I can't find examples (or think of one) where the genitive strong ending -en is used; that is, where the 1.) noun is singular and its gender is masculine or neuter, 2.) no determiner precedes the noun and 3.) the case is genitive.

An example like

Die Hoffnungen armer Menschen bleiben oft unerfüllt. (The hopes of poor people often remain unfulfilled)

uses the strong -er ending because Menschen is plural. Are instances of the genitive strong attributive adjective ending -en rare?

1 Answer 1


Here are some good examples, even if they feel a bit stiff:

Die Weiße neugefallenen Schnees kann blenden – bringen Sie eine Sonnenbrille mit.
Mir gefällt der Geschmack roten Weines.
Der Gewinner letzen Jahres wurde von der Höhe der Preissumme überwältigt und gab alles innerhalb weniger Monate aus.

You can also see it in several idiomatic phrases:

Sei guten Mutes! (Be of good cheer!)
Allen Ernstes (In all seriousness)
[etw.] gleichen/selben Namens ([something] of the same name)
Letzten Endes (in the end/after all)
Schweren Herzens (with a heavy heart)

  • @guidot Woops, was typing fast, thank you :)
    – Numeri
    Mar 14, 2021 at 16:20
  • One with neuter I have from my notes is Das Aroma frischen Heus ist entspannend. I think the one with rot and Wein, which I admit is very tempting, is a bit awkward since normally you'd merge them into Rotwein. These are unusual cases though and I've seen at least one grammar site on-line get them wrong. In every other case the strong inflection matches the definite article, so it seems very odd to have these random seeming exceptions that would rarely come up.
    – RDBury
    Mar 14, 2021 at 16:41
  • @RDBury, Yes, I agree, the example with rot and Wein is awkward, perhaps I could have used something else. Mir gefällt der Geschmack italienischen Weines? In any case, most of these will examples are not quite umgangssprachlich
    – Numeri
    Mar 15, 2021 at 20:00
  • @Numeri says Reinstate Monica Thanks so much! Mar 15, 2021 at 21:24
  • @RDBury According to the book German in Review, since you would only use the -en genitive ending on singular masculine or neuter nouns when they don't already have a der-word--and that's a fairly uncommon construction--it recommends instead learning idioms that use the construction, rather than learning is as a variation on basic grammatical structure. Mar 16, 2021 at 15:23

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