I note that the German declension of "the mountains" in dative is "den Bergen".
But the remainder of the declension table does not follow that of a strong noun (see https://www.verbformen.com/declension/nouns/Berg.htm).

So what is going on with this noun if it is not a strong noun?
Is it simply a special case all by itself or is there some other special class of nouns into which it can be associated?

  • 1
    You haven't told us how you expect strong nouns to behave. A dative plural form ending in -en doesn't tell you much (Schatten, Agenten, Bergen are all dative plural but belong in different classes).
    – David Vogt
    Aug 26, 2019 at 6:48

2 Answers 2


There is a strong, weak, and mixed declension in German, but there are many subclasses per group.

Please see the extremely detailed Wikipedia article on it. Der Berg is one of the examples of class S4.

  • 1
    Sorry if this throws you back to the start. My recommendation is not to learn about the declension classes at all. German kids don't do it at school. Instead, practice, practice, practice by reading lots and lots of German texts.
    – Janka
    Aug 26, 2019 at 1:21

German doesn't have "strong" or "weak" nouns. (Those terms exist, but they concern adjectives, and they don't depend on the noun, but on the presence or absence of certain determiners in the phrase).

What German does have is a medium-sized number of inflection classes for nouns that are not predictable just from looking at a noun. Berg happens to take -en as the dative plural. There's a lot of syncretism in these endings: many but not all other inflection classes also have -en as the dative plural (for instance, Feld takes -ern instead).

Inflection classes and which nouns belong to what class just have to be learnt individually. But as Janka said, the answer is not to cram these tables and vocabulary items, but to read, read, read and get to know the nouns in context, which is much more efficient than memorizing.

  • 1
    Please check the Wikipedia article Janka linked. Since Grimm at least nouns have been classed as strong or weak. (The weak ending -n is historically the same for adjectives and nouns.)
    – David Vogt
    Aug 26, 2019 at 6:50
  • Yes, so far I've seen strong versus weak verbs, strong/weak/mixed adjective declension, and strong/weak/mixed nouns. But whether this jargon is useful or is worthwhile for a learner to understand is another question. It appears that this question is an example of the jargon causing more confusion than enlightenment. Berg is behaving normally here, compare with Hund and Tisch.
    – RDBury
    Mar 7, 2021 at 10:49

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