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.