 'Das ist mein Auto' (no dative) or the other sentences presented here are much more common.


That is too funny! :)

I'm rubbing my hands together and laughing as my plan for world domination is realized. 'Das Auto ist mein!' I declare as sinister music swells in the background.


The car is mine is short for The car is my one, if you translate that directly into German, you get Das Auto ist meines, which is shortened to Das Auto ist meins. That last phrase is much more common than Das Auto ist mein, which more or less translates as The car is my


I throw in, that the most common translation for "the car is mine" would be "Das Auto gehört mir" is. (Das Auto ist mir, might be heard in spoken german but is not grammatical). Das Auto ist mein is also correct but unusual to say.


If my car were stalled at the side of the road I might say something like 'This car of mine is a pile of junk!'

Just curious about the best way to say 'This car of mine'.


the most literal translation is

Dieses (This one) meiner (out of my) Autos (cars) ist Schrott (is junk), which not only includes a cumbersome Genitiv construction, but also implies that you own several cars. The english phrase This car of mine technically also implies this, but it would also be acceptable if you only own one, because it has kind of developed into an idiomatic expression.

So, there is no good way to say that in German, you would just say

Mein Auto ist Schrott or Mein Auto hier ist Schrott


Cool. Thanks much!

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