Is 14th of February vierzehnte zweite or vierzehnten zweiten?

With the usage of the name of the month, is it vierzehnten Februar or vierzehnte Februar?

Why is there an -n sometimes and sometimes it isn't?

3 Answers 3


It can be nominative:

Heute ist der vierzehnte Februar.

Or dative:

Am vierzehnten Februar war ich in Urlaub (already mentioned by Benedikt Brünner)

Or accusative:

[Captain's logbook]: 32° 12' W 14° 34' S, wir schreiben den vierzehnten Februar.

Or genitive:

Am Morgen des vierzehnten Februars sammelten wir uns zur Abreise.

So you see, all four cases can and do occur. And there are more prepositions besides am that can go with a date. Note the terminal -s in Februars for the genitive*, note the terminal -n in the adjective vierzehnten for dative, accusative and genitive.

Finally, another nominative form without an article is

Vierzehnter Februar.

*However: Not marking the genitive case of the month with a terminal 's' is becoming increasingly popular; at present, it is a matter of subjective choice.

  • 2
    I disagree with the claim that the genitive forms such as "Februars" or "Septembers" are still current in dates. This must have sounded antiquated even a hundred years ago. To judge from the graphs on Google's n-gram viewer for pairs such as "des 1. Februar,des 1. Februars", the switch seems to have happened around the middle of the 19th century.
    – user2183
    Commented May 17, 2015 at 15:52

The words are adjectives (literally, fourteenth second) in masculine gender, because Tag and Monat are masculine, and follow the usual rules for adjective declension. Therefore, it is:

vierzehnter zweiter
der vierzehnte zweite
am vierzehnten zweiten
der Abend des vierzehnten zweiten

In many cases, it is more common to use the name of the month instead:

am vierzehnten Februar

Still, the same declension rules apply to the day.


I would prefer:

Am vierzehnten Februar

(I'm from Austria)

  • 2
    @downvoters: please note that this was the first answer posted here, and it is a valid answer (even though admittedly we do have better ones in the meantime). Related: meta.german.stackexchange.com/questions/422/…
    – Takkat
    Commented Jul 15, 2013 at 19:07
  • 1
    @Takkat: In my opinion, it doesn’t answer the (main point of the) question, which was why there are different forms (with and without -n) in the wild. It might even mislead a reader into believing that vierzehnten is always right.
    – chirlu
    Commented Jul 15, 2013 at 20:00
  • 8
    yeah, sure it's not a good answer, because its incomplete but its not wrong either. 3(!) downvotes without further explanation is bad style. This should not happen to a new user who only came here today to contribute. We should put more effort in helping people how to give good answers - my 2 ct.
    – Takkat
    Commented Jul 15, 2013 at 20:09
  • 2
    Sometimes questions can be answered with 1 short sentence like this one, and it was the first reply the question received, means the topic has finished. And I don't understand why an avalanche of overkill must follow, crowned by downvoting the first answer.
    – äüö
    Commented Jul 16, 2013 at 6:52
  • 1
    Man bewertet nicht, ob eine Antwort die erste ist oder nicht sondern ihre Qualität. Der Zeitpunkt ist ohnehin objektiv ablesbar. Ist ein Teilnehmer sehr umtriebig ist auch später nur mühsam nachvollziehbar dass die Antwort die erste der Person war, und womöglich daher nachsichtig bewertet wurde, und die hohe Bewertung fehlleitend. Außerdem ist der Zusatz zur Herkunkft in der Antwort völlig sinnlos. Commented Oct 4, 2013 at 22:05

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