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I am trying to figure out adjective endings in German. I usually refer to this summary and it has been working perfectly until now. Can someone tell me if there is anything wrong with it, though? Because something just does not work.

I have this question: What is the grammatical explanation to zum ersten Mal?

I simply cannot explain why zum ersten Mal is like this. I would have thought, following my summary, that since zu requires dative, since the noun is Mal (das Mal), the adjective that follows would have to end with an em. But that is not the case! Instead I see a -en ending there and I really really cannot explain why!

declination table

I actually thought like this:

  • Mal is das Mal;
  • zu + dative = zum
  • ending of the following adjective should be -em (see the third column in my summary) → erstem

Taking all together: zum erstem Mal.

  • Thanks to Barth Zalewski I understood and solved my problem. Now the last question regards this: This website says something different ( learn-german-smarter.com/learn-German-adjective-endings.html ) About the second column (ein, mein..). He writes there, that Pl ending in nominativ and akkusativ is -e, when actually it should be -en. And also that the ending for Pl in genitiv is -er, while actually in my summery it says -en ! – E.V. Feb 2 '15 at 15:44
  • What does PI ending mean? – Emanuel Feb 2 '15 at 15:59
  • Pl means Plural – E.V. Feb 2 '15 at 16:09
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Please look at Prima declinazione, Dativo. Zum = Zu dem, afterwards, in red, you can see en.

I think you have confused things with "Senza articolo", but there is an article, yet contracted with zu.

An example on what you thought it should be:

Topf aus rostfreiem Stahl

Further examples for contraction:

im Großen Garten (=in dem)

am richtigen Ort (=an dem)

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    Oh wow, you are totally right! I kind of thought of the preposition without considering and seeing the contracted article! – E.V. Feb 2 '15 at 15:12
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    Gern geschehen! – Barth Zalewski Feb 2 '15 at 15:12
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    The summary seems to be perfectly alright. Still, viel Spaß beim Lernen! – Barth Zalewski Feb 2 '15 at 15:15
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    This website says something different ( learn-german-smarter.com/learn-German-adjective-endings.html ) About the second column (ein, mein..). He writes there, that Pl ending in nominativ and akkusativ is -e, when actually it should be -en. And also that the ending for Pl in genitiv is -er, while actually in my summery it says -en ! – E.V. Feb 2 '15 at 15:28
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    @E.V.: That's true - "der schöne Baum", "ein schöner Baum", "mein schöner Baum", "die schönen Bäume", "schöne Bäume", "meine schönen Bäume" are all correct. That is, for the plural possessive pronoun meine, a different declination is used than for the singular one. – O. R. Mapper Mar 28 '15 at 16:15
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This is due to the rule that with consecutive adjectives or an adjective following a pronoun, the first has a strong flexion of the dative, the second (and all following) a weak one:

zu dem ersten Mal (= zum ersten Mal)

Von einem größeren musikalischen Ereignis konnte ich noch nie berichten

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