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9.14 "dieser" and "jener"

The demonstrative "dieser" refers to something near at hand. It corresponds to English "this", but as it is used in contexts where the difference between near and distant is not crucial, it often equates to English "that". When placed in front of a noun, it declines as follows:

  Masculine Feminine Neuter
Nominative dieser Mann diese Frau dieses Kind
Accusative diesen Mann diese Frau dieses Kind
Dative diesem Mann dieser Frau diesem Kind
Nominative   diese Frauen
Accusative   diese Frauen
Dative   diesen Frauen

"Dieser" can also be used as a pronoun meaning "this one". It then of course takes the same endings as in the table above:

  • Welches Kind arbeitet gut? - Dieses.
    (Which child works well? - This one.)
  • Welchen Mann siehst du? - Diesen.
    (Which man do you see? - That one.)

You will have noticed that "dieser" takes the same endings as the definite article. It also takes the same adjective endings - the weak declension which we met in Chapter 5:

  Masculine Feminine Neuter
Nom. dieser gute Mann diese gute Frau dieses gute Kind
Acc. diesen guten Mann diese gute Frau dieses gute Kind
Dat. diesem guten Mann dieser guten Frau diesem guten Kind
Nom.   diese guten Frauen
Acc.   diese guten Frauen
Dat.   diesen guten Frauen

The demonstrative "jener"
Although the pronoun "jener" means "that", it is really only used in certain formal registers or to contrast with "dieser", which should otherwise be used to translate "that":

  • Ich will nicht dieses Armband kaufen, sondern jenes.
    (I don't want to buy this bracelet, but that one.)
  • Willst du diese Brosche oder jene?
    (Do you want this brooch or that one?)

"Jener" adds the same endings as "dieser" and the definite article and adjectives following "jener" will be in the weak declension:

  Masculine Feminine Neuter
Nominative jener Mann jene Frau jenes Kind
Accusative jenen Mann jene Frau jenes Kind
Dative jenem Mann jener Frau jenem Kind
Nominative   jene Frauen
Accusative   jene Frauen
Dative   jenen Frauen

Weiter! Chapter 9.15: Vocabulary: The department store

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