Genitive Case – Declension of Pronouns in German Grammar

Introduction

The genitive case indicates possession. English grammar uses -’s or the preposition of to show possession. Similarly, an -es or -er is added to dependent possessive pronouns to mark the genitive case in German grammar. We use the genitive after certain prepositions, verbs, and adjectives. We can use the question wessen (whose) to find the genitive case in German.

Learn the declension of pronouns in the genitive case online with Lingolia and practise pronoun declension in the exercises.

Example

Das ist Hansi, der Wellensittich meiner Schwester. Sein Gefieder ist grün.

Meine Schwester ist zurzeit auf Dienstreise. Wegen ihrer Dienstreise passe ich anstelle meiner Schwester auf Hansi auf.

Trotz seines vorlauten Schnabels ist er ein ganz witziger Vogel. Er freut sich seines Lebens.

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Usage

In German grammar, the genitive case is used:

  • to indicate possession
    Example:
    Das ist Hansi, der Wellensittich meiner Schwester.This is Hansi, the budgerigar of my sister.
  • with certain prepositions, e. g. wegen, anstelle, trotz
    Example:
    Wegen ihrer Dienstreise passe ich anstelle meiner Schwester auf Hansi auf.Because of her business trip, I’m looking after Hansi instead of my sister.
    Trotz seines vorlauten Schnabels ist er ein ganz witziger Vogel.Despite his attitude, he’s a very amusing bird.
  • after certain verbs (genitive object), e. g. sich einer Sache freuen
    Example:
    Er freut sich seines Lebens.He’s happy about his life.

(see also Overview of the Genitive, Dative and Accusative)

Declension Table: German Pronouns in Genitive

We only use dependent possessive pronouns in the genitive case. Personal pronouns and independent possessive pronouns cannot be put into the genitive. The table below provides an overview of dependent possessive pronouns and their genitive endings.

dependent possessive pronoun
masculine + neuterfeminine + plural
1st person singular meines meiner
2nd person singular deines deiner
3rd person singular (m) seines seiner
3rd person singular (f) ihres ihrer
3rd person singular (n) seines seiner
1st person plural unseres unserer
2nd person plural eures eurer
3rd person plural ihres ihrer