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The suffix schaft

The suffix schaft forms feminine nouns that belong to the inflection class –/en.

Derivation types:  Noun to noun
Adjective to noun
Verb to noun

Noun to noun

The suffix schaft usually forms new nouns from nouns that denote people (e.g. Nachbarschaft, Staatsbürgerschaft). Only in a few isolated cases, schaft is added to nouns not referring to people (e.g. Landschaft, Seilschaft).

Anwalt + schaft = Anwaltschaft
Freund Freundschaft
Graf Grafschaft
Weltmeister Weltmeisterschaft
All derivations

  • With plural forms:
    The suffix schaft is often combined with the plural form of a noun, especially when it forms nouns denoting a group of persons:
    Ärzte + schaft = Ärzteschaft
    Brüder Brüderschaft
    Mitglieder Mitgliederschaft
    Studenten Studentenschaft
    All derivations

    When a noun has identical singular and plural forms, it is not possible to decide from which form the noun in schaft is derived. In these cases, our dictionary lists the word in schaft as derived from the singular form (e.g. Arbeiterschaft, Lehrerschaft).

Adjective to noun

There are not many nouns formed from adjectives with the suffix schaft. The base words are often participles used as adjectives. If this type of derivation is productive at all, it formes hardly any new words.

bekannt schaft Bekanntschaft
bereit + = Bereitschaft
gefangen Gefangenschaft
schwanger Schwangerschaft
All derivations

Verb to noun

Only a few nouns are formed by adding the suffix schaft to a verb stem:

belegen schaft Belegschaft
pflegen + = Pflegschaft
wandern Wanderschaft
All derivations

Nouns such as Leidenschaft, Machenschaft and Wissenschaft are noun-to-noun derivations formed from nominalized infinitives (wissen > das Wissen > die Wissenschaft).

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