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Anonymous asked in Society & CultureLanguages · 7 years ago

A question for my German speaking friends?

In my novel l named an Austrian pub "The Hand of God." The idea is that God's hand is pushing you into the pub, so you might as well have a drink.

According to Babylon translation, in German is is Die Hand des Gottes. I believe that the standard German formation for plural nouns is the ending - en. If 'Gottes' isn't plural, what is it?

3 Answers

  • 7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Good old Babylon, the program is brainless and has no clue, yet can't be blamed for it....

    "Gottes", btw, is the genitive case, the equivalent to "God's" in English.

    Your information on German plural endings is - a bit deficient. There is no standard ending (helas!), but about 26 various ways of forming the plural - a headache not only for learners, but also for teachers....

    die Hand - plural: die Hände

    Gott - plural: Götter

    die Frage (question), pl: die Fragen

    der Freund, plural: die Freunde

    --- that's only four variants, and your -en is not among them.....

    "The hand of God" = "Gottes Hand" or "Die Hand Gottes"

    "Gottes Hand" is what an Austrian publican would chose (articles like "die" are too cumbersome to include in a pub's name), if he were brave enough to mock the name of God (which I privately doubt, but in a novel anything can be possible, so don't worry about musings on political correctness)

    that is only four variants,a nd the one you mention is not among them.....

    Source(s): regards
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  • 7 years ago

    Die Hand des Gottes is in the genetive case. That case is used for possessives. The possessive form for "the hand of God" in the genetive case is "Die Hand Gottes."

    As Astrid has pointed out, des is not needed when referring to people by name, or to God.

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  • Astrid
    Lv 4
    7 years ago

    It's an attributive genitive, meaning you can find it by asking "whose".

    "Whose hand is it?" - "God's hand"/ "The Hand of God".

    Actually, it would only be "Die Hand Gottes". God is handled more like a person in German, too, so you don't need the "des" (like, if you said it was "The Hand of Charlie", you'd only say "Charlies Hand", but if it was "the hand of a monkey" (which isn't really a defined person, obviously), it'd be "Die hand des Affen". I don't know how to explain it accurately, but that's the basic thought...)

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