Grammar Term:
Indefinite Pronoun

In English, the main indefinite pronoun is one.

  • “Do you want a coffee?”
    “Yeah, I want one.”

One is the stand-in for “a coffee”.

The core function of indefinite pronouns is the same in German (and any language), but they’re a fair bit more complicated because they get “dressed up” for gender and case.

  • “Willst du einen Kaffee?”
    “Ja, ich will einen.”
  • “Willst du ein Bier?”
    “Ja, ich will eins.”

They’re based off of the indefinite articles ein-, but the endings vary a little bit.

Here they are, I highlighted the differences to the article table in green.

 

Indefinite Pronouns in German
nominativeAccusativeDativeGenitive
masculineein-ereineneinemeines (not used)
neuterein-sein-seinemeines(not used)
feminineeineeineeinereiner (not used)
pluralwelchewelchenwelchenwelcher
(not used)

 

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