What is the plural noun for hat?

Father's hat and father's hat, Mother's job and the mother's work - Upstream (prenominale) genitive

Two boys with opposite senses are already wrestling under their mother's heart. They came to light: the older one lively and powerful, the younger one delicate and clever; that one becomes the father's darling, the other one of the mother's.
[Goethe: "Poetry and Truth", Hamburg edition, Volume 9, p. 137]
It's about a son who is father's favorite.
[Mannheim Morning, May 15, 2006; Schiller staged]
Actually, he was mother's favorite too.
[Der Spiegel, May 23, 1994, No. 21, p. 101]

There are groups of words that consist of two nouns, one of which is in the genitive as an attribute of the other, e.g. the gable of the house. Often, as in the gable of the house, the noun is at the end of the genitive. In most cases this noun can also be shifted forward into the so-called prenominal position, e.g.of the house gable. Nouns in the genitive in this position are called prenominal or for short upstream genitive.

Here are a few more examples in which a noun in the genitive case can take both positions:

the father's hat - father's hat;
mother's work - mother's work;
with the work of my hands - with my hands work;
the wrath of the minister - the minister's wrath;
the misery of smoking - the misery of smoking.

The change of position from back to front is possible with almost all attributive genitives. There is one exception: if the noun in the genitive is used to refer to a property, the preceding position does not appear. (This genitive is often found under the name "genitivus qualitatis".)

a lady of a certain age - no but: *of a certain age lady
a man of medium height - no but : *of a medium size mr;
a beer of the best quality - no but : *the best quality beer

If you want to find out more about the different types of attribute genitive, you can, for example, see the meaning of genitive attributes.

But even in those cases in which both positions are possible, there are differences in actual use.

Use of preceding genitives

You can use nouns in generic names (Man, closet, sea, jump), Substance names (Gold, milk, copper) and proper names (Peter, Lieschen Müller, Frederick the Great, Cologne, France) organize.

Generic and substance names

  • The prenominal position of the genitive of genus and substance names has gone out of fashion. In our memory, this prenominal genitive, which was used many times in earlier centuries, is mainly associated with an (older) poetic language. You can still find it today in "poetic" texts, such as obituaries and quotations, or in ironic or mocking texts. Just the expression on the mother's breast or phrases like quarrel over the emperor's beard can be found represented even more frequently.
Stream and streams are freed from the ice
Bythe lovely, invigorating look of spring,
Hope grows in the valley;
The old winter in its weakness
Retired into rough mountains.
[from Goethe, Faust I, Easter walk]
work is the citizen's ornament,
Is blessing the price of the effort,
Honor the king's dignity,
Honor usthe diligence of the hands.
[from Schiller, the song of the bell]

If the mother's eyes close, her faithful heart breaks in death.
[Vorarlberger Nachrichten, July 1st, 1999, p. B5]
The old saying: "Mother’s Freud, father’s happinessIn any case, "the son creates in the red factory" no longer applies.
[Frankfurter Rundschau, July 31, 1999, p. 1]
Aunt's kiss, mother's kiss is already considered the root of neuroses.
[Neue Kronen-Zeitung, April 23, 1998, p. 2]
In the first part you want to the mother's neck to lash the umbilical cord so that she would be silent at last.
[Upper Austrian news, May 9, 1997; Breeding ground for neuroses and manslaughter]
The son raps happily through the kitchen with the tea mug in hand, while the mother can only yawn tiredly at the half-funny words. You go to Ö3 on the alarm clock. Is it from yesterday or today's Ö3 tomorrow? The son leaves the house the mother's hearing needs rest.
[Die Presse, 10/04/1997; Radio review]
From the schnapps thrush to the fried fish that sips blushing at the maypole, to the infant who is peaceful on the mother's breast suckles, 10, 2 liters per nose - in consumption they all seem the same.
[Mannheimer Morgen, January 14, 1999; Alcohol consumption]
A splendid litter of rosy lucky charms, born on January 21 of this year, was chosen as something special. As the scramble on the mother's breastsbecame too big, they were given additional feed.
[St. Galler Tagblatt, April 18, 1998; Mess under the cherry trees]

Proper names

  • With simple names of people and names of cities and countries without articles (Cologne, France) the preceding genitive is more common than the following: That's Anna's book! occurs much more often than That's Anna's book!
    A search with COSMAS in the corpora of the Institute for German Language in April 2008 showed that over 90 percent of the evidence for Annas are prenominal genitive and less than 10 percent of the evidence is attributable to the postnominal (downstream) genitive forCologne's the figures were similar.
The drama, however, is Anna's unexpected pregnancy.
[the daily newspaper, 09.09.2004, p. 16]
The Anna's fragility, who mourned her deceased husband ten years afterwards, is emphasized by Kidman's costumes, which give her figure a frightening delicacy.
[the daily newspaper, December 23, 2004, p. 17]
But even after half an hour, the FC was still not credibly spotted in front of the goal by Heribert Macherey and the MSV slowly began to realize that he was doing more than the staffage for Cologne moves in could submit to the cup final.
[the daily newspaper, April 25, 1991, p. 14]
Also the famous Michael Werner, who made Markus Lüpertz, Georg Baselitz and Jörg Immendorff great and decisive for the Rise of Colognecontributed to the art metropolis, has been represented at Checkpoint Charlie with a branch of his son Julius since this week.
[Berliner Zeitung, 09/29/2006, p. 2]
  • Multi-part names of people (combinations of first and last names, names and nicknames (Pippin the Short etc.) are used prenominally less often than simple ones. The more parts the name has, the less often it is placed in front of the genitive. Compared to the over 90 percent for the birded position of Annas the proportion of documents in the corpora of the Institute for German Language for Angela Merkels in the prenominal position to 75 percent. For Frederick the Great In fact, only 6 of the 848 documents are prenominal.
During the meal and afterwards in the abbot's room there was much talk of political and moral matters, [...] that is, of Germany's character role, of the sin against Belgium, which is so appealing Frederick the Great's act of violence against the formally neutral Saxony reminded [...]
[T. Mann: Doktor Faustus, (1st book edition 1947), In: [Collected works in twelve volumes with a supplementary volume], Vol. 6. 1960, p. 405]
A second canal was built at the instruction of Frederick the Great only between 1743 and 1746.
[the daily newspaper, 08/13/2002, p. 23]

But: Names of composers or authors often appear in front of the title of their works, even if the name of the composer or author is in several parts, e.g. Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach or Bertolt Brecht (COSMAS: Carl Philipp Emanuel Bachs: 42 times before the title, 6 times after the title of one of his works; Bertolt Brechts: In only one of the more than one hundred documents is the author's name after the title of one of his works.)

On the agenda Johann Sebastian Bach's first orchestral suite, Frederick the Great's second flute concerto, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach's Symphony in G major and after a one-hour concert break with wine tastings and fine snacks Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Serenata notturna and the Sinfonia concertante. [Tiroler Tageszeitung, March 29, 1997, section: Travel; A festival for wine connoisseurs and lovers of classical music]
He has also created illustrations in the past William Shakespeare's "Midsummer Night's Dream", Bertolt Brecht's "Threepenny Opera" and Heinrich Heine's "Florentine Nights".
[Mannheimer Morgen, November 30, 2005; Hope is the basic principle]

So can be found in theCarl Philipp Emanuel Bach's C major Fantasy much of that chromatic boldness and that virtuoso élan that appears improvisational, which are also characteristic of Mozart's C minor Fantasy KV 396 and Haydn's C major Fantasy, Hob. XVII / 4.
[Die Presse, 12/21/1993; Meticulously and ela]
in the "The yes-man and the no-man" Bertolt Brechtsit means: if you say A, you don't have to say B.
[Rhein-Zeitung, June 20, 2007; Comment]

How the genitive is formed from multi-part names is explained in Walthers von der Vogelweide or Walther von der Vogelweides? - Complex proper names in the genitive.

  • Articleless names that are based on family relationships, such as Father, mother, uncle, aunt, grandma, grandpa are only in the prenominal position in the genitive. (All 3200 documents with mothers and the 41 receipts withAunts in the corpora of the Institute for German Language were prenominal.)
Because who likes pasta, fries and Mother's menueats, it doesn't fit into catwalk sizes.
[Rhein-Zeitung, April 14, 2007]
Her aunt had baked the fruit cake on the table. She is famous for that, up to overseas, where the relatives in Ireland from Aunt's marzipan glaze rave.
[the daily newspaper, 07/14/2005, p. 20]
Instead of the genitive, which often seems elevated, one often finds the prepositional phrase of + Nouns in the dative: Anna's book; the eyes of the mother; Papa's hat. Regionally, there is also the possibility of expressing affiliation with a noun in the dative and a possessive: This is the father's hat. This is mother's bag. cf. Where are grandpa his glasses? - Display of affiliation through dative attribute.

How does the form come about mothers?

The mother is a feminine phrase. Why does that get a noun without an article mother in the genitive one s?

The nouns father and mother are not only used as generic names: My friend's father, my boyfriend's mother, mothers and fathers are important to a child's development. They can also be used like proper names: father (Dad, dad) comes home later today. mother (Mom, mom), are you coming soon?

Generic names have a companion, a definite, indefinite or demonstrative article in the singular (that, that, that, one, one, this, this, this) or a possessive (my mine your yours...). The genitive can be recognized in generic names by the form of the companion and in masculine or neutral generic names also usually by the ending of the noun: Happiness of a child is happiness his fathers and happiness his mother. Even if the genitive is not visible in the noun itself, as is the case with feminine generic names, the case can be assigned via the form of the companion. If the noun in the genitive is shifted forwards into the prenominal position, then it takes its companion with it. Thus, the genitive in feminine, as in masculine, remains without a specific genitives recognizable:

mother's hat - mother's hat; the intendant's financial needs - the intendant's financial needs; the magic of the circus - the magic of the circus.

If proper names are used without an article (Karl, Anna, father, mother), the genitive must be attached to the name itself. You get the specific genitive ending -s, even if the corresponding generic name is a feminine word, e.g. the mother - the mother - mother - mothers. So it is said the honor of Anna as well as the honor of Charles or Mariechen's honor. This s is retained even if the name is in the prenominal position: Anna's honor, Karl's honor and Mariechen's honor, Mother's joy and Father's joy, Papa's anger and Mom's anger. For more details on the inflected forms of nouns, see Nouns - morphological properties.

Notes on the genitive inflection of proper names

In general, the genitive of proper names is changed by adding the ending (e)s educated. But as always there are a few exceptions:

  • Occasionally it will s not attached directly to the name, but separated by an apostrophe: Grimm's Fairytales and Grimm's fairy tales, Hegel's theories and Hegel's theories. (Attention: This apostrophe is not (yet) fully accepted in the standard language.)
  • If the noun is in the nominative s ends, it is given an apostrophe in the genitive to indicate that there is actually a genitive here s belongs (spoken one hears thiss yes not): Isis' son.
  • There are also some older genitive forms such as the heart of jesus or the suffering of Mary.


Even if it sounds old-fashioned and slightly mocking:

Father's greed, the groom's affair, little daughter's envy of the beauty of others, mother's hard-heartedness in times of personal need and the son's irresponsible lust, all of that was too much for the pretty young Eva Smith.
[Mannheimer Morgen, May 6, 2004; Lying society]