Masculine & Neuter Genitive. When to add an 'e'?

There are several examples in the coursework about how to modify words for the Genitive, but they are not completely consistent. (to me anyway)

For example:

From the main Grammar page:

der → (masculine) Das Auto des Vaters. (des + s)
das → (neuter) Das Fahrrad des Kindes." (des + es)

However in the exercise: “Paul ist gestresst: A1 ▹ Unit 26”

“der Mann” becomes “des Mannes” <- masculine but unlike the grammar page there is an added “e”.

Also, these examples show “das Kind” becoming “des Kindes”, however other places “das Hotel” becomes “des Hotels” <- neuter, but no added “e”.

Any help? The differences here are not explained anywhere I can find so far.


Ok so I think I found the answer elsewhere. Please correct me if I am wrong.

" Masculine and neuter nouns change forms in the genitive case. The noun endings –s or –es are added (-s for polysyllabic nouns, –es for monosyllabic)."

So if a word is a single syllable, use “-es”. If not, use “-s”.

“der Vater” (2 syllables) -> “des Vaters”.
“das Kind” (1 syllable) -> “des Kindes”.


@kthxbye The answer is: Jein :wink:
If a word ends with -s, -z or -tz, the es-ending is mandatory.

Here you see some examples:

  • das Haus --> Die Tür des Hauses.
  • der Satz --> Das Ende des Satzes.

If a word ends with -n, -m, -l or -r, you just have to add an s.

Here are some examples:

  • Das Kind des Vaters.
  • Die Tür des Gartens.

If a word ends with another letter, you can generally use -s or -es.

Here are some examples:

  • Das Auto meines Freunds. / Das Auto meines Freundes.
  • Die Tiere des Walds. / Die Tiere des Waldes.

The Duden gives a detailed explanation here:

I hope, this answered your question :+1:t4:


Thanks much. This is very helpful.