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I have become pretty good with adjective endings but I still haven't pinned down the adjective ending after "alle". A native German speaker told me that the ending is always -en after "alle" but another told me that it follows the adjectives following the definite article, ie sometimes -e sometimes -en.

But then, thinking about it, as "alle" will always be plural, if it follows the definite article rule it will always be -en anyway.

So I guess my question is "Is it correct that the adjective ending after "alle" is always -en?"

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  • What about the participles like in "Alle Schirme sind eingeklappt" ? 'Always' is a lonely word, in a world of special cases ...
    – user41853
    Jun 8 at 22:25
  • I think you forgot about cases.
    – Carsten S
    Jul 11 at 11:05
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    Questions like this show you hard it is to understand your own native tongue. I just know to use which ending intuitevly, but I don't know why and I can't name the rules and their exceptions.
    – lidqy
    Jul 12 at 15:12
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It is not always -en. Exceptions are:

Non-inflective Adjectives:

The ending remains unchanged:

  • Alle rosa Socken sind in der Wäsche.
  • Alle Schweizer Kantone schlossen sich an.

alle + Singular:

The ending depends on the case and gender:

  • Alle verfügbare Energie auf die Schutzschilde!
  • Alles erdenkliche Gute zum Geburtstag.
  • Ihm fehlt aller nötige Respekt.

alle with Strong Inflection:

According to LEO, alle is rarely used with strong inflection. Then endings other than -en are possible. Unfortunately I don't know, when this exception applies. I can only guess some examples:

  • Ein Merkmal aller schöner Reden ist ihre blendende Rhetorik.
  • Mit aller angestauter Wut drosch sie auf ihn ein.
  • Alle liebe Grüße an deine Familie!

Each of these may be wrong. But maybe someone else has better examples.

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I think the situation is a bit trickier since allx isn't always followed by a plural. DWDS gives the example ihm ist aller Appetit vergangen. But it is declined according to the der pattern, which would mean any adjective which follows it would get the weak declination. That implies that if you did use it with an adjective and a singular noun in the accusative or dative (excepting masculine accusative), then the adjective would get the -e ending. The example I first thought of was Alles leichte Holz ist weich. But that uses alles instead of alle, and in order to get alle letter for letter you'd need to use a feminine noun. That lead to Alle helfende Unterstützung ist willkommen. This is pretty contrived though, so I wouldn't blame anyone for thinking that such an example doesn't exist. I'm thinking both people you asked were partially right; it is logically possible to have an -e adjective ending after alle, but I doubt you'd see many examples in everyday speech and coming up with one is more like a problem in algebra than language.

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  • "Alle helfende Unterstützung ist willkommen" is not contrived, maybe "Jede" a tad more idiomatic.
    – user41853
    Jun 8 at 22:14
  • I guess "contrived" is a matter of opinion; it just seems to me more like something you'd see in a mnemonic than in actual conversation. I'm pretty sure no one would say Mein Vater erklärt mir jeden Sonntag unseren Nachthimmel in real life :)
    – RDBury
    Jun 9 at 8:20
  • Why do you think so ? That's perfect German. Sure there a many ways to say that sundays are stargazer days, but that one version is not lightyears away. Am tempted to say could well be the most frequent version, many people would say that exactly that way if dad does it every sunday :-)
    – user41853
    Jun 9 at 8:27

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