The genitive

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The genitive

The genitive is used to show ownership and belonging. To ask whom something belongs to, we use wessen (whose, to whom):

-Wessen Hotel ist das? -Es ist Bettys Hotel.

-Whose hotel is it? - It is Betty’s hotel.

-Wessen Koffer sind das? -Die Koffer der Gäste.

-Whose suitcases are those? -The guests’ suitcases.

These are the endings for articles in the genitive:

masculine-es + sDas Büro eines Buchhalters The office of an accountant
neuter-es + sDas Dach des Hotels ist kaputt The roof of the hotel is broken
feminine-erDie Schwester einer Küchenchefin The sister of a chef
Plural-erDie Badesachen der Gäste The swimwear of the guests


  • For masculine and neuter nouns in the genitive, ‑es or ‑s is added to the noun.

das Hotel die Türen des Hotels

the hotel the doors of the hotel

ein Mann das Buch eines Mannes

a man a man's book

Anna Annas Kleiderschrank

Anna Anna’s wardrobe

  • Instead of the genitive we use von + dative for nouns without an article. The dative can also simply be used instead of the genitive in informal speech.

Die Produktion von Bademänteln.

The production of dressing gowns.

Das Hotel von Betty.

Betty’s hotel.

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