I always thought that the correct way to say this was "Violinenunterricht." However, it seems that "Violinunterricht" is more commonly used (there are also more hits on Google). Which one is correct and why? Is there a rule about this and is this comparable to the "Gedichtanalyse" vs. "Gedichtsanalyse" question? What is the formal term for this kind of construction?

  • Both are less common than "Geigenunterricht", at least in informal context. (google.at gives me ~200.000 hits for Geigenunterricht, ~18.000 for Violinenunterricht, ~50.000 for Violinunterricht)
    – Hulk
    Commented Mar 22, 2015 at 14:28

1 Answer 1


This is a question about Fugenlaute (according joints) that are used as joiner between the parts of compound words.

Compound words are very often used in German Language, and so you very often have to decide which Fugenlaut to use. The problem ist, that the rules are very variable.


Very often the Fugenlaut is chosen that way, that the first part together with the Fugenlaut is equal to the plural or genitiv of the first part. In the case of »Violinenunterricht« you see such a plural-like construction, but it is not really a plural. It is just the first part »Violine« joint with a »n« that comes not from the plural, but just is a Fugenlaut.


Sometimes you omit any Fugenlaut like in Haustür, Tischdecke or Gasthaus. You can use this kind of joining also for Violine and Unterricht.


Here the e at the end of Violone has been omitted. This happens sometimes when a word that ends with an e is joint with a word that starts with a vowel, but is rarely done.

All three variations (Violinenunterricht, Violineunterricht and Violinunterricht) are correct German words.

some other facts about Fugenlaute

As said before, rules for Fugenlaute are not very clear, and so you often find more then just one solution for joining two words. Especially there are different rules in Germany and in Austria. I give you some examples:

Advent + Kalender
In Germany: Adventskalender (with an s between the parts)
In Austria: Adventkalender (no Fugenlaut)

Schwein + Braten
In Germany (without Bavaria): Schweinebraten (e)
In Austria and Bavaria: Schweinsbraten (s)

Schaden + Ersatz
In Germany: Schadensersatz (s)
In Austria: Schadenersatz (-)

Einkommen + Steuer
In Germany: Einkommensteuer (-)
In Austria: Einkommenssteuer (s)

You find more Information about Fugenlaute here:

Fugenkonsonanten bei zusammengesetzten Wörtern
Welche grammatische Form kann das erste Wort in zusammengesetzen Wörtern annehmen?
Is there any difference between "Vermögensteuer" and "Vermögenssteuer"?



  • 1
    Hubert, now you are making an equivalent mistake you accused others of in other questions: it is plainly wrong that in Germany one says eg "Schweinebraten". For once, there are certainly some Austrians around who will not change the way they speak just because they are in Germany. But seriously, "Schweinebraten" is pretty much unheard of at least in Bavaria, presumably in most parts of southern Germany - certainly accounting for a non-negligable percentage of the population.
    – Gerhard
    Commented Mar 22, 2015 at 19:50
  • @Gerhard: I edited the Schwein-s/e-braten-Section. Is it ok now? Commented Mar 22, 2015 at 20:00
  • I was really referring to all examples - although I know people using both forms for the latter two. Anyway, I know what you meant of course, and I don't think there is a way to be exact without making it so complicated that no-one can follow or so general that it becomes meaningless.
    – Gerhard
    Commented Mar 22, 2015 at 20:18
  • @Gerhard kenne mich überhaupt nicht gut aus, bin sogar Ausländer, aber AdA bietet auf seiner Hompage drei Graphiken. Und die sind auch in meiner Antwort zu finden
    – c.p.
    Commented Mar 22, 2015 at 20:27
  • 2
    ... aber Violinsunterricht sagt doch hoffentich niemand, oder?
    – Takkat
    Commented Mar 22, 2015 at 22:41

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