I have viewed another question: Adding -es to adjectives after “etwas”

But I am still uncertain how the indefinite pronouns keiner/keine/keines (no one, nobody) affect the adjective after it. And also jeder, niemand, jemand, alles…

Let's focus on keiner. Can I translate literally (maybe awkward):

  • “No one broken was found.” as “Keiner kaputt wurde gefunden.”
  • “I found no one broken.” as “Ich habe keinen kaputten gefunden”?

If not, how should the adjectives be inflected?


After some thoughts and reading some references, I think my real question is:

  • Are there postpositive attributes in German?
  • Do such phrases exist? like “not any one (house) that is broken” as “keines (von den Häusern) kaputt”.
  • 1
    Broken isn't an adjective in your examples but a participle in place of a relative clause. No one who was broken was found. I found no one who was broken. Please reconsider your question.
    – Janka
    Nov 14, 2017 at 22:11
  • @Janka But isn't kaputt an adjective in German? Or maybe “no broken one” sounds more natural? (here “one” is any object except a person)
    – K.K
    Nov 14, 2017 at 22:39
  • 1
    Yes, but you don't need an adjective to translate your sentences. German can go either with a participle or an adverb at that place: Niemand/Keiner wurde kaputt aufgefunden. See how kaputt isn't declined? That's because it's an adverb here. German makes adverbs from adjectives by not declining them.
    – Janka
    Nov 14, 2017 at 23:06
  • @Janka Clever idiomatic sentence! My question looks pedantic. Then what about “I found no broken one (i.e. not any broken one)”?
    – K.K
    Nov 14, 2017 at 23:21
  • 1
    Please rephrase your question so it actually uses the participle/adjective as an adjective, as in I found no broken person. Not one, because that one is special.
    – Janka
    Nov 15, 2017 at 0:58

2 Answers 2


Kein works exactly the same way as ein does:

Das ist ein/kein gutes Beispiel
Sie ist eine/keine schöne Frau
Ich habe einen/keinen alten Mann gesehen


You can find the details in any basic grammar book

Keiner is different and means nobody

Keiner erklärt das so gut wie du

And there's also keins: none

Es gibt noch keins <-> es gibt schon eins

UPDATE: since the question changed

No, German doesn't have postpositive attributes

Your example “not any one (house) that is broken” is not even good English. but you could maybe translate it as something like "Kein Haus, das kaputt ist" or "Keines, das kaputt ist".
Better: "Kein kaputtes Haus"


Ok, first of all: I'm not really good at English, but I'll try ;)

So, in your question, there's already a mistake: It's not possible to have an adjective after "keiner" and "keines".

Example: "no apple" -> "kein Apfel" and not "keiner Apfel".
It's the same thing with neutrum-words


das Haus -> kein Haus 

and NEVER keines Haus!!!!!

"Keiner" and "Keines" is ALWAYS used as a noun 


Keiner kam zu meiner Party / Keines von den Häusern war gelb

(Nobody came to my party) / (None of the houses was yellow)

But the rest is easy :D

kein roter Apfel

keine schöne Frau

kein großes Haus

I hope I could help you :)

  • (facepalm) Maybe my question is really misleading, but my reference to “etwas” is not unimportant at all. I'ved updated my question. I want to know whether there are postpositive attributes in German and whether there are phrases like “not any one (house) that is broken” exists as “keines (von den Häusern) kaputt”. And @Janka told me that it should be “kein Kaputtes”. Is that right?
    – K.K
    Dec 3, 2017 at 5:20
  • Actually "keines" could be an adjective in the genitive: "Keines Hauses"
    – RHa
    Dec 3, 2017 at 16:15

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