Die Angebote findest du in allen dreien.

I believe the original sentence was:

Die Angebote findest du in allen drei Geschäften.

Can you guys please explain to me when to use numbers like this? What is the grammatical rule? What's its name? Can you give examples of such kind in all grammatical cases (N, Akk, D, G)?

  • This seems to be answered in the Wiktionary entry, at least for drei. Numbers in general might be a different discussion. Btw, this came up recently but it may be worth mentioning, native German speakers all learn NGDA as the order of cases.
    – RDBury
    Dec 12, 2021 at 6:32
  • Note that this usage of numbers is somewhat outdated, so using it today in conversation may earn you a strange look.
    – RHa
    Dec 12, 2021 at 12:08
  • 1
    @RHa: that statement is something I simply doubt, without any proof on my side. To end a sentence with "findest Du in allen drei." makes it easy to add something like an n while mumbling and going down with my voice. Dec 12, 2021 at 21:36
  • @RHa: For me the quoted sentence is absolutely normal every day German. Apart from this, I supppose that the use of a numeral as a pronoun differs from its use as an article, see das ist mein Buch vs. das ist meins. Dec 14, 2021 at 1:16

1 Answer 1


Basically this construction leaves out some (obvious) part in the name of brevity. This is a common institute in the English as well as the German language alike:

Can you give me an example? I can give you one.

Similar your own example. Notice that the numeral takes over the declination suffix from the noun - here Dativ Plural, even though it is not capitalised.

Die Angebote findest du in allen drei[ Geschäft]en.

This works also with nouns in other Kasui:

Den Artikel haben viele Geschäfte. Drei haben das Angebot. (Nominativ)

Das Angebot aller Geschäfte ist gut. Das Angebot dreier davon ist sogar noch besser. (Genitiv)

Das Angebot findest du in allen dreien. (Dativ)

Alle hat man gelobt. Befördert hat man drei. (Akkusativ)

In case of the Akkusativ "drei" is the - shortened but modern - version of "dreie". This is the same as above: the numeral will take over the suffix of the noun.

This sort of (perhaps "elliptical" or "brachylogical") construction is possible with small numbers: single-digit and probably two-digit numbers are OK, you can't do it with, say, a million (at least it would sound very weird).

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