The following sentence is from a manual of a video game describing the properties and effects of certain abilities. The past participle/adjective ausgeteilt in the following sentence might be a typo, but I can't be sure:

Effekte: Ziele angreifen (bei ausgeteiltem kritischen Treffer)

In this case, bei is dative, therefore it should follow that the adjective ausgeteilt become ausgeteilten.

My question is: Am I missing something here? Is this just a typo or is there merely some grammatical rule I am not aware of.

  • 2
    It is a grammatical rule, but a rather complicated: it is Wechselflexion and Parallelflexion.
    – IQV
    Aug 24 '18 at 6:10
  • 1
    If Treffer is considered singular, and as it is masculine, you‘ll get an „m“.
    – tehnicaorg
    Aug 24 '18 at 6:32
  • 1
    I am stunned about the technical ressources people use for learning German.
    – Janka
    Aug 24 '18 at 10:15

The phrase is correct as it is.

You are right that bei requires dative case. Since the noun Treffer is masculine and singular, the adjectives describing this noun needs to get the singular, masculine, dative ending as well.

Furthermore, there is no article-like word preceding the adjectives. Thus, we need to take strong inflexion (in contrast to the weak inflexion in bei dem ausgeteilten kritischen Treffer). Thus, we end up with ausgeteiltem.

How can we know that Treffer is singular here, since the plural is die Treffer? We can tell, because plural dative would be den Treffern.

And why isn't it kritischem? Well, that is debatable. Usually, you use the same inflexion for multiple adjectives in a row (this is called Parallelflexion). Applying this, one could write bei ausgeteiltem kritischem Treffer.

However, it is possible to signal subordination of one adjective by using weak inflexion (this is called Wechselflexion, see the accepted answer for this question for example). This is, what happened here: there wouldn't be a critical hit, if there wasn't an allotted hit. Thus, it is correct to write bei ausgeteiltem kritischen Treffer.


Correct is:

bei ausgeteiltem kritischem Treffer

Because there is no article, strong adjective declension is used, so the ending is -em.

With an article things are different:

bei einem ausgeteilten kritischen Treffer

Here we have weak declenstion because an article is present.

Actually there is some disagreement whether ausgeteiltem kritischen Treffer is correct, that is, if is OK to restrict the strong declension to the first adjective. There is a discussion of this at Bei gutem, schönem, heiterem Wetter: dreimal em

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