"Kinder, liebe Kinder, es hat mir Spaß gemacht." From https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandm%C3%A4nnchen

Here, Kinder is nominative plural: die Kinder. So, one would say "Die Kinder sind liebe" I would expect "Lieben Kinder sind..."

Is there a reason for this or is it just some poetic license?

  • 3
    None of the forms that you expect are correct, so this question does not make much sense. de.m.wiktionary.org/wiki/Flexion:lieb
    – Carsten S
    Aug 27, 2016 at 15:32
  • So the question: is this correct "liebe Kinder" in this context doesn't make sense? I just want to know if it's liebe Kinder or lieben Kinder.
    – user23219
    Aug 27, 2016 at 16:38
  • 2
    The person saying "liebe Kinder" adresses them. He uses Nominative, just as "dear children" in English does. If you can help us understand your question, we will gladly help.
    – Ludi
    Aug 27, 2016 at 17:35
  • Oh! So the difference is that it is being addressed? So these are correct: "Meine lieben Kinder sind hier." and "Liebe Kinder, hören sein", yes? I'm sorry if this was a bad question. I've been studying German on my own for only a few weeks and working my way through declensions with adjectives. All of the other examples I looked at followed the rule I was expecting, except this one. I thank you for your time.
    – user23219
    Aug 27, 2016 at 17:48
  • 2
    Maybe this question is helpful: german.stackexchange.com/questions/25357/…
    – Carsten S
    Aug 27, 2016 at 18:14

1 Answer 1


The heart of the sentence is "Es hat mir Spaß gemacht." This has given me a good time.

"Kinder, liebe Kinder," (Children, dear children) is a form of address that is appended to the main sentence above. This phrase is "standalone," and is not connected to any verb in the main sentence.

  • This answers Ludi's question ;)
    – Carsten S
    Aug 28, 2016 at 14:58
  • @CarstenS: "Ludi's question?" The OP is named Casey?
    – Tom Au
    Aug 28, 2016 at 15:15
  • Exactly. I am not sure whether you have answered Casey's question, but you have answered the question in the title, which was edited by Ludi.
    – Carsten S
    Aug 28, 2016 at 16:29
  • @CarstenS: Fair enough.I answer the question I see, regardless of "etymology." I believe that the rest of the question "follows" from the revised title. I'm not in the business of getting into Casey's or anyone else's mind.
    – Tom Au
    Aug 28, 2016 at 16:34
  • IOW: Vocative and nominative are the same morphologically in contemporary German.
    – Crissov
    Aug 29, 2016 at 15:20

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