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In Nana Mouskouri's "Küsse süßer als Wein", according to any lyric site on the net I visited including the artist's personal website, she sings:

Ich hatte manches Schöne mir vorgestellt

I am afraid I do not understand the "..manches Schöne.." in this sentence.

I have never head the word Schöne being used as a noun (is it even this?) and I would expect something along the lines of "..manche schöne (Dinge).."

What am I missing here?

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All German adjectives can be turned into nouns, also their comparatives, their superlatives and their aller- super-superlatives.

schön, schöner, am schönsten, am allerschönsten

der/die/das Schöne, der/die/das Schönere, der/die/das Schönste, der/die/das Allerschönste

These nouns come in all three genders as they had to match a subject or object from a previous sentence.

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Nominalization

Just about every adjective can be nominalized in German, in three variations, one for each genus. In a way, these are just abbreviations:

  • der schöne/große/blonde/... Mann => der Schöne/Große/Blonde/... [Mann]
  • die schöne/große/blonde/... Frau => die Schöne/Große/Blonde/... [Frau]
  • das schöne/große/blonde/... Ding => das Schöne/Große/Blonde/... [Ding]

Not all of them might be used frequently (e.g. instead of "die Blonde", you may also often hear "die Blondine"), and some might adopt a more specific/ less literal meaning ("das Blonde" refers to a type of beer).

Accordingly, "manches Schöne" stands for "manches schöne Ding". "Ding" is used in the most general sense here, i.e. not just "object", but also "event".

I'd translate the line as

I had imagined many a beautiful thing

(which sounds weird because English can't do the same)

  • Better avoid Mann/Frau/Ding for gender explanations, because people may get the wrong impression German noun genders are connected to natural gender. They aren't. – Janka May 11 '18 at 11:59
  • @Janka I know. In this case however, I think they are the most appropriate examples. Nominalized adjectives in m. and f. are used somewhat like names (e.g. if I meet a group of people without knowing their names, I might refer to them as "der Stille", "die Freche" etc. later), and thus have a tendency to be used for persons. – Annatar May 11 '18 at 12:11

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