I came across this sentence in Der Spiegel:

Sie betonte jedoch, die Geldpolitik folge keinem vorgegebenem Kurs.

Should not the sentence read vorgegebenen Kurs?

  • @Em1 Sorry to ask you about this, but how did you place the quoted sentence against yellowish background? Commented Feb 11, 2016 at 11:29
  • 4
    "> Sie betonte jedoch..." see formatting option: "blockquote"
    – Iris
    Commented Feb 11, 2016 at 11:46
  • 3
    Just click "edit" and take a look at what the "code" looks like. Or use the "help" button while editing. Or believe Iris. ;)
    – Em1
    Commented Feb 11, 2016 at 13:38
  • I vote to believe Iris. Sounds safest xD
    – Jan
    Commented Feb 12, 2016 at 0:12
  • @chirlu: The two questions you saw as other-language duplicates are not. In this case, we don’t have two adjectives but rather an adjective and a pseudo-article (for want of a better word). This invalidates the answers given to the other question.
    – Jan
    Commented Feb 12, 2016 at 0:21

2 Answers 2


I would indeed agree that it should read

... keinem vorgegebenen Kurs

This goes along the lines of

... steht in keinem vernünftigen Verhältnis
... aus keinem offensichtlichen Grund


Kein is an indefinite pronoun that functions as an article would. And it has almost the same effects on adjectives following it as articles have.

When standing alone, adjectives use the strong inflection:

  • Vorgegebener Kurs
  • Vorgegebenen Kurses
  • Vorgegebenem Kurs
  • Vorgegebenen Kurs

When preceeded by a definite article, weak inflection is used:

  • der vorgegebene Kurs
  • des vorgegebenen Kurses
  • dem vorgegebenen Kurs
  • den vorgegebenen Kurs

With indefinite pronouns and articles, a mixed inflection is used which marks the nominative on the adjective and all other cases on the pronoun article:

  • kein vorgegebener Kurs
  • keines vorgegebenen Kurses
  • keinem vorgegebenen Kurs
  • keinen vorgegebenen Kurs

Therefore, the only correct way to write it would have been:

Sie betonte jedoch, die Geldpolitik folge keinem vorgegebenen Kurs.

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