Which of the phrases is grammatically correct:
,,ein Saal voll von Menschen'' or ,,ein Saal voll Menschen''?

If ein Saal voll Menschen be acceptable, of which grammatical case is Menschen here, the nominative, the genitive or the dative?

Remark on suspected duplication: This post concerns the construction of an extended postmodifier with an adjective; the post Which is grammatically correct: „Der Saal war voll Menschen“ or „Der Saal war voll von Menschen“? concerns the case-government of an adjective as part of a predicate; though being instantiated with similar examples, the two belong to different grammatical topics, one being attributive construction and the other predicative construction.


3 Answers 3


Both are grammatically acceptable, and both can be used interchangeably.

In the prepositional form, the preposition rules the case - "von" wants dative case, so "Menschen" is dative plural.

In the form without a preposition, the case is genitive (Finding out is not exactly easy, but works best if you try and add an adjective to the substantive, like)

Der Saal war voll wütender Menschen

which makes the real case a bit more visible.


Both are correct, but I think "Der Saal war voller Menschen" is the best (I'm from Germany, so...).

  • 3
    Adding an explanation on why do you think it's best might make your answer more helpful.
    – tofro
    May 5, 2016 at 17:51
  • 2
    Grammatically, the second one and mine are correct. "Der Sall war voll Menschen" is colloquial language.
    – univalence
    May 5, 2016 at 18:03
  • 1
    @MegaMan: I believe this is correct but it should be an edit to your answer rather than just a comment.
    – Takkat
    May 5, 2016 at 20:25
  • 1
    @Mega Man : Thanks for your answer; Could you explain a bit why ,,Der Saal war voller Menschen'' is the best option? ( I am a beginner of German, hence in need of more elaboration on this point) Many thanks in advance.
    – Lynnyo
    May 7, 2016 at 1:21
  • @MegaMan : I came up with the following wild guess on the reason for your intuition of the appropriateness of the three options: 1. ,,Der Saal war voll von Menschen'' is better than ,,Der Saal war voll Menschen'', for the underlying sentence in a native speaker's mind might be ,,Der Saal war voll von Menschen besetzt (o.Ä.) '', an elliptical form of which could be ,,Der Saal war voll von Menschen'' with ,,besetzt'' being omitted; 2. ,,voller'' might be an elevated alternative to ,,voll von'', hence ,,Der Saal war voller Menschen'' is better than ,,Der Saal war voll von Menschen''?
    – Lynnyo
    May 7, 2016 at 11:50

It is either "Der Saal war voll von Menschen." or "Der Saal war voller Menschen."

"Der Saal war voll Menschen." is slang.

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