4

In my workbook, the given answer states:

Etwa acht Liter Speiseeis schleckt jeder Deutsche im Jahr.

I thought this would depend on knowing if you were talking about a male german or a female german. Why is it not therefore "jede Deutsche"? This can only be for the singular because of "schleckt" but then does the default fall on a male "Deutsche"?

Is the word "Deutsche" hence under the same rules as "der Fünfte/der Vierte"?

5

The word Deutscher is the general term for any German, unrelated to their biological gender.

In your sentence, the noun Deutscher is in the nominative case. When using the definite article, you apply the weak declension. The indefinite pronoun jeder acts as definite article.

As you can see in the inflection table (follow the link above), the correct inflection for the weak declension with definite article in nominative case is: jeder Deutsche

If you would say "jede Deutsche", it would be understood as "jede deutsche Frau". This is not possible for men, because the shortening "jeder Deutsche" is identical to the generic term. For men, you must say "jeder deutsche Mann".

  • 1
    Biological sex, not biological 'gender'. 'Gender is a linguistic term only! – Ornello Jan 6 '15 at 14:53
  • 5
    The claim that gender is a linguistic term only is obviously wrong. – Carsten S Jan 7 '15 at 17:34
8

This gender-usage can be observed in other languages like Latin and Spanish. When referring to a group of people of unknown or mixed gender a person from this group can be addressed in the male form. Only when you know that the whole group is female female is used. This has been ground for some controversy with the result that, where applied, pure male or mixed groups are referred as male and female. Regarding your question: The sentence is completely right, but might get the attention of feminists or SJW's.

  • Whilst I agree with your answer, why choose Spanish when German will do? Same principles apply... – Stephie Jan 6 '15 at 13:33
  • People don't have genders! Words do! – Ornello Jan 6 '15 at 17:25
  • +1 because this actually answers the question. – Carsten S Jan 7 '15 at 17:36
-2

I think it would be jeder Deutsche based on the normal declensions, and thus ein Deutscher if it's one German. It's spelled as if it's an adjective: jeder deutsche Mann (or Mensch). If you take off the Mann/Mensch you end up with jeder Deutsche (except the word is now capitalized because in German every word used as a noun is capitalized: but it is still declined as an adjective!). Same with ein Deutscher, which comes from ein deutscher Mann/Mensch. The word Mann/Mensch is understood and unexpressed. The word is a nominalized adjective and the declensions are based on that fact. Likewise with eine Deutsche, which is a 'shortened form of' eine deutsche Frau.

See this:

Deutscher

See:

declensions

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