29.3 Special constructions with numbers

29.3.1 Zwanziger / dreißiger / vierziger


The following phrase is a bit rare from the grammatical point of view.

In den zwanziger Jahren war alles besser.
= In the twenties everything was better.


One could think that the morpheme -er could be explained with the usual declension, but if we check the tables we see that this is not the case. According to the standard tables the morpheme should be -en. This type of numbers is not declined.

Some examples  
Nominativ: Die zwanziger Jahre waren schön.
= The twenties were nice.
Dativ: Den zwanziger Jahren trauere ich nicht nach.
= I do not miss the twenties.
Genitiv: Die Inflation der zwanziger Jahre destabilisierte das politische System.
= The inflation of the twenties destabilised the political system.
Akkusativ: Er sieht die zwanziger Jahre in einem goldenen Licht.
= He sees the twenties in a golden light.

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