I have recently found out that the pronoun "all" can be declined either as "allen" or "alles" in masculine and neuter forms in genitive singular.

When looking at the declension table for "ALL", "alles" and "allen" are written together in the same bracket.


Also, in the link above, the term "allen" (mistyped as jeden) is said to be used after nouns in genitive that end with s\es. However I can't decide whether the information is correct or not, giving the writer mistyped allen as jeden.

My question is, in which way does "allen" differ from "alles"?
Does "allen" accompany nouns with specific terminations only?

  • Similar (but top answer is in German): german.stackexchange.com/questions/42103/…
    – David Vogt
    Apr 7, 2020 at 19:30
  • 2
    @DavidVogt I am sorry but my understandig of german isn't high enough for me to grasp the whole conversation. If you can provide me an insightful explanation in english I would be very grateful.
    – Rare
    Apr 7, 2020 at 23:05

1 Answer 1


Alles is the historically older form. This question mentions the Bible, and indeed Luther has Gott alles Trostes (2 Corinthians 1:3). The form is still alive during the 19th century:

Aber im übrigen blieb in Aegypten und Mesopotamien Lebensgenuß, temperiert durch Lebensklugheit, letztlich das Ziel alles Strebens. (Weber)

Ich weiß wohl und weiß es alles Ernstes, daß dergleichen ein Glück ist […] (Fontane)

Endlich können auch die in der Vernunft gelegenen formalen Bedingungen alles Denkens der Grund eines Urtheils seyn […] (Schopenhauer)

[Die Sophisten] machten auf diese Weise die zügelloseste Willkür und den schmählichsten Egoismus zum Princip alles Handelns. (Brockhaus)

Nowadays, alles has almost died out. You may still find it cropping up occasionally, but the dominant form is allen.

allen Trostes, Strebens, Ernstes, Denkens, Handelns …

All- is probably the only determiner where the form ending in -en has become standard. For all others, -es is still the only one considered to be correct, although forms ending in -en do occur.

Note that the form alles persists in cases where there is no noun ending in -s, e.g. with adjectival nouns: Die Quelle alles Guten liegt im Spiel (Fröbel).


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