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Person names

Rule | Stem+Ending | Fully inflected
 
Singular:

Person names take an s in the genitive plural, when they are used without an article.
Goethes Dramen
das Reich Kleopatra
s
Joachim
s Spielzeug
Elisabeth
s Thronbesteigung

With article, person names usually do not take an ending in modern German:
die Dramen des jungen Goethe
das Reich
der schönen Kleopatra
das Spielzeug
des kleinen Joachim
das Leben
der heiligen Elisabeth

Masculine names occasionally take the ending -s when used with an article (rarely, obsolete or very formal)
Die Leiden des jungen Werthers (title of a novel by Goethe)
das Spielzeug des kleinen Joachims   (rarely, not accepted as correct by everybody)
des [kleinen] Joachims Kreisel (literary or very formal, cf. position of the genitive attribute)
Weiblich endungslos:
der [heiligen] Elisabeth Leben (literary of very formal, cf. position of the genitive attribute)

With person names ending in -s, -x or -z, the genitive singular s is substituted by an apostrophe:
Kopernikus Werke
Agnes
Geburtstag
Franz
Eltern
Always without an apostrophe:
die Werke des Kopernikus
der Geburtstag
der kleinen Agnes
die Eltern
des kleinen Franz

Rarely, the ending -ens is used. It is considered rather archaic:
Marxens Werke
Franzens Eltern

For the inflection of compound person names (Johann Sebastian Bach, Onkel Anton, Doktor Müller, Elisabeth die Zweite) see Close apposition.

Plural:

It is possible to form the plural of many person names. These plural forms occur rarely, though. The following four plural endings exist:

      en

Usually, s is used in spontaneous plural formation. The ending en is in most cases dated.

s/e
   Singular Plural
Stem Ending Stem Ending
Nominative Stem - Stem e
Accusative - e
Dative - en
Genitive s e
s/-
   Singular Plural
Stem Ending Stem Ending
Nominative Stem - Stem -
Accusative - -
Dative - n
Genitive s -
s/s
   Singular Plural
Stem Ending Stem Ending
Nominative Stem - Stem s
Accusative - s
Dative - s
Genitive s s
s/en
   Singular Plural
Stem Ending Stem Ending
Nominative Stem - Stem en
Accusative - en
Dative - en
Genitive s en

All person names

See also Article with proper names.





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