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"Willst du eines dieser Bücher?"

Translation:Do you want one of these books?

April 7, 2013



why is it 'eines' and not ein dieser Bücher ----one of the these books with 'one' in the accusative?


Here, eines is called the indefinite pronoun.

You could write Willst du [ein Buch] [dieser Bücher]? ("Do you want [one book] [of these books]?") but that sounds just as repetitive in German as it does in English. We would rather say "Do you want one of these books?". By the way, in each of these sentences, the first part in brackets is in accusative, and the second in genitive. Eines is not genitive here! Confused? Keep reading :)

So how do you say "one" in German? Some kind of ein- word for sure... but things usually need to be declined when they're referring to nouns - even when you leave the noun out! So you can think of this in two ways. Pick whichever one makes sense to you:

  1. Memorise the indefinite pronoun table. Notice that because we are leaving out the noun (to avoid saying Buch twice), we must therefore need a pronoun. So look up the table for the indefinite pronoun that you need for a neuter object in accusative case: eines

  2. You already know how ein- normally changes its ending. Tell yourself that 'when the noun isn't there, the ending needs to be even stronger to avoid ambiguity'. So instead of the 'endingless' form for neuter objects in accusative case (ein Buch), it gets higher responsibility than usual and gets the 'strong' ending normally reserved for der/die/das. That means it becomes: eines


Thank you for this explanation. Does it mean that you can also say Willst du eins dieser Bücher?


According to the links in my post, yes. Although perhaps it's less formal (I am not a native-speaker, so can't say for sure).


OK. Now I also know where eins, zwei, drei came from.


Same question. Why are "eines" and "dieser" both in genitive?


I'm also confused. Looking up the declension tables for genitive plural, I see that we need dieser. But then also einer? The tables suggest that eines is for singular neuter or masculine. So what's singular? The book? Then is einer singular or plural? Still hoping for that lightbulb moment...


I could very well be wrong here, but as I see it, "eines" refers to a single book among several books (genitive plural "dieser"). So que question is: "Do you want one (= A SINGLE BOOK) of these (SEVERAL) books?"


I do believe you are correct, the Genitive forms of ein are M/N = eines and F=einer, so it would seem that they do have declination and must be referring back to the object you want one of


When translated into English, "Do you want one of these books, the direct object is " one". Since German is a little different, it uses "eines" to mean "one of" which then takes a genitive object of the preposition, thus the genitive case "dieser". I think, anyway


Ok I done genitive case a while back and came across ich mag keinen dieser Hüte, which I understood it was keinen as a singular hat (being masculine) would be keinen, so wt is the case here?


das Buch is neuter, so in accusative it remains as das and associated -s endings, which gives you eines [Buch]. The genitive part is at the end, where the genitive plural takes the -r endings: dieser Bücher.

[EDIT: In normal accusative, it would be "ein Buch (of these books)". But since we don't want to say "book" twice, we say "one (of these books)". In this situation, without the noun present anymore, we need to decline ein even more strongly than usual, so it becomes eines. In this sentence, eines is accusative. The genitive part is "of these books", i.e. dieser Bücher.]


thank you, would that mean feminine nouns would have an e on the end in the same situation,


That can't be right... there is no way an "ein" word can have an "es" at the end in the accusative. Only der words and strong adjectives can have an "es" at the end in accusative. (i.e. dieses Buch OR ein Buch OR ein rotes Buch all accusative) Both eines and dieser are in the genitive case here.


Nope. This was the source of my confusion too, because I was looking at tables like this. However, that's not the whole story (annoyingly!).

Here, eines is actually functioning a bit differently to normal. We know ein- as the indefinite article. And that's what the table I linked to shows: all the variations of the indefinite article. But! To be an article, it needs to be followed by a noun... and it isn't. As I explained in another comment, saying eines is actually replacing saying ein Buch to avoid repetition - that is, eines is standing in for a noun... and what do we call things that stand in for nouns? Pronouns. So here, eines is not an article, but the indefinite pronoun. This is why it's not on the table of indefinite articles. But it's on the table of indefinite pronouns (which should probably be added to Wikipedia).

(I didn't know that terminology before looking this up, which made it hard to find! I find it easier to think of ein- 'declining more strongly' when the noun is absent, as I mentioned before.)


There is another sentence in this section which reads "Ich mag keinen dieser Hüte" where 'keinen' was declined in the accusative.

In this sentence "Willst du eines dieser Bücher?" the 'eines' is declined in the genitive.

Can someone please explain why there is a difference?


Buch is neuter (i.e. das Buch), so the normal indefinite article in accusative is ein, becoming eines when you drop the noun as I explained in my other comment. Eines is not genitive here.

Hut is masculine (i.e. der Hut), so the normal indefinite article in accusative is einen. This is already the 'strongest' declension it can get, so when you drop the noun you don't have to change anything (and keinen works exactly the same).


Okay thanks, I think I understand now! I was getting confused with the dropping the noun requiring stronger declension part.


For more info, see the two subsections here on "Not attributive without article" for mein- and kein-: http://www.germanveryeasy.com/pronouns


thank you. this means I can say Ich mag "keines" dieser Buecher right?


Thanks :D so if I was in a bar and finished my drink but want one more I should say "noch eines, bitte"?


This was in both lessons of Genitive Case. Is it a mistake?


why is it "dieser Bucher" and not "diese Bucher"? does it not take the plural form?

[deactivated user]

    "dieser Bücher" is genitive plural.


    you have been of great help. thanks christian :)

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