After looking up the declension of "gut", I would expect to see "guter Morgen" as opposed to "guten Morgen". The only conclusion I can draw is that "guten Morgen" is in the accusative case. Am I correct in assuming this? Are all greetings in the accusative? Is there a name for this grammatical category? It brings to mind the "accusative of exclamation" found in Greek and Latin, although I believe that is a bit different (correct me if I am wrong).

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    Perhaps because you can see the greeting as short for "Ich wünsche dir einen guten Morgen."?
    – IQV
    Jun 22, 2017 at 6:19
  • @IQV That's interesting, but can you back it up with sources?
    – ktm5124
    Jun 22, 2017 at 6:28
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    @ktm5124 That needs no sources. It's basic understanding of grammar.
    – c.p.
    Jun 22, 2017 at 6:32
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    I think every greeting in most languages is such a short form.
    – IQV
    Jun 22, 2017 at 6:37

1 Answer 1


You are correct. "Guten Morgen" is short for "Ich wünsche dir/Ihnen einen guten Morgen".

Likewise, "Guten Tag" is short for "Ich wünsche dir/Ihnen einen guten Tag". Same with "Guten Abend".

As you can see, this is just the regular accusative, so there is no need for a special name.

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    The same is true for basically anything else one could wish sb., like "Guten Appetit" or "Gutes neues Jahr".
    – QBrute
    Jun 22, 2017 at 7:58
  • @QBrute you can't really spot the difference in the last one, now can you? Jun 22, 2017 at 8:53
  • @PierreArlaud What's that supposed to mean?
    – QBrute
    Jun 22, 2017 at 9:15
  • @QBrute that it would be "gutes neues Jahr" in nominative case too? Jun 22, 2017 at 9:21
  • @PierreArlaud So? That doesn't change the fact that "Gutes neues Jahr" is accusative like OP asked and can be used as abbreviation for "Ich wünsche dir ein gutes neues Jahr". Therefore it falls under the same category as the other examples. I don't really see the problem here.
    – QBrute
    Jun 22, 2017 at 9:26

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