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Can any one tell me

why we have two nouns next to each other? And why Nähe is a noun in this sentence (see below)? Also, why is the spelling different for noun and adjective (Nähe vs nahe)?

Ausgezeichnete Lage in der Nähe der Universität und Restaurants.

Excellent location near the university and restaurants.

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  • We can put even more nouns in there: "in der Nähe des Eingangs der Universität der Hauptstadt des Landes". Or in English: "in the vicinity of the entrance of the university of the capital of the country".
    – Philipp
    Commented Jul 3 at 11:45

2 Answers 2

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First of all: This is not a sentence. A sentence needs a verb, but there is no verb. This is just a noun phrase that could be used as subject or object of a sentence. (More about this at the end of my answer.)

The adjective nahe means near:

Er ist dem Ausgang nahe.
He is near the exit.

In German from this adjective the feminine noun die Nähe is derived. The mechanism is a kind of nominalization that also works for some English adjectives. If there was a noun derived from the adjective near in English, it probably would be the nearth:

  • high - the height (exists)
  • wide - the width (exists)
  • near - the nearth (does not exist, but is built using the same mechanism)

Instead in English you have nouns borrowed from latin with the same meaning: proximity (latin proximus = the next) and vicinty (latin vicinius = neighborhood).

So here is a word by word translation of the noun phrase:

Ger: Ausgezeichnete Lage in der Nähe der Universität und Restaurants.
Eng1: Excellent location in the nearth of the university and restaurants.
Eng2: Excellent location in the proximity of the university and restaurants.

The phrase "Excellent location near the university and restaurants" fits better into English language, but uses a different grammatical pattern.

The version labeled Eng1 uses the "theoretical" noun nearth that perfectly matches with the German noun Nähe. The version Eng2 just replaces this noun with another noun that has the same meaning, but exists for real in English.

All versions contain the exact same number of nouns in this noun phrase: 4 (Lage = location, Nähe = nearth/proximity, Universität = university, Restaurants = restaurants).

Also the inner structures of the German and the two English versions are identical:

  • ausgezeichnete
    is an adjective, used as left attribute of the core noun
  • Lage
    is the core noun of the phrase
  • in der Nähe der Universität und Restaurants
    this is a prepositional phrase that is used as a right attribute of the core noun. It can be subdivided further:
    • in
      preposition that initiates the prepositional phrase
    • der Nähe der Universität und Restaurants
      a noun phrase in dative case as extension/companion of the preposition. It can be split further:
      • der
        determiner (feminine article in dative case) of the core noun
      • Nähe
        core noun of this inner noun phrase
      • der Universität und Restaurants
        possessive attribute of the core noun in genitive case. It is an enumeration with two elements, both in genitive case, the first element is der Universität which is the genitive form of the feminine noun (plus article) die Universität and Restaurants is the genitive plural form of Restaurant.

This cluster of words is not a sentence, but a noun phrase. It even is an incomplete noun phrase, because a determiner (most often an article) is missing at the beginning. But you can still use the noun phrase as a title or caption without that determiner.

With a determiner it can be subject of a sentence:

Die ausgezeichnete Lage in der Nähe der Universität und Restaurants macht die Wohnungen in dieser Wohnhausanlage besonders attraktiv für Studierende.
The excellent location in the proximity of university and restaurants makes the apartments in this residential complex particularly attractive for students.

The whole phase that is marked bold is the subject, both in English and in German. The word macht (makes) is the verb and the rest are objects and other stuff.

The same phrase can also be an object, here an accusative object:

Der Makler nennt die ausgezeichnete Lage in der Nähe der Universität und Restaurants als Ursache für die hohe Beliebtheit der Wohnungen.
The estate agent cites the excellent location in the proximity of university and restaurants as the reason for the high popularity of the apartments.

Here "der Makler" (the estate agent) is the subject, and the verb nennt (cites) needs an accusative object (and some additional stuff), and our noum phrase is exactly this object.

5

You mix up several things.

  • The adjective is nah, näher, am nächsten — close, closer, most close.
  • The noun made from that adjective is der/die/das Nahe, Nähere, Nächste — the close, closer, most close one.
  • There's another noun die Nähe — closeness, proximity which is related but not directly derived from the adjective.
  • There's a preposition nahe — close to which is again related but not directly derived from the adjective.

Your example can be rewritten with the preposition.

ausgezeichnete Lage nahe der Universität

This preposition nahe takes genitive case. But there's a replacement involving the noun die Nähe and that's what your original example features

ausgezeichnete Lage in der Nähe der Universität

This in der Nähe is a drop-in for nahe. The meaning is in promixity of.

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  • 3
    The English Translation of the german original would be 'excellent location in the vicinity of the University and restaurants' Commented Jul 3 at 0:35
  • 2
    Der Superlativ von "Close" ist "closest". Commented Jul 3 at 15:52

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