By googling and searching online dictionaries, I've found that the following abbreviations are used for jemanden and jemandem.

  • jmd. (for both)
  • jdn, jdm.
  • jmn, jmm.
  • jen, jem.
  • j-n, j-m.

Is there a consensus of which abbreviation to use among authorities, such as the Duden paper dictionaries?

I am not looking for arguments regarding which would be better to use, but rather want to know which is actually used.

  • Second one is used in my dictionary. – user508 Jun 4 '11 at 12:47
  • @Gigili: Thanks, could you write which dictionary it is? – Tim Jun 4 '11 at 12:47
  • Collins. – user508 Jun 4 '11 at 12:49
  • Thanks. I just checked my Langenscheidt's ED-DE, and it uses "j-m". – Tim Jun 4 '11 at 12:51
  • The variety of abbreviations suggests the absence of a consensus, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. I prefer j-n, j-m. Note there is also j-s: jemandes Kleider, someone's clothes. – Lumi Jun 4 '11 at 18:59

Duden (and other dictionaries including dict.leo.org) use the abbreviations

Nom.  jemand    jmd.
Gen.  jemandes  jmds.
Dat.  jemandem  jmdm.
Akk.  jemanden  jmdn.

Other dictionaries (e.g. dict.cc) write:

Nom.  jemand    jd.
Gen.  jemandes  jds.
Dat.  jemandem  jdm.
Akk.  jemanden  jdn.

And... I found the following alternative in an old Langenscheidt dictionary (German-Italian):

Gen.  jemandes  j-s
Dat.  jemandem  j-m
Akk.  jemanden  j-n
  • The OP mentioned kinds of abbreviations, but which one is the most common abbreviation type? you mean the most common form is the one which the most reliable or famous dictionary uses? – user508 Jun 4 '11 at 13:27
  • So the answer is "no"? :) – Tim Jun 4 '11 at 13:28
  • 3
    The "Duden" is the most known German dictionary. It's a de-facto standard, but that doesn't mean that the other versions are wrong. – splattne Jun 4 '11 at 13:29

The print edition of the Duden (24 ed 2006) does not list any of these abbreviations. Therefore, if you use them in a (formal) document it may be appropriate to explain them in a list of abbreviations.

For abbrevations in general Duden writes:

Bei Abkürzungen, die nur in geschriebenen Texten verwendet werden, wir meist keine Beugungsendung gezeigt.

Abbreviations are usually written without showing the conjugation ending.

However there are exceptions of this rule than may be applied to avoid missunderstandings:

  • If the abbreviation ends with the last letter of the abbreviated word we may add the ending at the end of the abbreviation:

die Bde. = die Bände

  • For abbreviated names the ending is set after the abbreviating dot:

B.s. Werke = Brechts Werke

  • Sometimes plural forms are built by doubling of letters:

Jgg. = Jahrgänge


Even though the 24th edition of Duden does not list the abbreviation for jemand they do use them occasionally in this edition in the form of jmd., jmdn., or jmdn..

  • It surprises me that none are listed. How does your Duden list constructions like "sich mit jemandem treffen"? – Tim Jun 4 '11 at 13:28
  • It's not the grammar Duden, it's the Die deutsche Rechtschreibung 1. I was surprised too, as many other abbreviations are listed. The online Duden (see @splattne's answer) knows them. – Takkat Jun 4 '11 at 13:31
  • I guess, Paper dictionaries usually don't use the abbreviated form of "jemanden/jemandem". My collins paper dictionary writes it as a complete form, but the online collins dictionary uses abbreviation form "jdn/jdm". – user508 Jun 4 '11 at 13:31
  • 2
    The 20th edition (1991) uses abbreviations: twitpic.com/56v08a – splattne Jun 4 '11 at 14:36
  • @splattne: I did have a closer look to ed 24 Duden: obviously they do use these abbreviations but don't explain them. Very inconsistent - looking forward to 25th edititon. – Takkat Jun 4 '11 at 14:50

Derartige Abkürzungen werden typischerweise in Wörterbüchern verwandt und dort auch im Glossar erklärt.

Außerhalb dieses Kontextes wirken diese Abkürzungen befremdlich. D. h., eigentlich muss man nachdenken, was gemeint sein könnte.

Im normalen Sprachgebrauch (Medien, Literatur und Korrespondenz) werden diese Begriffe meistens ausgeschrieben.

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