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  5. Erwachsene/Erwachsener



Hi, I checked on wiktionary and the masculine form in nominative case is erwachsener and the feminine erwachsene, plurals for both also being erwachsene. However, on DL, the male form is erwachsene as well. Welches ist richtig ??

June 26, 2017



Erwachsener is a nominalized adjective, which means that it follows the declension of an adjective, so you say "ein Erwachsener" but "der Erwachsene". The default nominative form is the strong ending -er on wiktionary, but apparently duolingo chose the weak nominative ending -e.


Thanks for your answer :) but.. i dont understand.. how is erwachsener an adjective in "ein erwachsener"? An adult or the adult... both are nouns..


In German, you have the adjective erwachsen which means adult:

Ein erwachsener Hund = an adult dog
Eine erwachsene Person = an adult person

This adjective may also be used without a noun, in which case it is used as a noun on its own, meaning "adult". It is capitalised and is grammatically a noun, but still declines like an adjective (but it's not an adjective !):

Ein Erwachsener = an adult


Ok.. i get it i think.. but why is it der erwachsene hund and not -er (the adj form) if we use the definite article?


That's because the declension of German adjectives is quite complex, and adjectives may take different endings depending on the article before it.

I don't really have time to explain it all, but the basic idea as that

"Der erwachsener Hund" would sound redundant because the r of der is present twice, so we remove it and we get "Der erwachsene Hund"

While in "Ein erwachsener Hund", there is no r on ein so the r of the adjective can be kept without sounding redundant.

Of course it's a bit more complex than that, but this gives you a little idea of what it's all about.


Thank you so much. It really helped.

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