7

I have only studied German for a few weeks. In the back of the textbuch is a list of words. It says:

die Sü­ße -n

Example:

– Wie lang bleiben wir noch, Heinz?

– Nur noch eine Stunde, Sü­ße!

But when I check the plural of the noun in Duden, it appears that it does not exist.

Have you as German native speakers run into this word in plural?

  • I changed the example, because the answer did not fit to the question. Was it a joke? – Iris Oct 2 '16 at 16:43
  • For each text there are words to be learned. die Sü­ße was part of the dialogue between those two persons. I supposed it is meant to be a joke. Thanks for the help. I appreciate it a lot! – Eva Oct 2 '16 at 16:52
8

Duden and DWDS do not list "term of endearment" as meaning of "Süße", only sweetness and being sweet. The plural is "die Süßen" is "die Süßen".

Die Süße von Honig unterscheidet sich von der Süße von Marmelade. Ihre Süßen sind unterschiedlich.

"Die Süße" as term of endearment is a nominalisation of the adjective "süß" (Thanks @deponensvogel).

The female form is "die Süße" as in "die süße Frau", the male form is "der Süße” as in "der süße Mann". With indefinite articles, the forms are "eine Süße" ("eine süße Frau") and "ein Süßer" ("ein süßer Mann").

Die Süße, da hinten an der Bar, ist echt schnucklig./ Der Süße, da hinten an der Bar, ist echt schnucklig.

Hallo, Süße! / Hallo, Süßer!

The plural here, too, is "die Süßen" (cf. Wiktionary) as in "die süßen Frauen/Männer/Menschen". There is no indefinite article in plural, so then, it is just "Süße" ("(viele) süße Menschen").

Die Süßen, da hinten an der Bar, sind echt schnucklig.

If you address a person, in singular the indefinite form is used, but in plural “Hallo, Süße” sounds wrong. So instead, you would say:

Hallo, ihr Süßen!

  • Perhaps the authors of the textbuch I use should have added a "-r" instead of an "-n" considering the meaning of the word. – Eva Oct 2 '16 at 15:48
  • 2
    I would argue that Süße (in the sense of sweetness) as a technical term can have a plural. Die Süße eines Tokajers und die Süße einer Trockenbeerenaulese sind völlig verschieden, es handelt sich um unterschiedliche Süßen. – Ingmar Oct 2 '16 at 17:13
  • @Ingmar, stimmt,zumindest klingt dein Beispielsatz richtig. – Iris Oct 2 '16 at 17:26
  • 1
    Die Behauptung, der Plural würde selten verwendet, würde ich streichen. – Hubert Schölnast Oct 3 '16 at 17:36
  • 1
    ›Der Süße‹ isn't a short form but a nominalisation. – deponensvogel Oct 3 '16 at 20:37
5

The two distinct meanings of Süßesweetness and cutie — have been formed grammatically differently from their common root süß (the adjective) and thus function differently. However, both have plural forms.

Süße meaning sweetness is a nominalisation formed with the -e suffix. If possible, there would have been an stem vowel umlaut, as can be seen with Größe and Länge that were formed similarly. Typically, these forms indicate a quantifier. If you are just talking about a single object, these quantifiers cannot be pluralised, but upon comparing the quantifier of different object, pluralisation makes sense. Hence, die Süßen (plural of sweetness) is rare but possible.

Milchschokolade und Eiswein schmecken ganz anders. Ihre Süßen lassen sich überhaupt nicht vergleichen.


When Süße is used to mean cutie, i.e. as a term of endearment, it is actually only an adjective that assumes the syntactic role of a noun in the latter’s absence. Thus, it still declines as if there were a noun following it and even assumes that invisible noun’s gender. Depending on whether a definite article is preceeding or not, strong or weak declension must be observed.

However, due to the overlap with the other full noun (sweetness) not all forms sound idiomatic. While technically forms could be used for all numbers, genders and cases some just sound wrong without some other quantifier. Compare the following examples:

Ein Süßer steht an der Bar.
Eine Süße steht an der Bar.
Ein Süßes steht an der Bar. (Slightly weird; probably sounds like a child standing there. But could technically also be used for ‘sex unclear’.)
Der Süße hat sich einen Cocktail bestellt.
Die Süße hat sich ein Cocktail bestellt.
Das Süße hat sich einen Cocktail bestellt. (See above)

Hier steht der Drink einer Süßen.
Ich bringe einer Süßen ihren Cocktail.
Ich spreche eine Süße an.
Hier steht der Drink der Süßen.
Ich bringe der Süßen ihren Cocktail.
Ich spreche die Süße an.

(Mehrere) Süße stehen an der Bar. (Sounds weird without mehrere.)
Die Süßen bestellen sich Cocktails.

Since this construction is ‘only an adjective’, many dictionaries will not list it separately.

  • 1
    ›Ein Süßes‹ is an invalid phrase because it has never been used naturally in German language. – deponensvogel Oct 3 '16 at 20:41
  • 1
    @deponensvogel Replace the here implied meaning of somebody standing at the bar and check out this: ‘Ich hab viele Fotos geschossen. Das ist ein Süßes.’ Or: ‘Ich habe viele Fotos geschossen. Ein Süßes wird im Wettbewerb eingereicht.’ – Jan Oct 3 '16 at 21:07
  • 1
    Since this is an adjective, however, you would not capitalize it: ‘Ich hab viele Fotos geschossen. Das ist ein süßes.' – Ingmar Oct 4 '16 at 11:28
  • 1
    Zwar würde ich behaupten, dass nicht die Süßen von Eiswein und Milchschokolade unterschiedlich sind, sondern die Begleitaromen, aber selbst für die Negation benötige ich natürlich die Mehrzahl. – user unknown Oct 5 '16 at 8:22
  • @Ingmar: Native adjectives are both. However, only adjectives used as nouns get capitalized, which is not the case with Jan's examples. – deponensvogel Oct 8 '16 at 15:52

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.