Unit 3: Articles, Simple Past

2. Ein- Words (including Possessive Pronouns)

These are the words similar to the indefinite article in the way they take or do not take endings. They are:

mein my
dein your (singular and familiar)
sein his / its
ihr her / its / their
unser our
euer your (plural and familiar)
Ihr your (formal)
kein not a, no, not any

Using mein as our example ein-word our chart looks as follows (compare with the indefinite article chart in Unit 2):

Masculine Feminine Neuter Plural
Nominative mein meine mein meine
Accusative meinen meine mein meine
Dative meinem meiner meinem meinen
Genitive meines
meiner meines

Points to remember:

  1. Ein– words with no endings are always either nominative singular or accusative singular.
  2. The ending –em on both ein– words and der– words is unique to dative singular.
  3. The ending –es with the noun adding an –s or –es is unique to genitive singular.
  4. When euer has an ending, the stem changes to eur-. Examples:

    Euer Kind bekommt gute Noten.
    Your child gets good grades.

    Eure Freunde kommen bald.
    Your friends are coming soon.

  5. Because German nouns are gendered, pronouns referring to them are also gendered. Review Unit 1, section 4, Note #2)” and keep in mind that sein/ihr references might best be translated as “its.”

Take the memorization advice from Unit 2 and expand your memorization task to include possessive pronouns. You should be noticing that the possessive pronouns, too, fit the general German spelling patterns for gender, case, and number distinctions.


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