16

I saw both "siebente" and "siebte" for 7th, does it have two versions?

If so, what's the difference?

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15

The only ordinal number where two valid variations exist is "der siebte" and its more antiquated variant "der siebente":

enter image description here

This rule applies for all numbers counting with seven

(107.) einhundertundsiebente vs. einhundertsiebte (the und can also be omitted).

7
  • Wow, this graph illustrates brilliantly just what I suspected.
    – 0x6d64
    Aug 19 '11 at 20:00
  • Yeah, I was impressed too. Sometimes these Ngrams are not so bad.
    – Takkat
    Aug 19 '11 at 20:34
  • 1
    Is the crossing at about '77, maybe on the 7.7. accidentally? Aug 21 '11 at 6:33
  • 2
    Hundertste - Einhunderste, Zwölfte - Dutzendste, Tausendste - Eintausendste (usw), Fünfzigste - Fuffzichste. Aug 21 '11 at 6:36
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    I didn't want to express, that they are an identic pattern, but that the statement 'The only ordinal number where two valid variations exist' is wrong. There are other ordinal numbers, where variations exist. Maybe you improve the statement with '... where this variation exists.' Aug 21 '11 at 21:01
3

The proper answer is: it depends. On the region, age and speaker.

The correct version still is "siebente", but as already mentioned the tendency goes to the shortened version "siebte" today which arose from the Ruhr area dominating German media.

There is also a discrepancy between the former eastern part of Germany and former western part of Germany:

http://mediawiki.ids-mannheim.de/VarGra/index.php/Siebente_/_siebte

People in the eastern part still use the proper version "siebente" more frequently. And actually they are right because the word "siebte" is not the ordinal number seven, "er/sie siebte" is the simple past of the verb "sieben".

https://www.duden.de/rechtschreibung/sieben_filtern_sichten_aussondern https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/sieben

1
  • "Siebte" klingt für mich ziemlich bescheuert, als ob es mit einem Sieb zu tun hat. Ganz klar "Siebente", denn es kommt ja von Sieben. ;) (aus der mitteldeutschen Sicht)
    – äüö
    Feb 3 '20 at 21:09
0

"siebente" is very formal and pronounced, normal is "siebte".

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    normal is "siebte". - no, that is true only in some parts of Germany. In Berlin, for example, the normal pronounciation of "siebente" is siemte (in a similar mechanism that in colloquial speech turns "haben" into "ham"). Feb 1 '20 at 15:25
  • that's not quite true, there's a longer restriction of the nasal pathway or maybe other little peculiarities that are hardly audible but distinct from a mere /zi:mte/ that the orthography cannot capture.
    – vectory
    Feb 1 '20 at 21:31

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