According to German grammar, mit should always be with Dativ. By German adjective rule, the sentence “Bezahlt man mit Schwarzer Franken” should be as mit Schwarzen Franken (I guess) because Franken is the noun as m., nt.,pl. but not f.

The German adjective rule by Dativ here, only feminine singular noun will have Schwarzer. Maskulin, Neutrum are with Schwarzem. Plural with Schwarzen. None of them is Schwarzer.

So may I seek help from anyone here to help clear my confusion on this part? Much appreciated for your help in advance.

  • 3
    obvious question first, are you sure you read "Schwarzer" and not some other word? I can think of a similar one that sounds more plausible.
    – wonderbear
    Jul 21 at 5:03
  • If there is a place where you can pay only with "schwarzen Franken" you probably should not buy anything there at all. Look up "Schwarzgeld" in your dictionary. ;-)
    – bakunin
    Jul 21 at 5:50
  • 1
    To quote Google — Did you mean: mit Schweizer Franken
    – Carsten S
    Jul 21 at 15:12

2 Answers 2


Schwarzer (or rather, "Schweizer") is an uninflected adjective, written capitalizated since it is part of a name. Therefore it remains "Schwarzer Franken" (Schweizer Franken?) despite the grammatical case of "Franken".

Dudenband 9, p. 269 "Einwohnerbezeichnungen auf -er", point 7
Dudenband 4 (2009), p. 345 "Ableitungen auf -er"

  • Thank you for Erithreus Hoffing and other friends’ reply here! Well understood your explanation and It did help clear the clouds in my mind as this is a uninflected adjective. Make sense! Sorry for my mis-spelling of the word, it should be Schweizer. Thanks again for all of your help!
    – Canny
    Jul 22 at 3:11
  • @Canny In your other reply you thank the person who answers you and talk about a "proper noun". It is not. It is an adjective. See my sources Jul 22 at 3:37
  • Hi Erithreus, Many thanks for bringing this up. I guess Henning Kockerbeck may mean the whole word of ‘Schweizer Franken’ as the proper noun. So Schweizer in it surely is an adjective. So much appreciated having the prompt help and clarification from all of you guys here!
    – Canny
    Jul 22 at 12:37

I would assume you misheard the Swiss currency, the Schweizer Franken or Swiss franc. About the only thing a cursory search gets me for a "Schwarzer Franken" is a model train ;)

But let's say that it actually was "mit Schwarzer Franken", for the sake of the argument. As a general rule, Eigennamen (proper nouns) get declined just like normal:

Ich habe den Artikel in der Süddeutschen Zeitung gelesen.
Er hat ein Konto bei der Badischen Beamtenbank.

But from my experience, it isn't uncommon to leave proper nouns undeclined, as well. Currencies are an example of that. So you might say

In diesem Geschäft kann man mit Euro und mit Schweizer Franken bezahlen.

or, in that case

In diesem Geschäft kann man mit Euro, Schweizer Franken und Schwarzer Franken bezahlen.

  • This would imply that there is a place named "Schwarz", from where the the "Schwarzer Franken" originates, no?
    – bakunin
    Jul 21 at 5:33
  • It's not a noun, it's an adjective Jul 21 at 6:43
  • 1
    @ErithreusHoffing It could be both. The (very probably hypothetical) "Schwarzer Franken" could be named after the color, making "schwarz" an adjective. It could be named after a person named "Schwarz" or "Schwarzer" or similar, or after a place named "Schwarz". The latter two would make "Schwarz", "Schwarzer" or similar a noun. But my money (pun intended) would still be on a mishearing of "Schweizer Franken". Jul 21 at 7:41
  • Even with a place name "Schwarz", it is regarded as an adjective when derived with -er to "Schwarzer". Jul 21 at 8:30
  • Thank you for Henning Kockerbeck and other friends’ reply here! It did help clear the clouds in my mind as this is a proper noun that remains underlined. Make sense! Sorry for my mis-spelling of the word, it should be Schweizer. Thanks again for all of your help!
    – Canny
    Jul 22 at 3:08

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