I saw it somewhere else the sentence

Und wie bist du hierher an die Frankfurter Uni gekommen?

I think it belongs to the der/die/das and akkusative case. So shouldn't it be "Frankfurte" rather than "Frankfurter"?

  • 2
    Probably * geworben* should read gekommen.
    – guidot
    Oct 26, 2017 at 16:31

1 Answer 1


I first thought you were joking (or trolling). But then I saw that indeed your question has some justification. You are thinking in terms of

ein großer Baum (m.)

eine große Universität (f.)

and thus you get to "die Frankfurte Universität". Good observation, by the way!

However, "Frankfurter" is not an adjective in that sense. Such words describing affiliation to a place (such as a town or village) are usually made by adding "-er" to the place without regard of genus.

Frankfurt --> das Frankfurter Würstchen (n.)

Lyon --> die Lyoner Wurst (f.)

Wien --> das Wiener Schnitzel (n.)

Pilsen --> das Pilsener Bier (n.)

Elsass --> der Elsässer Flammkuchen (m.)

Schwarzwald --> die Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte (f.)

Lübeck --> Lübecker Marzipan (m.)

And, no, this is true also beyond the area of food and cuisine.

Heidelberger Straße

Wiener Schmäh

Pariser Eleganz

Athener Eulen

Nürnberger Spielzeugmesse

Münchner Kindl

Note that such toponyms are correctly spelled with a capital letter. This might at first glance seem not very logical; it is just tradition to do so, thus keeping in mind that the word is derived from a proper place whose name we are inclined to treat politely. Or simply: it is the toponym (unchanged in spelling) plus "-er".

And one more thing: names of streets such as

Heidelberger Straße *)

are correctly spelled that way. "Heidelbergerstraße" would be wrong. However


is correctly spelled the other way round. The reason is that "Brennerstraße" refers to the peak "Brenner" in Tyrol, or possibly to a person by that name, and such street names we tend to write in one word. However, if the word of reference is a place (Heidelberg), we use a blank.

*)You may, however, argue that Heidelbergerstraße is correct if that street is named not in reference to the town Heidelberg but to some person by the name of "Heidelberger" (which is possible).

  • "are usually made by adding "-er" to the place without regard of genus" ... an+ by retaining the initial capital of the place name. Oct 26, 2017 at 16:36
  • 1
    "Frankfurter" and your other examples are in fact no adjectives at all. These words are (place) names in genitive case.
    – tofro
    Oct 26, 2017 at 16:40
  • Ah! Interesting! Should I replace "not a normal adjective" by "not an adjective"? Oct 26, 2017 at 16:43
  • 2
    I doubt that it is a genitive. It seems to be related to the -er suffix used for people doing some action or practising a profession (Lehrer, Fahrer etc.). In words like "Frankfurter Würstchen" it seems to be more a substantive used as a sort of adjective than the other way round. But I'm still looking for a good source about that question.
    – RHa
    Oct 26, 2017 at 19:07
  • Perhaps -er should be seen as just an (independent) suffix signalizing belonging or provenience? So, rather an alternative to genitive case? "Frankfurts Würstchen sind die besten" vs. "Frankfurter Würstchen sind die besten" - with slightly different meaning? Oct 27, 2017 at 8:21

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