The German Genitive Case

Hello everyone,

I'm having a bit of trouble with the genitive case in German grammar.
Could someone please explain it?

Thank you so much! AP4418

May 17, 2018


Hi, Dessert-Rose, the genitive is a case which is mostly used to show possession.

Andy's dog is running around. = Andys Hund rennt herum.

Grandma's car is in the garage. = Omas Auto ist in der Werkstatt.

The capital of Germany is Berlin. = Deutschlands Hauptstadt ist Berlin. (Or you say: Die Hauptstadt von Deutschland ist Berlin without using the genitive case).

My husband's car is in the garage. = Das Auto meines Mannes ist in der Werkstatt.

There are also some verbs which require the genitive case. But these are more difficult to explain. If you like I can try it, however.

May 17, 2018

Thank you tutor! Well, if you don't mind I'll really appreciate it, please!

May 17, 2018

Okay, I will give it a try.. :-)

"Sie beschuldigt die Kinder der Naschsucht." = She accuses the children of being addicted to sweets. (der Naschsucht is in the genitive case)

"Der Umweltschutz bedarf einiger Anstrengung." = Environment protection requires some efforts. (einiger Anstrengung is in the genitive case)

For the first example you could ask: Wessen beschuldigt sie die Kinder? It is a bit as the English here as you say "to accuse someone of doing something"

The second sentence: Wessen bedarf es? Unfortunately, that one is different in English and you can only learn it.. ;-)

May 17, 2018

Thank you, so much, once again! I don't know how I'll thank you!

May 17, 2018

Genitives are most often used to mark an attribute to a noun: Das Dach des Hauses - The roof of the house.

Can also be an object of a verb (Genitive object), though this is somewhat rare nowadays, I believe: Wir gedenken der Toten - We remember the dead. (gedenken directs the Genitive)

Certain prepositions direct Genitive: Wegen der Bauarbeiten konnte ich nicht mit dem Auto fahren - I couldn't use the car due to/because of the road work (wegen directs the Genitive, but colloquially the Dative is more common)

There are a bunch of other reasons too, but mostly evolves around these three points.

May 18, 2018

Good Morning birgit and Dessert-Rose.
While you're on the subject, what happens if the name already ends in s? Does James's / James' house become James Haus?
and plurals... can the babies' bottles become die Babys Flaschen? (i have seen die Flaschen der Babys )

May 17, 2018

Good morning, if you have words that end in -ss, -z, -tz then you would have to put -es at the end of the word:

der Satz - des Satzes

der Glanz - des Glanzes

der Hass - des Hasses

In the case of a noun that ends only in -s you need an apostrophe for the "missing" s

Hans' Katze

James's Hunde

May 17, 2018

Ah thanks very much! I knew s was a bit of a problem in English, so i thought it might be similar in German, but i had never thought about -ss, -z and -tz.

So....Last question.....
Do Germans pronounce something like "Hans' Katze", as Hanses Katze? or do they pronounce it "Hans Katze",

May 17, 2018

It would only be "Hans' Katze" . We usually don't say letters which aren't there.. ;-))

May 17, 2018

unlike us sloppy Brits...
Many thanks.

May 17, 2018

You are harmless compared to some other languages.. ;-)))))

May 17, 2018
Learn German in just 5 minutes a day. For free.