Mixed declension of adjectives

(The mixed inflection of German adjectives)

Table of contents – mixed declension

On this page you will find the following:

  1. Using the mixed declension
  2. Declensional adjective forms
  3. Further explanations and exercises

When do German adjectives follow the mixed declension?

The mixed declension of adjectives is another type of inflection that exists besides the strong and weak one in German grammar. Comparable to the weak declension, the mixed form of inflecting occurs when an adjective precedes a noun and a specific determiner is used in front of the same adjective (for example: mein neuer Wagen). Compare the following examples:

  • As the rule states, one of the following determiners must be placed before the respective adjective, which follows the mixed declension:
    • mein (my), dein (your), sein (his), ihr (her, their), euer (your), unser (our)
      • possessive pronouns
    • ein (a/an)
      • indefinite article
    • kein (no)
      • Watch out: Only in the singular. Otherwise, the weak declension takes place.
    • irgendein (some, any)
      • indefinite pronoun
  • Sample sentences including adjectives that are inflected the mixed way:
    • „Hast du irgendeine gute Idee?“ (Do you have any good ideas?)
      • feminine noun, singular, accusative
    • „Das ist aber kein großes Kunststück!“ (That’s not much of a trick.)
      • neuter noun, singular, nominative
    • Mein neues Auto hat Sitzheizung.“ (My new car has heated seats.)
      • neuter noun, singular, nominative
    • Unsere neuen Nachbarn sind sehr nett.“ (Our new neighbours are very friendly.)
      • masculine noun, plural, nominative

How do adjectives follow the mixed declension?

If adjectives appear with one of the determinerskein, mein, dein, sein, ihr, euer, unser, irgendein,’ or ‘ein’ (which stands for ‘one’ and cannot be utilized in the plural) before the noun, they follow the mixed inflection when they are in the singular. Compare the table overview below:

  • Information: Choosing the correct case is essential for the mixed declension. If you have trouble deciding whether to use the nominative, genitive, dative or accusative case, look at How to determine the grammatical cases. There you will also find the necessary questions to make the identification easier.

Singular

Grammatical case With masculine noun With feminine noun With neuter noun
Nominative ein schneller Schritt (a quick step) seine tiefe Stimme (his low voice) unser neues Auto (our new car)
Genitive eines schnellen Schrittes seiner tiefen Stimme unseres neuen Autos
Dative einem schnellen Schritt seiner tiefen Stimme unserem neuen Auto
Accusative einen schnellen Schritt seine tiefe Stimme unser neues Auto

Plural

The plural formation offers a much simpler pattern. In all grammatical cases and genders, the plural forms end in ‘-en’ (similar to the weak declension in the plural). Remember that it is only possible to use the article ‘ein’ in the singular.

Grammatical case With masculine noun With feminine noun With neuter noun
Nominative ihre schnellen Schritte (their quick steps) unsere tiefen Stimmen (our low voices) seine neuen Autos (his new cars)
Genitive ihrer schnellen Schritte unserer tiefen Stimmen seiner neuen Autos
Dative ihren schnellen Schritten unseren tiefen Stimmen seinen neuen Autos
Accusative ihre schnellen Schritte unsere tiefen Stimmen seine neuen Autos

Further explanations relating to the ‘Mixed adjective declension’

The following explanations are related to the topic ‘German mixed declension of adjectives’ and could also be interesting: