The word for the indefinite article, „a/an“, is „ein“ or „eine“.
When the noun is in the nominative case, the forms of the indefinite article in German are as follows:
The term „nominative“ means that the noun is the subject of the sentence, that is, the doer of the verb. A noun is also in the nominative case if it follows the verb to be – in German, sein.
- Mein Bruder ist ein sportlicher Mann. (Mann is in the nominative.) – My brother is an athletic man.
- Meine Mutter ist eine nette Frau. (Mutter and Frau are both in the nominative.) – My mother is a nice woman.
- Mein Lieblingstier ist ein Pferd. (Both Lieblingstier and Pferd are in the nominative.) – My favourite animal is a horse.
Once a sentence becomes more complex, with both a subject and an object, the rules also become slightly more complex. A noun that is an object of a verb is in the accusative case. This kind of noun is having something done to it: it is being possessed (as in the examples below), being worn, bitten, hit, read… It is no longer simply existing! The forms for the indefinite article in the accusative case are shown below.
Two Quizzes on the Indefinite Article