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Questions tagged [diminutive]

Verkleinerungsform. A word which has been modified to convey a slighter degree of its root meaning. Die grammatische Verkleinerungsform eines Substantivs.

6
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2answers
140 views

Swabian terms of endearment

Lately, I've been researching to write a German character who was raised in Stuttgart. While I've come to a basic understanding of how some diminutives work (appending "-le" rather than "-chen" or "-...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

What does the “l” in “Christkindl” mean?

What does the letter l at the end of the word Christkindl mean? My understanding is that the English child translates to the German Kind. Does the l make the word diminutive? When is it appropriate to ...
6
votes
3answers
445 views

Reduktion von Adjektiven (Gegenteil zur Steigerung)

Können die Adjektive im Deutschen neben einer Steigerungsform auch eine Reduktionsform bilden? Zum Beispiel anhand des Hilfswortes weniger: Ich habe bemerkt, dass es Adjektive gibt, die keine un-...
3
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2answers
165 views

More on Ambiguous Diminutives

There is an interesting discussion going on about the word for rabbit, Kaninchen which looks like a diminutive but (probably) isn't. The question arose in that thread over whether there are other ...
5
votes
3answers
680 views

More pseudo-diminutives like “Eichhörnchen”?

The German Wikipedia article on diminutive features a section on “Verselbständigte Diminutive”. These words all have conventional meaning, i.e. they are listed in a dictionary by themselves and not as ...
11
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1answer
1k views

“Die Bächlein” instead of expected “das Bächlein”

A line from Die schöne Müllerin reads bis das Meer will trinken die Bächlein aus. I always had trouble with genders, but I did understand a -lein suffix to make its root neuter, unconditionally. ...
2
votes
2answers
316 views

How to get from the diminutive form to the root word (from Häuschen to Haus), and back?

Is there a rule (or best practice) on how to get from a "Substantiv" to it´s diminutive form and also back again? What I mean is i.e: How to get from Haus to Häuschen and back to Haus. It´s a ...
12
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7answers
8k views

How do you say “small rabbit” in German?

The suffix "-chen" is used as a diminutive, but a "standard" rabbit is already called a "Kaninchen", with the diminutive. How do you say "small rabbit" then? Ein Kaninchenlein or simply Ein ...
8
votes
2answers
323 views

Possibilities in German to minimize a term?

I stumbled upon the English term Truthiness "truth" that a person claims to know intuitively "from the gut" in that it "feels right" without regard to evidence, logic, intellectual examination, or ...
13
votes
2answers
5k views

Are there any rules how to build the diminutive?

We build a diminutive by adding the suffix -lein or -chen. For some nouns one is preferred over the other whereas with other nouns both may be used. Examples: der Tisch | das Tischlein | das ...