Hmm.. this is something I do not understand so far hmm. when I say I am from Berlin I could say (Ich bin ein Berliner) here I though Berlin became like an adjectival noun. But one thing I found a bit strange was Berliner Sparkasse. Kasse is feminine so I thought it should be Berline Sparkasse. What is going on here?

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    Look at "Adjective endings". Feminine without an article in Genitiv gets -er ending.
    – vahancho
    Commented Mar 2, 2015 at 10:56
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    @vahancho.. this is not helping/misleading. It's called "die Berliner Sparkasse"
    – Emanuel
    Commented Mar 2, 2015 at 11:50
  • @vahancho: Neither is this true (the adjective ending in the case you describe is -e, not -er), nor is it related in any way to the question, as "Berlin" as such is not an adjective whose ending gets changed here. Commented Mar 2, 2015 at 15:03

5 Answers 5


"Berliner" is a standard adjectival derivative of a proper geografical noun which carries the ending -er regardless of the gender of the noun:

Der Berliner Raum

Die Berliner Sparkasse

Das Berliner Straßennetz

What is more, "Berliner" is never inflected:

Der Berliner Raum
Des Berliner Raums
Dem Berliner Raum
Den Berliner Raum

Same with "Wiener", "Stuttgarter", "Hamburger", etc.

It is another question if you add the syllable "isch":

Die berlinerische Lebensart

which carries flections but also implies a different meaning, as "die berlinerische Lebensart" might also be found elsewhere, but "das Berliner Straßennetz" only in Berlin.

The capitalization of "Berliner" is due to §61 of the orthographical rules of the Council for German Orthography (Rat für deutsche Rechtschreibung), whereas §62 commands to lowercase "berlinerisch".

  • Also, it is capitalised. Not so sure about “berlin(er)such", though.
    – Carsten S
    Commented Mar 2, 2015 at 11:32
  • @CarstenSchultz Thank you for the correction. Rechtschreibregeln §62: Kleingeschrieben werden adjektivische Ableitungen von Eigennamen auf -(i)sch, außer wenn die Grundform eines Personennamens durch einen Apostroph verdeutlicht wird, ferner alle adjektivischen Ableitungen mit anderen Suffixen. Commented Mar 2, 2015 at 11:37
  • Argh, autocorrect got me.
    – Carsten S
    Commented Mar 2, 2015 at 12:21
  • I will take this answer as many people here opt for this answer. Hmm.. quite interesting to see some rather conflicting answers here.
    – Josh
    Commented Mar 3, 2015 at 3:02

Another examples of this kind:

Schweizer Käse, Kölner Dom, Frankfurter Würstchen


des Schweizer Käses, vom Kölner Dom, satt von Frankfurter Würstchen

This is somewhat special. Adjectives derived from city names end always with "-er" and are not declinated whatsoever.

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    It is not only city names, "Badener", "Thüringer", etc. are valid, as well. Commented Mar 2, 2015 at 15:06

In fact, it is feminine: "die Sparkasse".

But, in this case "Berliner" is related to its home city Berlin and therefore is another form of "Sparkasse of Berlin" or "Sparkasse von Berlin".


Berliner (and the like) is usually called an indeclinable adjective, but, at least historically, it is a noun meaning “inhabitant of Berlin”, and, being a noun, it is written with an upper-case B, Hence:

der Berliner

des Berliners

dem Berliner

den Berliner

die Berliner

der Berliner

den Berlinern

die Berliner

In “Berliner Wurst” (etc.) Berliner is (again, at least historically) the genitive plural of the word for “inhabitant of Berlin”, “the Berliners’ sausage”, as Roger has explained.

  • What is wrong with this?
    – fdb
    Commented Mar 3, 2015 at 8:44

In my view in such forms as Münchner Bier, Thüringer Bratwürste etc "Berliner" and "Münchner" are no adjectives as they are invariable but genitive plural forms derived from "Bier der Münchner" and "Bratwürste der Thüringer" with the genitive placed before the noun as in Latin Romanorum lingua ( literal: of the Romans + language) or as in literary formulas as "der Menschen Schicksal".

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