I am using the Langenscheidt "Deutsch als Fremdsprache" dictionary and cannot figure out what the [-f] and [-v-] mean in the following entry:

Genitiv [-f] der; -s, -e [-v-];Ling

I can't seem to find it in the Hinweise.


These are pronunciation hints: In the word "Genitiv", the letter "v" is pronounced as /f/, due to Auslautverhärtung; in the plural "Genitive", it's pronounced as /v/, though (like in most words of non-Germanic origin).

  • Thanks. Why do these pronunciation hints only appear in a very small minority of entries? – Steve Aug 3 '20 at 20:24
  • I guess because the pronunciation of "v" is not predictable (it may be /v/ or /f/). – Uwe Aug 3 '20 at 20:25
  • 1
    It actually is fairly predictable though. German words will have "v" pronounced /f/ (Verbrecher, verkaufen, Vater) while for loaned words it's /v/ (Virus, Vase, Vatikan, virtuos, ...) – infinitezero Aug 3 '20 at 21:37
  • 8
    @infinitezero It is fairly predictable if you know the etymology. But even then there are exceptions, such as "Veilchen" (from Latin "viola"), "Veit" (from Latin "Vitus"), "Vesper" (from Latin "vespera"), or "Nerven" (from Latin "nervus") – Uwe Aug 3 '20 at 22:23

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.