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Inflection classes

Nouns are divided into different inflection classes. The Inflection Dictionary indicates for each noun the inflection class it belongs to.

The categorization of a noun into one or another inflection class is based on the endings of the genitive singular and the nominative plural. Therefore, a noun belonging to the class s/e takes the ending s in the genitive singular and the ending e in the nominative plural.

Inflection class Genitive singular  Nominative plural 
(e)s/e Berg(e)s Berge
s/e Lehrlings Lehrlinge
s/- Fahrers Fahrer
(e)s/en Staat(e)s Staaten
(e)s/er Bild(e)s Bilder
en/en Menschen Menschen
s/s Radios Radios
-/e Kraft Kräfte
-/- Tochter Töchter
-/en Zeitung Zeitungen
-/s Kamera Kameras
[e]ns/[e]n Herzens Herzen

Nouns belonging to the following inflection classes are inflected differently from "normal" nouns:

Adjectival inflection 
Inflection with foreign elements
Person names
Geographical names

Strong, weak and mixed inflections

Traditionally, the terms strong, weak and mixed are used when describing noun inflection. The endings -en and -n are called weak. All other endings as well as the absence of an ending are called strong.
  • Weak nouns take the endings -en or -n in both the singular and the plural. They belong to the en/en-class.
  • Nouns following the mixed inflection take no endings or strong endings in the singular and weak endings in the plural. They belong to the (e)s/en-class or the -/en-class.
  • Strong nouns take no endings or strong endings in both the singular and the plural. They belong to one of the other inflection classes
See also:

Regional Variants

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