A recent Slow German Podcast has the following sentence:

Vor allem in Deutschland, Österreich, Schweiz und Liechtenstein.

I thought that some countries, including Switzerland, always include an article. So is this sentence in error by not having die Schweiz?

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    Leider ist dieser Podcast von überschaubarer Akkuratesse. Anfänger mögen mit diesem natürlich dennoch Fortschritte erzielen. Vielleicht ist es sinvoller die Fragen zu diesem vor Ort zu stellen, in der Kommentarsektion des Podcasts, so dass sie dort auch andere Hörer finden? – user unknown Sep 25 '19 at 19:45

As @Janka already wrote in German you have to put an article in front of "Schweiz". The Podcast got it wrong. But why do you have to do that?

In German most countries are written without any article. There are just a few exceptions for countries with a maskuline or a female genus or countries with a plural in its name. These are


  • die Demokratische Republik Kongo
  • die Dominikanische Republik
  • die Elfenbeinküste
  • die Mongolei
  • die Schweiz
  • die Slowakei
  • die Türkei
  • die Ukraine
  • die Zentralafrikanische Republik


  • der Irak*
  • der Iran*
  • der Jemen
  • der Kongo
  • der Libanon
  • der Niger
  • der Oman
  • der Senegal
  • der Sudan
  • der Tschad

*Please note, these (masculine) countries especialy Irak and Iran are sometimes written without any article.


  • die Bahamas
  • die Kapverdischen Inseln
  • die Komoren
  • die Malediven
  • die Niederlande
  • die Philippinen
  • die Salomonen
  • die Seychellen
  • die USA / die Vereinigten Staaten
  • die Vereinigten Arabischen Emirate

and 1 small neuter exception

  • das Kosovo

source a, b

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    Why do you repeat stuff that the OP seems to already know? – Carsten S Sep 24 '19 at 8:25
  • @CarstenS The question was: is this sentence right or wrong. That's a yes or no question. OP guessed it was wrong (correct), so I tried to explain the rule of thumb behind it, which OP and others and future generations might not know about ;) . – mtwde Sep 24 '19 at 8:47
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    That would be covered by german.stackexchange.com/questions/10907/… – Carsten S Sep 24 '19 at 8:55
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    I don't really know how we should handle questions where someone asks about something that they have seen in the wild but had learned was wrong. – Carsten S Sep 24 '19 at 11:59
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    I think it would be much more useful to comment on whether it can be met in the wild, whether people really speak so, or if it was 1 mistake in a million. From the descriptivist point of few that makes a whole lot of difference! And STAY ON TOPIC of the specific example of Schweiz or native speakers omitting articles in such cases, and not just copy paste something from a grammar book... Btw, this is what happened in English with "the" Ukraine - now it's more often used WITHOUT the article. – Dan Sep 25 '19 at 10:15

It's die Schweiz and that phrase is indeed wrong. It must be

Vor allem in Deutschland, Österreich, der Schweiz und in Liechtenstein

That second in because the article breaks the row. Putting Liechtenstein in front of die Schweiz is uncommon. It's uncommon to take note of Liechtenstein at all, and they like it that way … for reasons. So,

Vor allem in Deutschland, Österreich, und der Schweiz

ich much more common, und sometimes referred to as

Vor allem im Raum D-A-CH

This uses the abbreviations of the International vehicle registration code.

  • It must? What is forcing it, the the Swiss army? – vectory Sep 24 '19 at 3:37
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    The question is about "correct" German, so in order to speak "correctly", you must write it as @Janka has stated. To prevent the upcoming question: Correct means for all intense and purposes, the current convention for standard German, which may change in the future. You are of course free to write anything you want, but that may conflict with today's conventions. – infinitezero Sep 24 '19 at 19:23
  • How do you pronounce it? Im Raum DeAaCeHa? – Dan Sep 25 '19 at 17:00
  • Yes, De A Ce-Ha. – Janka Sep 25 '19 at 18:04

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