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  5. Die Bank hat einen Geldautoma…


Die Bank hat einen Geldautomaten.

Can you help me understand why it is einen Geldautomaten and not ein Geldautomat or just "Die bank hat Geldautomaten"? The translation is "The bank has an ATM" but isn't Geldautomaten plural?

July 6, 2017


  1. ein vs. einen
    See the Tips and Notes of the 5th lesson (namely "Accusative Case") of the German (for English speakers) course.
  2. Geldautomaten vs. * Geldautomaten
    In singular, the Genitiv, Dativ and Akkusativ forms of this noun is
    Geldautomaten while its Nominativ form is Geldautomat*. See here.
    And is seems --- see section "III: Masculine and neuter n-nouns" here -- to be a general rule for masculine nouns.


I see that this seems to be a complex subject. I think the following is an overview of it:


Die Nomen sind in verschiedene Flexionsklassen eingeteilt. Im Flexionswörterbuch steht bei jedem Nomen, zu welcher Flexionsklasse es gehört.

Die Einteilung in eine Flexionsklasse erfolgt aufgrund der Endung des Genitiv Singular und des Nominativ Plural. So hat ein Wort aus der Klasse s/e im Genitiv Singular die Endung s und im Nominativ Plural die Endung e.

Continue reading here.


Okay, I understand now. Thanks for the help. I was making two mistakes. 1.) I didn't know that it changes to Geldautomaten in the accusative. 2.) I thought Geldautomat was neuter. Much clearer now!


"Die Bank hat Geldautomaten" is plural, so as long as you have "einen" you need to stick with singular


The second question is why isn’t it neuter? It comes from a neuter Greek word, no? I guess there is no answer. German speakers just assign genders by Sprachgefühl, difficult for us Ausländer to acquire.

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