I've mainly just used alle or alles up until now to represent all or every.

However there are multiple declinations for "all" that are quite confusing (including aller, allen, allem). But then in other examples, one can also just simply use all.

For example:

ALLE Hunde essen Fleisch

ALL meine Freunde lesen Bücher

Er kann ein Haus kaufen mit ALL seinem Geld

Ich habe ALLEN bescheid gesagt, dass...

ALL die schönen Blumen.

My subsequent questions are as follows:

1) Why is "all" used here in ALL meine Freunde lesen Bücher and Er kann ein Haus kaufen mit ALL seinem Geld and not "alle"?

2) Why has it changed to "Ich habe ALLEN bescheid gesagt, dass..."?

3) When then with examples if possible, does one simply use alles?

and 4) why is it:

alle meine besten Freunde


all der Wein. (both sentences seem to say "all of the etwas..")


3 Answers 3


All is an indefinite pronoun with adjective declination.

The indefinitum all can connect with following pronouns. The personal ending of all is then shown in the following pronoun only:

All meine Freunde.

If no other pronoun follows all, the normal personal ending is suffixed:

Alle Freunde.


Concerning your 3rd question, "alles" is mostly used to describe non-specific objects. Ich habe alles verloren. (I have lost everything), but Ich habe alle Bücher verloren. (I have lost all my books).

The difference between alle meine Freunde and all der Wein is, as Jublo mentioned, declination. Meine Freunde is plural, hence alle (die Freunde), but der Wein is singular, hence all der Wein.

  • Thanks, I'm still trying to understand it. But if it's "alle meine Freunde" due to the plural declination, then why is it "All meine Freunde lesen Bücher"? and "all die schönen Blumen"?
    – user5105
    Feb 21, 2014 at 2:29
  • In the case of "all meine Freunde", "alle meine Freunde" is also correct. I can't really explain why that is though. "Alle die schönen Blumen" would be wrong, only "alle schönen Blumen" is correct. Now that I think about it, it might be because of direct/indirect objects (die Blumen vs. just Blumen), but again I'm not sure.
    – scd
    Feb 25, 2014 at 8:41

You should have a good grammar for German to get an overview of the special adjectve "all" . The German adjective declensions are complicated enough and function adjectives such as "all/alle" have peculiarities. Without the help of a grammar you won't get far in this complicated area.

As to your question "all die schönen Blumen" - here the plural form "alle" is simply reduced to "all" - a simple shortening. "Die schönen Blumen" clearly indicates plural. So it is not absolutely necessary to indicate plural a second time by using "alle". You can drop the -e because of redundancy and to make the noun group with "Blumen" shorter. This noun group is relatively long with three sub-elements before "Blumen" so it is natural to shorten "alle" to "all".

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