24.5 declension of substantivated adjectives


  24.5.1 What is a substantivated adjective?

To form a noun from an adjective in English you just put an article before the adjective and you are done.

Example 1                      
  red = the red
Example 2                      
  good = the good
Example 3                      
  nice = the nice
Example 4                      
  fair = the fair

In German it's actually the same. The only difference is that there are three articles that can be used.

Example 1
  rot* = das Rote
der Rote
die Rote
die Roten
Example 2
  gut = das Gute
der Gute
die Gute
die Guten

Example 3
  schön = das Schöne
der Schöne
die Schöne
die Schönen
Example 4
  gerecht = das Gerechte
der Gerechte
die Gerechte
die Gerechten

(* Ok, we admit it there is an ending. But don't kill the messenger! You know that in the old times the messenger of bad news was often killed. Luckily we live in modern times!

The declension of substantivated adjectives is not different from the declension of "normal" adjectives. It just depends on
a) gender and number of the noun (substantivated adjective!)
c) is there an article or a possessive pronoun

Let's look at some examples

first example  
  Die Guten kommen in den Himmel, die Bösen kommen überall hin.
= The good go to heaven the bad get everywhere.

declension is Nominative    
  gut good
  die Guten (masculine/feminine, plural) the good

The table we need is the one with the definite article before the adjective:

Endings of the declensions with definite article
neutral singular plural masculine singular plural feminine singular plural
  Nominative -e -en Nominative -e -en Nominative

-e

-en
  Genitive -en -en Genitive -en -en Genitive -en -en
  Dative -en -en Dative -en -en Dative -en -en
  Accusative -e -en Accusative -en -en Accusative -e -en

second example  
  Der Glanz des Schönen erhebt die Seele.
= The shine of the beautiful heightens the soul.

declension is Genitive    
  schön beautiful
  das Schöne (neutral, singular) the beautiful

Isn't it romantic? Now we have a little contradiction to the romance - the analysis. The table we need is the same as before.

third example  
  Die Ehrlichen waren in der Minderheit.
= The honest were in minority.

declension is Nominative    
  ehrlich honest
  die Ehrlichen (nominative, masculine/feminine, plural) the honest

The table we need is again the same as before to receive the ending we need.

fourth example  
  Einige Glückliche haben gewonnen.
= Some lucky (ones) have won.

declension is Nominative    
  glücklich happy, lucky
  die Glücklichen (nominative, masculine/feminine, plural) the lucky (ones)

In this case we have an indefinite article. Therefore we need the table with the indefinite articles.

Endings of the declensions with indefinite article
neutral singular plural masculine singular plural feminine singular plural
  Nominative -es -e Nominative -er -e Nominative

-e

-e
  Genitive -en -er Genitive -en -er Genitive -en -er
  Dative -en -en Dative -en -en Dative -en -en
  Accusative -es -e Accusative -en -e Accusative -e -e






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