Das ist eine Art ehrenamtliches Engagement.

This is translated to English as:

That is a kind of volunteer work.

That is why I think that eine Art ehrenamtliches Engagement is genitive. But why doesn't it take genitive article as:

Das ist eine Art des ehrenamtliches Engagement.

  • Your last sentence should be: "Das ist eine Art des ehrenamtlichen Engagements" Dec 14, 2019 at 7:46

3 Answers 3


There are two kinds of phrasing for the intended meaning:

Das ist eine Art (des) ehrenamtlichen Engagements.

This one would be used in writing and shows the genitive you expect.

The other, more informal:

Das ist eine Art Ehrenamt/ehrenamtliches Engagement.

In this case you have two nominatives, since Engagement serves as a collective specification (see canoonet).

  • So even in writing des is not necessary, because you put it in parentheses?
    – Sasan
    Dec 13, 2019 at 15:42
  • 1
    @Sasan: Yes, in this case the article is optional (and one could also use the indefinite article), but this is a pecularity of Art.
    – guidot
    Dec 13, 2019 at 15:50
  • 1
    Art works nearly the same as Glas. Ein Glas Bier, bitte.Kölsch ist eine Art Bier.
    – Janka
    Dec 14, 2019 at 3:29

Das ist eine Art ehrenamtliches Engagement. - That's normal nominative. You can even remove eine Art and get the same sentence structure: Das ist ehrenamtliches Engagement. That you can translate it using genitive does not imply that it is genitive in German, too.

Das ist ein Art des ehrenamtlichen Engagements. - That, however, is genitive. But it's a different structure, anyway.

  • Two nominative in a row without a comma? When does such structure happen?
    – Sasan
    Dec 13, 2019 at 15:44

"Das" is not only an article here. It refers to something not mentioned here. It can be substituted by "dies" or "welches". Isn´t it possible to substitute "that" in the English translation? The linguists amongs us can explain it better. I´m just nativ German.

The 's' is not genitiv, it is for neutral nouns.

"Ein schönes Haus." "Gutes Essen" ..."ehrenamtliches Engagement"

Das Beispiel mit Genitiv ist nicht korrekt. Es muss heißen:

Das ist eine Art des ehrenamtlichen Engagements.

This sentence would change the meaning a little. While the fist sentence makes the action to volunteer work, the second version explains volunteer work and makes the action part of it.

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