You might have realized that stating the determiners “this, that, these,” and “those” in German is a little more difficult than in other languages. This article provides you with everything you need to know to use “dies-” properly.

 

 

The demonstrative determiner “dies-”

The word “dies-” is a demonstrative determiner in German. This means that we can use it instead of a noun (e.g. this one) or together with a noun (e.g. this house).

In contrast to English, we need to adjust “dies-” according to the gender and case of the noun. In German grammar, the gender of a noun and its grammatical case is more important than in other languages and you usually need to show that you know whether a noun is male, femal or neuter and also be aware of its case.

 

“dies-” and the German cases

Now, if you wish to use “dies-” in German properly, you need to do the following steps:

  1. The gender of the noun
  2. The case of the noun

In the following, you can see how to use “dies-” for each gender in every German case.

 

Nominative

A little reminder at the beginning: The nominative case always refers to a subject of a sentence. A subject is a person or thing that does something in your sentence. You can ask for it by using “wer” or “was” (who or what).

 

“dies-” in Nominative

male der Mann dieser Mann this man
female die Frau diese Frau this woman
neuter das Kind dieses Kind this child
plural die Personen diesee Personen these persons

 

  1. Dieserr Junge geht seine Mutter besuchen. – This boy goes to visit his mother.
  2. diesee Flasche steht auf dem Tisch. – This bottle is on the table.
  3. Dieses Auto parkt neben dem Haus. – This car is parked next to the house.
  4. diese Kinder gehen heute in die Schule. – These children are going to school today.

 

Accusative

The accusative case refers to the direct subject in a sentence. You can ask for it by using “wen” or “was” (whom or what).

“dies-” in Accusative

male den Mann diesenn Mann this man
female die Frau diese Frau this woman
neuter das Kind dieses Kind this child
plural die Personen diese Personen these persons

 

  1. Du buchst diesen Urlaub. – You book this holiday.
  2. Kaufst du diese Milch im Supermarkt? – Do you buy this milk in the supermarket?
  3. Bestellst du dieses Regal im Internet? – Do you order this shelf on the internet?
  4. Du holst diese Kinder heute von der Schule ab. – You’re picking up these kids from school today.

 

Dative

By using the Dative case, you refer to the indirect object. This can be the place or the person for whose benefit something happens. In German, you would ask for it by using “wem” or “was” (to whom or what).

“dies-” in Dative

male dem Mann diesem Mann (to) this man
female der Frau dieser Frau (to) this woman
neuter dem Kind diesem Kind (to) this child
plural den Personen diesen Personen (to) these persons

 

  1. Du gratulierst diesem Freund zum Geburtstag. – You congratulate this friend on his birthday.
  2. Hilfst du dieser Frau bitte beim Tragen? – Will you please help this woman carry?
  3. Diesem Gast schmeckt die Suppe. – This guest likes the soup.
  4. Der Lehrer antwortet diesen Kindern. – The teacher answers these children.

 

Genitive

The Genitive case shows possession. Though in modern German, the Dative case more and more replaces it, you can and should, of course, still use it. However, using “dies-” in Genitive might sound a little “old-fashioned” at times.

Theoretically, you can start a sentence with “dies-” if it refers to a noun that gets “-s” or “-es” ending because that shows the possession. Yet, it will sound very weird for many Germans, and they might assume that you read too many old books because people do not talk like this anymore.

“dies-” in Genitive

male des Mannes dieses Mannes of this man
female der Frau dieser Frau of this woman
neuter des Kindes dieses Kindes of this child
plural der Personen dieser Personen of these persons

 

  1. Ich habe den Schlüssel dieses Mannes gefunden. – I found this man’s key.
  2. Das Auto dieser Frau steht neben dem Haus. – This woman’s car is next to the house.
  3. Die Eltern dieses Kindes warten draußen. – This child’s parents are waiting outside.
  4. Die Frau antwortet den Eltern dieser Kinder. – The woman answers the parents of these children.

 

Using “welch-”

I hope that after reading this article, it became clear how to properly use “dies-.” If you want to deepen your knowledge about this topic, you should check out how to ask questions with “dies-” in German. 

Bis bald!

Steffie

 


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