We have already discussed Dativ and Akkusativ with you many times, and next to them often mentioned Genetiv (the genitive case), but never spoke about it separately. The fact is that this case is much rarer than the others, and lately it has been dying out at all. Instead of it more and more often use Dativ. But to know it is necessary, Genetiv is still actively used in written German. And we want to learn how to speak correctly.
The main function of this case is to define an accessory. Answers to a question (whose? whose? whose? etc.).
How to form Genetiv:
Maskulin: ein/der Vater (Nominativ) – eines/des Vaters (Genetiv) – father (who?) – father (whose?);
Neutrum: ein/das Buch – eines/des Buches – book (what?) – books (what?);
Feminin: eine/die Frau – einer/der Frau – woman (who?) – women (whose?);
Plural: -/die Leute -/der Leute – people (who?) – people (whose?);
As we can see, there is nothing complicated so far. In the case of masculine and middle-rank nouns, the definite and undefined article changes and the ending “-(e)s” is added, and in the case of feminine and plural nouns, only the article changes.
And now let’s consider examples of usage:
Die Kleider des Vaters – the clothes of the father;
Das Auto einer Mutter – mother’s car.
Can be used with pronouns. In this case, the possessive pronouns will replace the articles and get the “-es” endings for the middle and masculine genus and the “-er” endings for the feminine and plural genus:
Das Buch meines Kindes is my child’s book;
Das Kind unserer Verwandten is the child of our relatives.
What do I do with names that are used without articles? They are simply accompanied by the ending “s” (as in English). If the name ends with “s”, “z” or “x”, only the apostrophe is added to the name:
Das Peters Fahrrad – Peter’s bicycle;
Das Annas Fahrrad – Anna’s bicycle.
But, as we have already said, this case is slowly dying out. More and more often in oral speech they say “von + Dativ”:
das Fahrrad von meinem Bruder is my brother’s bicycle;
das Fahrrad von meiner Schwester – my sister’s bike.
Identification of affiliation is not the only function of Genetiv. It is also used with pretexts: “außerhalb” (“outside”, “for”), “innerhalb” (“inside”), “während” (“during”), “aufgrund” (“because of”), “infolge” (“as a consequence”), “wegen” (“because of”), “trotz” (“despite”), “(an)statt” (“instead”). It is not so difficult to learn this, if we pay attention to the fact that all these pretexts require the death of a parent in the Russian language.
As you have probably got used to learning German, there are exceptions to this topic, but about them later. We will talk about weak declension (n-Deklination).