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Lass uns ins sonnige Griechenland fahren!

What excactly is "ins" here? In + das ? We have Griechenland as feminine. Danke!

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    For gender in connection with country names see this question.
    – guidot
    Nov 9, 2022 at 12:03

3 Answers 3

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In addition to what @Sonyfreak already said: compound nouns always derive their Geschlecht from the last word they consist of. For example:

die Stadt (fem.)

das Stadtparlament (neut., "das Parlament")

der Stadtparlamentstagungsraum (masc., "der Raum")

Addendum: as correctly stated in @Uwe's comment, there are a few exceptions to that rule (as with any grammatical rule - as I have tried to explain here), especially names of proper places. I.e. "Frankfurt" is neuter despite "Furt" (fording) being feminine.

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  • Compound nouns usually derive their Geschlecht from the last word they consist of, but there are exceptions to that rule. For instance, proper names of cities are always neuter, even if they are compound nouns whose last component is masculine or feminine, such as "Heidelberg", "Neustadt", "Hamburg", or "Frankfurt" ("Berg" is masculine, "Stadt", "Burg", and "Furt" are feminine). Proper names of regions may also be exceptions, e.g., "Mecklenburg" or "Holstein".
    – Uwe
    Nov 9, 2022 at 11:19
  • @Uwe: You are right - that is actually the case with all grammatical "rules". All of them have exceptions - and most probably there is even an exception to that rule, which i am currently not aware of. I will edit my answe to reflect that.
    – bakunin
    Nov 9, 2022 at 12:49
  • Also: Die Mark (fem.) and so die Steiermark (fem.) but das Dänemark (neut.) Nov 9, 2022 at 15:46
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"Ins" is a compound of the two words "in" and "das". Griechenland is neuter, because it derives its article from "das Land".

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I think part of the confusion here is the inflection of sonnige, since the -e ending might seem to imply that the following noun is feminine. The -e ending is correct though. There is a das, even though it's reduced to part of ins, so that means you use the partial (aka weak) inflection. The rules for partial inflection are to use -en with plurals, genitive and dative, and with masculine in the accusative case, and to use -e otherwise. This is neuter in the accusative case (since Griechenland is the destination of travel) so it's the "otherwise" -e. Note that a dative Griechenland would be preceded by im rather than ins.

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