For preceded adjectives, that is the ending for the dative case. Don't ask me why! http://german.about.com/library/weekly/aa033098.htm
Here, "grün" takes the -en ending because "einem" provides the gender and case information. so grün does not need to. "Not needing it" equates to -e sometimes, -en other times, just gotta learn 'em. (by now, you've probably got this, but I'm writing this in case it helps someone in the future!)
This is unclear. grün ends in "en" because it is a preceded by a definite article (einem), is neuter, and is dative.
This guy explained it more clearly than anything ive ever read regarding this subject:
When we're talking about color, we're talking about adjectives! So these are the adjective rules. Keeping that in mind.
So, basically I left out nominative, and accusative, which is a mixed bag and I'm still learning, not that I even have all these rules down perfectly :-). I'm hoping osmosis will eventually win over.
I believe what McMustard is saying is that in this example, not needing because if the case is dative and the -em ending (of the article) provides the gender, and therefore since all the information is also in the article, definite or indefinite (in this example indefinite), it's generic not needed takes the default -en ending.
Dative is pretty straight forward this way, and it's the only one without exceptions because the plural dative is already uses the -en ending. This is also great to know because for the color (or adjective) endings, when there is no article, you have to use the dative definite article endings.
In fact, all the no article endings are always the same as the definite article case endings except for genitive, which also uses the definite article case endings except for masculine & neuter (m/n) which will then get the generic not needed -en ending but just because genitive is weird?!.
FWIW, I would have rather called it "masculine" -en ending (used in accusative, and plural dative) than the not needed. If one used the -en ending ~71.5% of the times you'd be right, depending on the actual distribution of gendered words, which can be found here which ends up being about 62% right, not counting plurals which, if we did, would probably make it higher than 71.5% FWIW! :-)
Of course in a simple sentence such as The something is color, it has no ending and is in plain form.
Anyway, here's the links that give all (at least all that I've found so far) endings for articles and adjectives.
"grünen" is the dative form. The preposition "mit" requires the dative. With the indefinite article "einem" the adjective requires the mixed inflection dative ending "en". See the mixed inflection table in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_adjectives#Mixed_inflection Note that with mixed inflection nominative and accusative singular endings are similar to the strong inflection endings; all other forms end with "-en".
the adjective ending is always -en for the masculine (den) form. But it remains -e for die or das. So we would get "...den blauen Wagen..." (...the blue car...), but "...die blaue Tür.." (the blue door), or "...das blaue Buch..." (the blue book). When the adjective is used with an ein-word (einen, dein, keine, etc.), the accusative adjective ending must reflect the gender and case of the noun that follows. The adjective endings -en, -e, and -es correspond to the articles den, die, and das respectively (masc., fem., and neuter). Once you notice the parallel and the agreement of the letters n, e, s with den, die, das, it makes the process a little clearer. Many German learners find the DATIVE (indirect object) case to be intimidating, but when it comes to adjective endings in the dative, it couldn't be more simple. The ending is ALWAYS -en! That's it! And this simple rule applies to adjectives used with either the definite or indefinte articles (and ein-words).
I have a question (first time felt the need to ask a question even after going through the comment section). I read the adjective declension rules on nthuleen.com. According to the flow chart given on the website for declension, it says that:
Step 1: If there IS an article, go to step 2. Step 2: If the article is NOT in original form, we add -en to the attributive adjective.
Now my confusion is that, is the sentence below correct?
Mit einem grünen Mann
If it is indeed correct, then how can we tell the gender of Mann or Kleid from the articles or adjectives? I read on wikipedia that the whole point for the declension was to clear the gender of the noun.
Good, you've been paying attention :)
Unfortunately despite the best efforts of these declension patterns to tell us information about the case and gender, sometimes ambiguity remains. Often between masculine/neuter nouns in dative or genitive case, for example. That's just how it is!
Hai Karen, so I struggled with this one too but its like this: einem is a strong determiner right? Because of the -em ending, einer, eine.. all strong (Only ein, so without an ending is weak).
This already gives a sense of the gender of the noun, in this case Das Kleid (turned into einem Kleid because of the 'mit' --> dativ)
The adjective no longer has to take over this function of showing the gender and simply gets the ending of -en (dativ).
To illustrate: if the determiner were weak, er gibt ihm ein grünes Kleid. The ein doesnt show the gender, so the adjective grün has to - grünes. I posted a link to gregs reflects above here in this link somewhere, really worth it to read. Helped me a bunch!
I don't understand why it's "grünen." It's mixed inflection because of the indefinite article, and Kleid is neuter, so shouldn't it be "grünes"? People here have been mentioning Dative case, but what does that have to do with anything? Surely the mixed/weak/strong inflection charts don't have an entire second set for when it's Dative... That would be ludicrous. And besides, if that ludicrousness were the case, then Duo would've given us those charts, wouldn't they?
Wait, nevermind. I just realized that it's not a totally separate set of charts, but rather the same charts that we were already given... I had just completely neglected the Dative and Genitive sections on those charts, and only focused on the Nominative and Accusative parts, so I just completely missed that. lol. MY BAD! xD
Hm.. this a bit much too explain in full, also since im sure there's more to it than i could tell you. But okay, strong/weak simply means that the preposition shows the gender. So it could be einer, der, die, das.. basically anything apart from 'ein'. When ein is used the gender is not clear, so any adjective used takes over the ending. When a strong prep is used, the ending of the adj is very easy, -en for dativ/gen, acc singular and plural; -e for neuter and fem singular.
Genitiv.. well, cant tell u all about it, but heres what i got: after some words, like während the genitiv follows. Same situation with mit - dativ right? Apart from that it's used to say things belong to each other, e.g. the teachers book - das buch des Vaters. Also it often adds a -s to the noun. Its less important than the other cases since u can often avoid using them by using the word 'von' which is then followed by the dativ of course. But seriously check out the greg reflects.. he explains it a lot better than i ever could. Also, native speakers out there, pls correct me if i said sth wrong!