9.3 The Possessive Object - Genitive

The second picture shows the relation between two objects. The car belongs to the man who is right next to the door. The possessing of something is described with the Genitive. In English the Genitive is formed with a preposition.

das Auto des Mannes = the car of the man

The German language uses a declination not a preposition:

article noun prep. arti. noun
das Haus - der Frau
the house of the woman

Since the Germans don't use a preposition, they have to have another way of noticing what kind of relation is between the woman and the house. Have a look at the definite articles:

das Haus der Frau
it is
der Frau in Genitive not die Frau (like in basic form)
der Frau corresponds to of the woman

We have to admit that the English system is much easier as the table below shows. However there is nothing we can do to make it easier.

declination in German and the English system

das Haus - der Frau Nominative: die Frau Genitive: der Frau
the house of the woman preposition de
das Haus - der Frauen Nominative: die Frauen Genitive: der Frauen
the house of the women preposition de
das Haus - des Mannes Nominative: der Mann Genitive: des Mannes
the house of the man preposition of
das Haus - der Männer Nominative: die Männer Genitive: der Männer
the house of the men preposition of
das Haus - des Kindes Nominative: das Kind Genitive: des Kindes
the house of the child preposition of
das Haus - der Kinder Nominative: die Kinder Genitive: der Kinder
the house of the children preposition of

For the object in Genitive you ask: Whose? or Of which?

The car of my father.
Whose car is it? my fathers.

The door of this house.
the door of which? of the house.

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