Wenn du für Gerechtigkeit kämpfen wolltest, ...

... Aber das ist kein Grund für Unachtsamkeiten.

For what it's worth, in English, both justice and carelessness are uncountable nouns. I wonder what grammatical rule dictates the use of the singular form Gerechtigkeit in the first sentence and yet the plural Unachtsamkeiten in the second.

  • 2
    German doesn't care carelessness is uncountable in English. German Unachtsamkeit is countable. There isn't a grammatical rule whether to use singular or plural at this place either. It's up to the speaker's choice.
    – Janka
    Apr 9, 2017 at 22:35
  • It is not a question of grammar rules. It is a question of common usage. Grammar allows you to form singular and plural of both words as you like. Apr 10, 2017 at 9:49

2 Answers 2


Unachtsamkeit (and similarly Unaufmerksamkeit) actually has to quite similar meanings:

  1. A state of mind, where one does not pay attention
  2. A mistake, cause by the former

The second meaning can easily be used in plural.



This is uncountable and only used in singular.


This can be used both in singular and in plural:

Es ist eine himmelschreiende Ungerechtigkeit, dass Elmar ein Eis bekommt, aber ich nicht.

Der Lehrer fiel durch viele kleine Ungerechtigkeiten gegenüber seinen Schülern auf.

So it seems the prefix un- decides about the countability.

Same for Glück/Unglück. But different for Aufmerksamkeit.

  • One could add that, yes, "Gerechtigkeit" is commonly used in singular only, and for those who try to learn German it is a good idea to memorize "singular-only" use of "Gerechtigkeit". However, one could imagine also situations where a plural "Gerechtigkeiten" could be used - most undisputedly in creative writing, poetry, etc. But there are also areas in the humanities where this word form could appear. Apr 10, 2017 at 9:52

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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