I’ve been trying to grasp how to formulate this, and I’ve been reading up on the explanations, but I just don’t seem to get it.

If we have a female noun, e.g. Hand, which of the following is correct:

mit einer kräftiger Hand
mit einer kräftigen Hand

Strong or mixed inflection?


4 Answers 4


Adjectives only inflect strongly if they come without an article (but they may follow a numeral). When the attributes qualify a feminine or plural noun, it also doesn’t matter whether the article is definite (die) or indefinite (eine), because weak and mixed inflection are the same for these two genders/numbers.

For feminine and plural, all articles and pronouns as well as adjectives without an article inflect the same, ‘e’ ending or nominative and accusative, ‘en’ for plural dative, ‘er’ else. Other adjectives always end in ‘en’ except for feminine ones in nominative and accusative, which have ‘e’ like articles and pronouns.

mit requires dative case, but you got that correct anyway. Therefore it is mit einer kräftigen Hand and alternatively mit der kräftigen Hand or more abstract mit kräftiger Hand. For female or plural, strong inflection is the same as article and pronominal inflection, when you accept that d+ root and +e suffix result in die.


Example with female noun: "hand"

"Mit einer kräftigen Hand kann man das Fenster öffnen."

The other option is definitely wrong.


As always: German is difficult ;-) It is either

Mit einer kräftigen Hand...griff er nach dem Schwert.


Mit kräftiger Hand...griff er nach dem Schwert.

  • Yes, buuuut… I’d prefer the latter, since it makes a general statement about this person. Something like “He has a strong grip”, or “His movements are strong and accurate”. „Mit einer kräftigen Hand“ sounds like he has five hands, one of which is strong.
    – Philipp
    Commented Sep 15, 2015 at 12:18

Mit einer kräftigen Hand see the rules belowenter image description here

  • 3
    There is no need to handle ein+ and kein+ differently from possessive pronouns like mein+: *kein blaue Hemd is wrong, it should be kein blaues Hemd.
    – Crissov
    Commented Sep 15, 2015 at 11:43
  • Yes you are right , I didn't get through it completely
    – xAminex
    Commented Sep 15, 2015 at 11:46

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