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Re: Number

From:Henrik Theiling <theiling@...>
Date:Monday, August 6, 2001, 22:57

"Thomas R. Wier" <artabanos@...> writes:
> Henrik Theiling wrote: > I was always told that the genitive singular of monosyllabic nouns > is -es, rather than simply -s: das Haus, des Hauses (although I've > noted that the German press consistently refer to George W. Bush's > policies by <Bushs> rather than <Bushes>).
Hmm, I think the -e- may surely be inserted, but is often dropped. I would guess that the real rule for inserted reduced -e-'s in German (also at other places) has a lot to do with per-word statistics. `des Faches' is perfectly fine, although `des Fachs' seem to me to be used more often. Words ending in -s will definitely require -es to make a pronouncible word (`des Dachses'). Words ending in -sch may have a higher probability to get used with -es, I would guess (`des Fisches'), because [Ss] (`des Fischs') is hard to pronounce (but correct). But really, -es seems to be perfect most/all(?) of the time, so maybe you were just told the simple rule that I did not obey. :-) **Henrik