ich würde gerne neue Gartenstühle kaufen. Unsere alten gefallen mir nicht.

In this sentence, why in the second sentence adjective (alten) ending -en, not -e. There is no noun after adjektive is it because of that? If there was noun there alten should be alte right? Can someone explain please?

1 Answer 1


It's an ellipsis.

Unsere alten (Gartenstühle) gefallen mir nicht.

In English, you had to insert ones. Such a thing is neither required nor possible in German.

  • 1
    I think you can omit "ones" in English if using it would create a repetition: "We bought some more garden chairs; I like the new ones but dislike the old." With a capital A "Alten" it would be a substantivised adjective. That doesn't seem to work in this case, but it's certainly possible in other contexts
    – RDBury
    Jun 30, 2023 at 15:34
  • In German you can use "solch" for english "one", although it often sounds awkward and artificial: usere alten solchen gefallen mir nicht. To paraphrase the slogan of the "Neue Frankfurter Schule": Die schärfsten Kritiker der Molche waren oftmals eben solche" (The sharpest critics of the salamanders often were ones themselves.)
    – bakunin
    Jul 4, 2023 at 22:34

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