I have encountered the following sentence: "Sie kämpfen mit allem, was sie haben". Similarly "Ich habe alles verloren."

It is clear to me that mit requires Dativ in the first one and that the second one is Akkusativ, but how do I tell the gender?

Why not aller instead of allem in the first sentence? Why neutral in the second?

  • Where do you see a gender? Apr 11, 2015 at 13:51
  • 1
    I believe @Hallowed is talking about different conjugations, see for example here. The wiktionary entry for all gives allem as the Dativ Singular Maskulinum and Neutrum; and aller as the Dativ Singular Femininum.
    – blutorange
    Apr 11, 2015 at 15:53
  • @blutorange: yup, you are right, the word conjugations just didn't spring in my mind
    – user6275
    Apr 16, 2015 at 20:15

1 Answer 1


You are obviously confusing two different variations of the word:

  • alle = all of "them", all of a previously mentioned or implied group, usually persons
    genitive: aller, dative: allen, accusative: alle
  • alles = generally "everything".
    genitive: alles, dative: allem, accusative: alles

Sie kämpfen mit allem, was sie haben.
They are fighting by all available means.

Sie kämpfen mit allen, die sie haben.
They are fighting with all the men they have.

Ich habe alles verloren.
I have lost everything (e.g. my house, my family, my job, …).

Ich habe alle verloren.
I have lost everybody [I loved/I had etc.]

If there is some context around the sentence, the word alle can also refer to things:

Ich hatte fünf Ringe, aber habe alle verloren.
I once had five rings, but have lost all of them.

Sie haben viele Waffen. Sie kämpfen mit allen, die sie haben.
They have lots of weapons. They are fighting with all [weapons] they have.

  • From a practical point of view I agree, but dictionaries list „alles“ as a form of „all“.
    – Carsten S
    Apr 11, 2015 at 15:58
  • Du könntest noch auf die Frage des Geschlechts eingehen. Apr 12, 2015 at 0:42

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