German declension is the paradigm that German uses to define all the ways nouns can change their form to reflect their role in the sentence: subject, object, etc. Declension allows speakers to mark a difference between subjects, direct objects, indirect objects and possessives by changing the form of the word—and/or its associated article—instead of indicating this meaning through word order or prepositions (e.g. English, Spanish, French). As a result, German can take a much more fluid approach to word order without the meaning being obscured. In English, a simple sentence must be written in strict word order (ex. John sees Mary). This sentence cannot be expressed in any other word order than how it is written here without substituting one word with a synonym. A transliteration of the same sentence from German to English would appear rather different (ex. John-subject sees Mary-directobject) and can be expressed with a variety of word order (ex. Mary-directobject sees John-subject) with little or no change in meaning.
As a fusional language, German marks nouns, pronouns, articles, and adjectives to distinguish case, number, and gender. For example all German adjectives have several different forms. The adjective "new" (neu) for example can be written in five different ways (neue, neuer, neues, neuen, neuem) depending on the gender of the noun, how many there are and the role of the noun in the sentence. English completely lacks such declensions meaning an adjective can be written in only one form.
Modern High German distinguishes between four cases—nominative, accusative, dative, and genitive—and three grammatical genders—feminine, masculine, and neuter. Nouns may also be either singular or plural; in the plural, one declension is used regardless of gender―meaning that plural can be treated as a fourth "gender" for the purposes of declension.
Other articles related to "german declension, german":
... Many German locality names have an attributive adjective associated with them which ends in -er, for example Berliner for Berlin and Hamburger for Hamburg, which are ...
Famous quotes containing the words declension and/or german:
“And what if my descendants lose the flower
Through natural declension of the soul,
Through too much business with the passing hour,
Through too much play, or marriage with a fool?”
—William Butler Yeats (18651939)
“The German Reich is a Republic, and whoever doesnt believe it gets one in the neck.”
—Alfred Döblin (18781957)