D(ie) Ende des siebzehnten Jahrhunderts geborenen Brüder Jacob und Wilhelm Grimm sind vielen Deutschen vorwiegend als Verfasser der Märchensammlung "Kinder und Hausmärchen" bekannt.

Could someone explain why it is "Die Ende" in the above? Isn't it Das Ende?

Edit: Okay, I get it now that this is the verbal bracketting only and it refers to the brothers, but can someone explain to me why there is no article needed for Ende here?? am so confused..

  • 1
    Off topic, but is the sentence actually true? The brothers Grimm are known in the US almost exclusively for the "Fairy Tales". But I thought in the German speaking world they would also be known for their linguistic work. "Sprachwissenschaftler" is the first descriptive word for them in German Wikipedia at least. Also, they were born in the late 1700's, which would mean they were born in the 18th century. Or am I mistranslating something?
    – RDBury
    Commented Jan 1 at 7:39
  • 2
    @RDBury: Du hast recht mit dem Jahrhundert. Dass sie in der deutschsprachigen Welt auch als Sprachwissenschaftler bekannt sind, ist jedoch kein Widerspruch zu der Aussage, dass sie vorwiegend für die Märchen bekannt sind. Ich habe beispielsweise erst lange nach dem Abi mitbekommen, dass sie auch Sprachwissenschaftler waren, und auch wenn das Abi keine scharfe Demarkationslinie ist, so wird es vielen Nichtabiturienten wohl ähnlich ergangen sein. Womöglich haben sich aber die Lehrplanmoden mittlerweile geändert und es wird heute mehr Schülern vermittelt. Commented Jan 2 at 9:54
  • If "das" would belong to "Ende", you would have two subjects: Ende and Brüder. However, you can not just put two subjects adjecent to each other. It wouldn't possible in English either. Commented Jan 2 at 12:58
  • @userunknown Das ging mir genauso. In meiner Schulzeit habe ich überhaupt nichts über die Grimms gelemt, ich kannte sie nur durch ihre Märchemsammlung. Möglicherweise haben sich die Lehrpläne geändert (br.de/radio/bayern2/sendungen/radiowissen/deutsch-und-literatur/…). Oder schlimmer: Die gymnasialen Lehrpläne ignorierten das Thema.
    – Paul Frost
    Commented Jan 4 at 11:03

1 Answer 1


The "die" is referring to the brothers, and there are two of them so it's plural, hence "die". I think what's confusing here for English speakers is the uniquely German way of turning a subclause into an adjective. Word for word it's "The end-of-the-seventeenth-century-born brothers Grimm ... " This wouldn't work in English and you'd need to rephrase drastically: "The brothers Grimm, born at the end of the seventeenth century, ... "

  • Hmm doesnt Ende need an artivld
    – Babu
    Commented Jan 1 at 7:34
  • @tryst with freedom - I don't think so. Keep in mind that German has somewhat different rules for articles compared to English, even if the general outlines are similar. But I think the same thing still happens in English; consider "The Earth-bound ostrich is too heavy to fly. Rephrased it would be "The ostrich, bound to the Earth, ... " But you lose the article turning "bound to the Earth" to "Earth-bound", otherwise it would be "The the Earth bound ostrich ...". In your example it would be "Die das Ende des ... " which I'm sure would sound wrong.
    – RDBury
    Commented Jan 1 at 7:58
  • @RDBury, in English you can put some things next to a participle but not others. I think you can say “the recently born brothers” or even “the not yet born brothers”, but for some reason not “the yesterday born brothers”. German isn’t that discriminatory ;)
    – Carsten S
    Commented Jan 1 at 14:07
  • 2
    It isn’t only that “Ende” doesn’t have an article, it also doesn’t have a preposition. It’s the same construction as “ich gehe Ende nächster Woche zum Friseur“.
    – Carsten S
    Commented Jan 1 at 14:09
  • Could u explain the grammar to me of this? I am very confused @Carten S
    – Babu
    Commented Jan 1 at 15:10

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.