N-Deklination (part 2)

I explained how to use the N-Deklination in this post. Now we all know that practice makes perfect or nicer said in german Übung macht den Meister. That’s why today I’m going to ask you a question:

How you differentiate between N-Deklination and Plural? 

We know that the N-Deklination is formed by adding the “en” particle at the end of some masculine nouns in Accusative, Dative and Genitive. That’s making it confusing because that’s exactly the plural!

der Kunde = client

die Kunden (Pl.) = clients


The example above gives you a very good overview of the problem and in the same time the answer to my question. The article declination tells you if the noun is in plural or in singular. And if it is in singular then we are talking about the N-Deklination!

Ich habe dem Kunden geholfen.

Sometimes you may hear such a phrase and wonder …was there one client or were there more??

If your ear is not trained the first thing that catches your attention is Kunden and your brain gives you the signal …heyy, plural -> we are talking about more persons.

…when acually it is only one.

You may also ask yourself how can you differentiate between the singular Accusative “Ich sehe den Kunden” and the plural Dative “Ich helfe den Kunden“. This ones have even the same article…

Well …”simple”(*cough*…ironicaly obviously)!

“helfen” is a verb used with Dative. “den” is article declination for Dative plural but also for Accusative singular. So the only difference is the verb that asks for Dative!!!

I want to show again the table with the adjective declination because there you have also the article declination.


Speaking of article declination … did you notice that “den” is used only twice in the whole table? This may help you to remember it.


– Hallo! Ich möchte mit Herr Müller sprechen.


But why? What can you do so wrong with this simple phrase?

Ok, take a look at the correct one:

-Hallo! Ich möchte mit Herrn Müller sprechen. 

Yes, I know…only that small “n”…

Yes, the germans will notice that you didn’t say it.

And yes, it is a big mistake.

N Deklination 3

You use the n-Deklination only for masculine nouns. Mainly for persons but sometimes also for animals.

You see in the picture above the endings of the masculine nouns for which you have to apply the n-Deklination and some examples of this nouns.

They are frequently used nouns so is important to know the n-Deklination because you will use it often.

How to use the n-Deklination:

In Nominativ the noun doesn’t change.

In all other cases (Akkusativ, Dativ,Genitiv) the noun gets the ending “en“. Exception: Herr –> gets the ending “n” in singular.

N Deklination 4.jpg


After so much theory I usualy need some examples. And here they are.

Ich habe meinen neuen Nachbarn gestern kennengelernt. 

(Yesterday I met my new neighbour.)

Herr Müller hat zwei Kinder, einen Jungen und ein Mädchen. 

(Mr. Müller has two children, a boy and a girl.)

Die Kinder sprechen oft mit dem Franzosen

(The children talk often to the frenchman)

Einmal wollte ich einen Polizisten nach dem Weg fragen.

(Once I wanted to ask a policeman the way.)

Bald lernt er im Deutschkurs andere Ausländer kennen: einen Polen, einen Italiener, einen Grichen, einen Amerikaner und einen Schweden

(Soon he meets other foreigners in the german course: a polish, an italian, a greek, an american and a sweedish. )