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Lesson Transcript

Hi everybody! Anja here. Welcome to Ask a Teacher, where I’ll answer some of your most common German questions.
The question for this lesson is: What are the different versions of ein and eine and how do I use them?
Ein and eine are indefinite articles like “a” and “an” in English. You can also use these articles for the word “one” but only when you're counting. For example, ein Hund “one dog” or eine Katze “one cat.” They shouldn’t be confused with the actual number for “one”, which is Eins.
Ein is used for masculine and neuter nouns. “One man” is masculine so it would be ein Mann, while “one house” is neuter so it would be ein Haus.
Eine is used for feminine nouns. Eine Frau, for example, would be “one woman.” The indefinite article changes according to the case of the noun.
There are four cases-- nominative, accusative, genitive, and dative.
If the noun is in the nominative case, the articles are ein in masculine and neuter, and eine in feminine. For example, Es ist ein schönes Haus. meaning “It's a nice house.”
If the noun is in the accusative case it's einen (masculine), eine (feminine) and ein (neuter). An example would be Ich rufe einen Kollegen an. “I am calling a (male) colleague.”
If the noun is in the genitive case, the articles change to eines (masculine/neuter) and einer (feminine). For example, Es ist das Auto einer Freundin. meaning “It's the car of a (female) friend.”
If the noun is in the dative case the articles change to einem (masculine/neuter) and einer (feminine). For example, Das Land gehört einem Unternehmen meaning “The land belongs to a (neuter) company.”
The accusative case is the only case in which the masculine and the neuter indefinite articles are different from each other. For feminine indefinite articles, Eine in nominative and accusative or einer in genitive and dative are the only options.
If you feel like you have a handle on indefinite articles, try this fun sentence –Ich habe einen Hund, eine Katze, und ein Meerschweinchen. which means, “I have a dog, a cat and a guinea pig.”
Do you have any more questions? Leave them in the comments and I’ll try to answer them!
Tschüss, bis zum nächsten Mal! “Bye! See you next time!”

9 Comments

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GermanPod101.com Verified
Friday at 06:30 PM
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What German learning question do you have?

GermanPod101.com Verified
Friday at 09:20 AM
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Hi Luis,


Thank you for a good question.👍


In this particular sentence, accusative applies to all of them.

The reason for the differences in the indefinite article is the gender of the

object: das Meerschweinchen, die Katze, der Hund.

Correct would therefore be:

Ich habe ein Meerschweinchen, eine Katze, und einen Hund... 😉


If you have any further questions, please let us know.


Kind regards,

Reinhard

Team GermanPod101.com

Luis García
Tuesday at 01:12 PM
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At the end of the sentence "eine Meerschweinchen" it is "ein" because is not declined by the accusive? What happends if I say:


Ih habe einen Meerschweinchen, eine katze, und ein Hund... Is this correct?

GermanPod101.com Verified
Saturday at 08:43 PM
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Hallo robert groulx,


Danke schön for posting. We are very happy to have you here. Let us know if you have any questions.


Kind regards,

Levente

Team GermanPod101.com

robert groulx
Thursday at 12:48 AM
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thank you forthe lesson transcript


favorite phrase is –Ich habe einen Hund, eine Katze, und ein Meerschweinchen.


robert

GermanPod101.com
Thursday at 11:46 PM
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Hi John,


Thank you for your question!

I don't know if it helps to know that even

we Germans have our problems with the cases.😉


As to which of our lessons is the best, it's hard to say.

Each learner is different and finds different explanations

and approaches easier to understand.

The best way to find particular lessons is by entering a keyword

in the search field. You can open that by moving your mouse over

the magnifying glass at the top of the page. I just did that and I entered

"dativ". I got a list of about 10 lessons dealing in some way with dativ.


I hope I was able to help.


If you have any further questions, please let us know.


Kind regards,

Reinhard

Team GermanPod101.com


John
Thursday at 04:48 PM
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What is your best lesson to explain the different cases? I am still very confused about these. Thank you

J

GermanPod101.com Verified
Friday at 09:21 PM
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Hallo Art,


Thank you for posting.


Our German Dictionary also informs the word gender. Please check it out:

https://www.germanpod101.com/german-dictionary/


In case of any questions, please feel free to contact us.


Sincerely,

Cristiane

Team GermanPod101.com


Art Rutherford
Friday at 04:56 AM
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How do I know which case a word is? Or the gender of a word?


(Please reply to my email address below, thanks.)