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Weak Masculine Nouns


I. Theory

While most singular nouns in German do not change form when appearing in different cases, there is a group of masculine nouns that do take an -(e)n ending when they are not in the nominative case. This group is known as “weak nouns”.

Die Regierung hilft dem Bauern. (here: dative, nominative: Bauer)
The government helps the farmer.

Ich habe in Indien einen Elefanten geritten. (here: accusative, nominative: Elephant)
I rode an elephant in India.

Sie hat seinen Namen vergessen. (here: accusative, nominative: Name)
She has forgotten his name.

II. Types of Weak Nouns

As not all masculine nouns decline, it is best to memorize the specific types of nouns that do. Below we see different categories of masculine nouns that are considered weak:

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