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Vörlaag:policy-DP Vörlaag:shortcut This draft policy explains considerations that are not covered by general policies for German entries and for German translations of English entries.

Wiktionary:Entry layout explained is the principal policy document for formatting entries. This document does not replace, but merely supplements that policy.

German entries[ännern]

German entries begin with a “==German==” header, which is inserted into the article after any “==Translingual==” or “==English==” section, but otherwise in alphabetical order with other level 2 headers.

If an entry for another language (or “==Translingual==”) appears on the same page as the German entry, the entries are separated with four dashes (“----”) in an otherwise empty line.

Following is a simplified entry for the German word Wort (word). It shows the most fundamental elements of a German entry:



# [[word]]


The headers allowed below the 'German' header are the same as those used for English entries, except for the “Translations” section, which is only allowed in English entries. The headers also have the same order and levels as for English entries, and the format of their content is generally identical, though certain differences between the two languages have to be taken into account.


Each German noun has a gender (masculine, feminine, or neuter) and is declined for four cases (nominative, genitive, dative, accusative) and two numbers (singular and plural). The nominative singular of a noun is its "basic" (lemma) form, on whose page we include the definitions and all further linguistic information.

A full German noun entry includes a complete declension table in a separate “Declension” section, but all German noun entries should include the nominative singular, genitive singular, and nominative plural forms in the headword line. The template {{de-noun}} can be used to format the headword line and to place the entry in Category:German nouns.


Conjugation of German verbs is more complex than English conjugation. As with English verbs, the infinitive is considered the "basic" (lemma) form on whose page the definitions and all further information can be found.

All German verb entries should include the infinitive, the third-person present indicative, the first-person imperfect indicative, the past participle, and an indication of which of the auxiliary verbs haben and sein are used for forming the composite tenses (perfect, pluperfect, and future perfect). Note that in some cases both are possible, depending on sense and whether a particular sense of the verb is transitive. The templates {{de-verb-strong}} and {{de-verb-weak}} can be used to format the headword line and to place the entry in the appropriate category within Category:German verbs. If the verb begins with a prefix, indicate whether it is separable or inseparable (Example: umstoßen is separable, for one says Ich stoße dich um.; whereas umgehen (to bypass) is inseparable, for one says Er umging das Problem.).

For regular German verbs (including most strong verbs, whose stem changes can be determined by the simple past form on the headword line), a “Conjugation” section is optional. For truly irregular verbs, a “Conjugation” section should appear, including the infinitive, second-person and third-person present indicative, first-person imperfect indicative, first-person imperfect subjunctive, imperative singular and plural, and past participle.


All German prefixes should start with a lowercase first letter. While nouns when prefixed start with a capital letter, this is because all nouns start with a capital letter, not because the prefixed is capitalized. For example Autofokus uses {{suffix|auto-|Fokus|lang=de}}, which links to auto- (valid) not to Auto- (not valid).

Declension of language names[ännern]

Many names of languages are nominalizations of adjectives. These language names have two sets of singular forms. “Deutsch”, for example, has the nominative singular forms “Deutsch” and “Deutsche”:

  • The nominative form “Deutsche” is used only when the definite article is used: “das Deutsche”:
    • 1922, Eduard Engel, Deutsche Stilkunst, page 65:
      Das Deutsche ist formenreicher als das Englische, Vörlaag:...
  • When the definite article is used, the genitive is always “des Deutschen”:
    • 2007, Ulrich Ammon, Klaus J. Mattheier, Sprachliche Folgen der EU-Erweiterung, page 135:
      Statt der institutionellen Stärkung des Deutschen ist eher die umgekehrte Wirkung festzustellen, nämlich dass die fortdauernde institutionelle Schwäche des Deutschen seinen Wert in den Augen der Ostmitteleuropäer mindert Vörlaag:...
  • The nominative form “Deutsch” is used when no definite article is used, and sometimes even when the definite article is used, generally signifying a particular variety or idiolect of German, rather than the language as a whole:
    • 1965, Edith Hallwass, Wer ist im Deutschen sattelfest?: Sprachlehre in Frage und Antwort, page 13:
      Das Deutsch ist immer nur ein Teil des Deutschen: gutes oder schlechtes, falsches oder richtiges Deutsch, das Deutsch unserer Klassiker und das Deutsch, das wir heute sprechen, das Deutsch, das man lernt, schreibt, versteht Vörlaag:...
  • The genitive forms “Deutsch” and “Deutschs” are the genitive forms of “Deutsch” (never of “das Deutsche”):
    • 2002, Neue deutsche Sprachgeschichte: mentalitäts-, kultur- und sozialgeschichtliche Zusammenhänge (Dieter Cherubim, Karlheinz Jakob, Angelika Linke), page 396:
      Die Besonderheiten sind auf die Zeit, den Raum und den gesprochenen Charakter seines Deutschs zurückzuführen.

German translations in English entries[ännern]

German translations in English entries belong in a “* German: {{t|de|...}}” line under a sense-specific table header (usually as {{trans-top|[sense of the English headword]}}) within a level 4 or level 5 “====Translations====” section of the “==English==” entry. Only supply the “basic” (lemma) form of the German translation, e.g. the nominative singular for a noun, the masculine nominative singular for an adjective, and the infinitive for a verb. For nouns, also supply the gender of the German translation. Further details for the translation should not appear in the English entry, but in the corresponding German entry instead.