Forum Rocket German German Grammar manche deutsche(n) Gruppen ? 15.1

manche deutsche(n) Gruppen ? 15.1

gottahaveajava

gottahaveajava

“Ich mag U2 total gerne und auch manche deutsche Gruppen"

I would have thought that, with “manche” being a “der” equivalent, that it should be “deutschen” and not “deutsche” .

gottahaveajava

gottahaveajava

Ah, I see…

“mancher” is listed in the group of “der” equivalents (with dieser, jeder, jener, solcher, welcher and alle). In other words, “manche” functions as an article, not an adjective. In that case, of course, you can follow the one easy rule of preceded plural adjective endings, that ALL of them have an -en ending. According to this rule, it should be “manche deutschen Gruppen.”
 

But “manche” is also listed as an “indefinite adjective” (with andere, einige, mehrere, viele and wenige). In other words, “manche” functions  as an adjective, not an article. In that case, it is considered to be like any other “unpreceded adjective,” and not only does it carry the plural definite article ending, but so do any adjectives that follow.  According to this rule, it should be “manche deutsche Gruppen.”

 

Is there a good way to choose which rule to apply, or does this just sit in the “fuzzy hard exceptions” pile?

Julia-Rocket-German-Tutor

Julia-Rocket-German-Tutor

Hallo gottahaveajava,

thank you for your question!

 

Adjectives following manch- in singular take so-called weak endings (just like the definite article), for example.:

“Ich habe viel für das alte Haus bezahlt.” - “I paid a lot for the old house.”

“Für manches alte Haus muss man viel bezahlen.- ”For some old house(s) you have to pay a lot."

Plural endings can take weak as well as strong endings (strong endings are also used when there is no determiner), for example:

“Für manche alte/alten Häuser muss man viel bezahlen.” -”For some old houses you have to pay a lot."

Ich mag manche deutsche/deutschen Musiker, aber nicht alle.” - “I like some German musicians, but not all.”

“Ich mag U2 total gerne und auch manche deutsche/deutschen Gruppen." - “I really like U2 and also some German groups.”

 

I hope this clears things up a bit!

 

Tschüss,

Julia

 

gottahaveajava

gottahaveajava

Hi Julia,

Thanks for the explanation. 
 

Two questions, though. 
 

  1. Is “manche” in a category by itself? Or are there other words that behave like it?
  2. In the plural, if either strong or weak endings are acceptable, is it simply an arbitrary choice? Or is there a reason to use the one or the other? 
     

Thanks! 
gottahavea

Julia-Rocket-German-Tutor

Julia-Rocket-German-Tutor

Hallo nochmal!

 

Manche is a indefinite pronoun which can act as an article or replace a noun. These are used to refer to people or things without giving exact information about who or what they are. Other indefinite pronouns are einige ("some"), mehrere ("several), jede ("every") or alle ("all"), for example. When a word is used as an article, you can also call it Artikelwort ("determiner"). Unfortunately there is no clear rule as to after which ones you use weak or strong endings in plural as they all seem to vary a lot in this regard (also case dependend). As a general rule you can say that often, the following adjective takes weak endings, e.g.

“Für alle neuen Häuser muss man viel bezahlen.” -”For all new houses you have to pay a lot."

“Für solche modernen Häuser muss man viel bezahlen.” -”For such modern houses you have to pay a lot."

“Für einige alten Häuser muss man viel bezahlen.” -”For some modern houses you have to pay a lot." 

but keep in mind that sometimes both types of declension are possible. 

If you ask a German if it's “manche bunte Blumen” or “manche bunten Blumen” “some colourful flowers”, they will most likely get confused about which is the correct one, so don't worry if you're feeling a bit overwhelmed at this point. The more feel for the lnguage you get, the easier it will become to grasp concepts like this.

In regards to your second question: yes, if both endings are correct, you are free to choose the one that you feel most comfortable with - keeping in mind that languages are always evolving so one ending might become less common over time.

 

I hope this helps.

 

Tschüss!

Julia

 

gottahaveajava

gottahaveajava

When used as an indefinite adjective, (from Schaum, 5th edition, “andere, einige, manche, mehrere, viele, wenige”), “manche” can be treated as any other unpreceded adjective and will take the strong ending. These all happen to  be plural.  

“Für manche alte Häuser muss man viel bezahlen.” -”For some old houses you have to pay a lot."

Ich mag manche deutsche Musiker, aber nicht alle.” - “I like some German musicians, but not all.”

“Ich mag U2 total gerne und auch manche deutsche Gruppen." - “I really like U2 and also some German groups.”

This last example is the one from the lesson, and the lesson had it right. 

My confusion stemmed from the inclusion of “manch--” in the list of “der” words ( dieser, jeder, jener, mancher, solcher, welcher, alle)..  Apparently, the usage of “manch--” in this ilst is actually limited to the English equivalent of “many a…” , as in your example (I've revised the translation).  

“Für manches alte Haus muss man viel bezahlen.- ”For  many an old house you have to pay a lot."

If the principle of “manch--” as a “der” word is applied to the plural, then it would actually be “Ich mag U2 total gerne und auch manche deutschen Gruppen."   So it could be correct by that interpretation, and I'd guess either treatment ( “der” word or indefinite adjective) works.  

But “manch--” would be the only one. The others (andere, einige, mehrere, viele, wenige) are not on the list  of “der” words, and so would have to be treated solely as indefinite adjectives.  

This winds up in a very dark corner, usually the domain of grammar geeks (like me!), and I wouldn't be surprised to find native speakers confused or just plain not fussed about it.

Julia-Rocket-German-Tutor

Julia-Rocket-German-Tutor

Hallo nochmal!

 

What a small word but so complex at the same time! I believe one of the problems to add to the confusion is that there seems to be no specific term to describe manche. The Duden/German dictionary calls it an indefinite pronoun, your textbook calls it an indefinite adjective and an article from the Institute for the German Language (IDS), which is a scientific institution for the documentation and research of the German language, calls manche, beide, viele, etc. Pronominaladjektive “pronominal adjectives” which means they cannot be clearly allocated to a group such as determiners/determinatives, adjectives or pronouns.

 

Viele Grüße,

Julia

 

gottahaveajava

gottahaveajava

Hallo Julia! 

It can get a little crazy, can't it? 

“Pronominaladjektive” might be a good classification, actually, because these words can function both ways. But it's not a great term if the name is meant to direct their treatment.  I mean, if it's followed by a noun, then it's an adjective. But if it's not followed by a noun (because the pronoun IS the noun), then it's a pronoun.  

Adjective: 
Ich habe einige Schlüssel in der Lade gesehen. (I have seen some keys in the drawer.)

Pronoun:
Ich habe einige in der Lade gesehen. (I have seen some in the drawer.)

I hate to quibble with Duden, as they are an authority. But the “manch--” in “manche Leute” can't actually be a pronoun. Doesn't it actually have to be an adjective? I accept the “manch--” in “manches Haus" as a pronoun, so in that context Duden is correct (doh!). But that wasn't the whole story, was it? 

Such fun! 

Doug 

 

Julia-Rocket-German-Tutor

Julia-Rocket-German-Tutor

Hi Doug,

I can understand what you mean about whether it can be classified as a pronoun. An indefinite pronoun, as the Duden calls it, is often refered to as being able to act as a pronoun or take the role of an article, so you're right in your examples by distinguishing between the different roles it can take on . 

Manche Katzen fangen Mäuse.” - “Some cats catch mice." (article/adjective)

“Und manche bringen sie ins Haus.” - “And some bring them in the house.” (pronoun)

The problem is you can't just put all these words into a box and treat them the same way. There also seems to be an overlap as to which category they belong to. You will have to look at them all individually to learn how they behave in certain situations.

And just to add to the confusion, in the case of manch-, it can also be used uninflected which means it follows no declension and always stays the same. If it's used that way, the following adjective will take strong endings, e.g. "manch schönes Lied" - “many a beautiful song”. 

Isn't the German language wonderful!

 

Viele Grüße,

Julia

 

 

 

 

Ask a question or post a response

If you want to ask a question or post a response you need to be a member.

If you are already a member login here.
If you are not a member you can become one by taking the free Rocket German trial here.