This article or section should specify the language of its non-English content, using ((lang)), ((transliteration)) for transliterated languages, and ((IPA)) for phonetic transcriptions, with an appropriate ISO 639 code. Wikipedia's multilingual support templates may also be used. See why. (June 2022)

Gothic is an inflected language, and as such its nouns, pronouns, and adjectives must be declined in order to serve a grammatical function. A set of declined forms of the same word pattern is called a declension. There are five grammatical cases in Gothic with a few traces of an old sixth instrumental case.

Grammatical cases

A complete declension consists of five grammatical cases.

Description of cases

Order of cases

Gothic language grammars often follow the common NOM-ACC-GEN-DAT order used for the Germanic languages. VOC is usually attached to the same line as ACC as a combined VOC-ACC, but if not, it may be placed between NOM and ACC (as in Wright's "Grammar of the Gothic Language").

Short vs. long stems

An important distinction in many of the declension classes below is the difference between "short" and "long" stems. Frequently declension classes are divided into two subclasses, one for short-stemmed nouns and one for long-stemmed nouns.

A short stem contains:

A long stem is all other types of stems:

Strong noun declensions

The -a declension

This declension has as counterparts the second declension (us/um) of Latin, and the omicron declension (os/on) of Greek. It contains masculine and neuter nouns.

Case dags, dagōs
day m.
waúrd, waúrda
word n.
Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative (+ vocative plural) dags –s dagōs –ōs waúrd waúrda –a
Accusative (+ vocative singular) dag dagans –ans
Genitive dagis –is dagē –ē waúrdis –is waúrdē –ē
Dative daga –a dagam –am waúrda –a waúrdam –am

A varied set of nouns have two stems, one occurring with endings that are null or begin with a consonant (the nominative, accusative and vocative singular) and another that occurs with endings beginning with a vowel (all but the previously listed forms).

One common situation leading to two-stem nouns is the automatic devoicing of voiced fricatives at (or near) the end of a word, e.g.:

More information about the exceptions in the -a declension can be found at page 82, §175 of Grammar of the Gothic Language written by Joseph Wright. (Link can be found at the bottom.)

Case hláifs, hláibōs
loaf, bread m.
háubiþ, háubida
head n.
Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative (+ vocative plural) hláifs –s hláibōs –ōs háubiþ háubida –a
Accusative (+ vocative singular) hláif hláibans –ans
Genitive hláibis –is hláibē –ē háubidis –is háubidē –ē
Dative hláiba –a hláibam –am háubida –a háubidam –am

Other nouns with two stems are:

The -ja declension

This declension is really just the -a declension with a j immediately preceding. However, due to various sound laws, a new declension subcategory has arisen that does not exactly follow the form of the plain -a declension. Similar developments occurred in Greek and the Slavic languages, among others.

This declension has as counterparts the second declension nouns in (-ius/-ium) of Latin. The counterparts in Greek are some second declension nouns in (-ios/-ion), as well as many that show effects of palatalization (e.g., -zdos < *-gyos or *-dyos; -llos < *-lyos; -ptos < -*pyos; -ssos or -ttos < -*tyos; -airos/-eiros/-oiros < *-aryos/-eryos/-oryos; -ainos/-einos/-oinos < *-anyos/enyos/onyos; etc., and similarly for neuter nouns in -ion or *-yon). It contains masculine and neuter nouns.

Case harjis, harjōs
army m.
haírdeis, haírdjōs
herdsman m.
kuni, kunja
race n.
Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative (+ vocative plural) harjis –jis harjōs –jōs haírdeis –eis haírdjōs –jōs kuni -i kunja –ja
Accusative (+ vocative singular) hari -i harjans –jans haírdi -i haírdjans –jans
Genitive harjis –jis harjē –jē haírdeis –eis haírdjē –jē kunjis –jis kunjē –jē
Dative harja –ja harjam –jam haírdja –ja haírdjam –jam kunja –ja kunjam –jam

The masculine nouns have a distinction between short- and long-stemmed nouns, as described above. harjis "army" is a prototypical short-stem noun, and haírdeis is a prototypical long-stem noun. Neuters, however, have merged the two types in favor of the short-stem endings. Properly, there should be a distinction in the genitive singular between short-stem -jis and long-stem -eis, as for the masculine nouns, but -jis has mostly taken over. For a few nouns, however, both forms can be used, as in genitive andbahteis or andbahtjis "of service", gawaírþeis or gawaírþjis "of peace", from neuter nouns andbahti "service" and gawaírþi "peace", respectively.

Note that the neuters in this declension can be said to follow the two-stem pattern (e.g. kuni vs. kunj-) described above for a-stems. A few neuters in this declension follow the same overall pattern but have additional vowel changes between the stems:

The -ō declension

This declension counterparts the first declension (a) of Latin, and the alpha declension (a/as) of Greek. It contains feminine nouns.

Case giba, gibōs
gift f.
Singular Plural
Nominative-Accusative-Vocative giba –a gibōs –ōs
Genitive gibōs –ōs gibō –ō
Dative gibái –ái gibōm –ōm

The -jō declension

Nouns ending in -jō that have a short stem (see discussion above) behave identically to normal stems, e.g. brakja "strife", sibja "relationship", sunja "truth". However, long-stemmed nouns in -jō have a different nominative singular ending in -i:

Case bandi, bandjōs
band f.
Singular Plural
Nominative (+ vocative) bandi –i bandjōs –jōs
Accusative bandja –ja
Genitive bandjōs –jōs bandjō –jō
Dative bandjái –jái bandjōm –jōm

Note that in this particular case the "long-stem" declension includes nouns with a long vowel or diphthong and no following consonant. In addition, these nouns have a different stem in the nominative singular from all other cases:

The -i declension

This declension counterparts the vowel stems of the third declension (is) of Latin, and the third declension of Greek. It contains masculine and feminine nouns. Note that masculine nouns have become identical to -a stem nouns in the singular, while feminine nouns have preserved the original declension.

Case gasts, gastis
stranger, guest m.
qēns, qēneis
wife f.
Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative (+ vocative plural) gasts –s gasteis –eis qēns –s qēneis –eis
Accusative (+ vocative singular) gast gastins –ins qēn qēnins –ins
Genitive gastis –is gastē –ē qēnáis –áis qēnē –ē
Dative gasta –a gastim –im qēnái –ái qēnim –im

Similar to the situation with -a stems, some nouns have a different stem in the nominative and accusative singular than in other cases:

Some additional complications:

Case láiseins, láiseinōs
doctrine f.
Singular Plural
Nominative láiseins –s láiseinōs –ōs
Accusative láisein láiseinins –ins
Genitive láiseináis –áis láiseinō –ō
Dative láiseinái –ái láiseinim –im

The -u declension

This declension counterparts the fourth declension (us) of Latin and parts of the third declension of Greek (cf. πῆχυς). It contains nouns of all genders. faíhu "property" is a neuter -u stem, and like all neuters from the u stem it lacks a plural. Other remnants are the invariant neuter adjective filu "much" (with an adverbial genitive filáus), and qaíru or gáiru "spike, goad", occurring once in a gloss. leiþu "cider, fruit wine" is attested only in the accusative singular and without any context to infer its gender, so it may have been masculine or neuter.

Case sunus, sunjus
son m.
property n.
Singular Plural Singular
Nominative (+ vocative plural) sunus –us sunjus –jus faíhu –u
Accusative (+ vocative singular) sunu –u sununs –uns
Genitive sunáus –áus suniwē –iwē faíháus –áus
Dative sunáu –áu sunum –um faíháu –áu

Weak noun declensions (n-stems)

The an, on and in declensions constitute a Germanic word derivation, which is also used for adjectives in the weak form marking definiteness. The declension loosely parallels the Latin nouns in , genitive -ōnis/-inis, which shares the same Indo-European declensional origin (the Greek descendant being the more regularized -ōn, -onos class).

The -an declension

This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (June 2008)

Masculines and neuters belong to this declension.

Case guma, gumans
man m.
haírtō, haírtōna
heart n.
Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative (+ vocative) guma –a gumans –ans haírtō –ō haírtōna –ōna
Accusative guman –an gumans –ans
Genitive gumins –ins gumanē –anē haírtins –ins haírtanē –anē
Dative gumin –in gumam –am haírtin –in haírtam –am

There are a few neuter irregularities:

Case watō, watna
water n.
namō, namna
name n.
Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative-Accusative (Vocative) watō watna –na namō namna –na
Genitive watins –ins watnē –nē namins –ins namnē –nē
Dative watin –in watnam –nam namin –in namnam –nam

The -ōn declension

This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (June 2008)

This declension is the feminine counterpart of the an declension.

Case tuggō, tuggōns
tongue f.
Singular Plural
Nominative tuggō –ō tuggōns –ōns
Accusative tuggōn –ōn
Genitive tuggōns –ōns tuggōnō –ōnō
Dative tuggōn –ōn tuggōm –ōm

Note: the first g in tuggō is pronounced [ŋ]. The Gothic language borrowed the practice of denoting [ŋɡ] by gg and [ŋk] by gk from the Koine Greek in which the New Testament was originally written.

The -ein declension

This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (June 2008)

This declension contains abstract feminines only.

Case frōdei, frōdeins
wisdom f.
Singular Plural
Nominative frōdei –ei frōdeins –eins
Accusative frōdein –ein frōdeins
Genitive frōdeins –eins frōdeinō –einō
Dative frōdein –ein frōdeim –eim

Minor noun declensions

The -r declension

A few family nouns inherited from Proto-Indo-European have a very archaic declension. Feminines and masculines have identical forms.

Case swistar, swistrjus
sister f.
Singular Plural
Nominative swistar –ar swistrjus –rjus
Accusative swistruns –runs
Genitive swistrs –rs swistrē –rē
Dative swistr –r swistrum –rum

Inflected thus are also brōþar m., "brother", fadar m., "father", daúhtar f., "daughter".

The -nd declension

These nouns are old present participles, corresponding to nouns in -nt in Latin and Greek.

Case frijōnds, frijōnds
friend m.
Singular Plural
Nominative frijōnds –s frijōnds –s
Accusative frijōnd
Genitive frijōndis –is frijōndē –ē
Dative frijōnd frijōndam –am

The root nouns

These nouns correspond to the consonant declensions in Latin and Greek (in both cases, part of the third declension). Only traces of masculines are extant, but feminines are fairly well attested.

Case reiks, reiks
ruler m.
baúrgs, baúrgs
city f.
Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative reiks –s reiks –s baúrgs –s baúrgs –s
Acc. reik baúrg
Gen. reikis –is, –s reikē –ē baúrgs –s baúrgē –ē
Dative reik reikam –am, um baúrg baúrgim –im

The only masculine nouns extant are mēnōþs "month" (gen. sg. mēnōþs or ?mēnōþis, dat. pl. mēnōþum); reiks "ruler" (gen. sg. reikis, dat. pl. reikam); and weitwōds "witness" (gen. sg., dat. pl. not attested).

There are nine feminine nouns attested. Note the following irregularities:

The other five feminine nouns are alhs "temple", baúrgs "city", brusts "breast", miluks "milk", and spaúrds "racecourse".


Adjectives in Gothic, as in the other Germanic languages, can be declined according to two different paradigms, commonly called "strong" and "weak". This represents a significant innovation in Germanic, although a similar development has taken place in the Baltic and Slavic languages.

Adjectives in Proto-Indo-European -- as is still the case in Latin, Greek, and most other daughters—are declined in exactly the same way as nouns. Germanic "strong" adjectives, however, take many of their endings from the declension of pronouns. These pronominal endings are likely to have entered the adjective inflection in the Germanic proto-language, via the inflection of possessive adjectives and other "pronominal" word classes, as evidenced by the variation between the bare stem and -ata in the neuter nominative and accusative singular of Gothic adjectives and possessive pronouns. [1] "Weak" adjectives take the endings of -n stem nouns, regardless of the underlying stem class of the adjective.

In general, weak adjectival endings are used when the adjective is accompanied by a definite article, and strong endings are used in other situations. However, weak endings are occasionally used in the absence of a definite article, and cause the associated noun to have the same semantics as if a definite article were present. Weak adjectives are also used when the associated noun is in the vocative case. In addition, some adjectives are always declined weak or strong, regardless of any accompanying articles.

The strong -a declension

Case blinds, blind/blindata, blinda
Singular Plural
Masculine Neuter Feminine Masculine Neuter Feminine
Nominative blinds –s blind(ata) –(ata) blinda –a blindái –ái blinda –a blindōs –ōs
Accusative blindana –ana blindans –ans
Genitive blindis –is blindis –is blindáizōs –áizōs blindáizē –áizē blindáizē –áizē blindáizō –áizō
Dative blindamma –amma blindamma –amma blindái –ái blindáim –áim blindáim –áim blindáim –áim

The strong -ja declension

Similar to the situation with nouns, the ja-stem adjectives are divided into two subtypes, depending on whether the stem is short or long.

Short-stemmed -ja declension

Case midjis, midi/midjata, midja
Singular Plural
Masculine Neuter Feminine Masculine Neuter Feminine
Nominative midjis –jis midi, midjata –i, –jata midja –ja midjái –jái midja –ja midjōs –jōs
Accusative midjana –jana midjans –jans
Genitive midjis –jis midjis –jis midjáizōs –jáizōs midjáizē –jáizē midjáizē –jáizē midjáizō –jáizō
Dative midjamma –jamma midjamma –jamma midjái –jái midjáim –jáim midjáim –jáim midjáim –jáim

This declension has only the following extant adjectives: aljis "other", freis "free" (stem frij-, see below), fullatōjis "perfect", gawiljis "willing", midjis "middle", niujis "new", sunjis "true", ubiltōjis "evil-doing", and unsibjis "lawless". Notes about the above adjectives:

Long-stemmed –ja declension

Case wilþeis, wilþi/wilþjata, wilþi
Singular Plural
Masculine Neuter Feminine Masculine Neuter Feminine
Nominative wilþeis –eis wilþi, wilþjata –i, –jata wilþi –i wilþjái –jái wilþja –ja wilþjōs –jōs
Accusative wilþjana –jana wilþja –ja wilþjans –jans
Genitive wilþeis –eis wilþeis (or -jis?) –eis (–jis?) wilþjáizōs –jáizōs wilþjáizē –jáizē wilþjáizē –jáizē wilþjáizō –jáizō
Dative wilþjamma –jamma wilþjamma –jamma wilþjái –jái wilþjáim –jáim wilþjáim –jáim wilþjáim –jáim

This declension is built out of long-stemmed -ja masculine and neuter nouns and long-stemmed -jō feminine nouns.

This declension has only five extant adjectives: aírzeis "astray", alþeis "old", faírneis "old", wilþeis "wild", and wōþeis "sweet". None of these adjectives are extent in any genitive singular forms, and hence the forms given above are reconstructions based on the behavior of the corresponding nouns. The hesitation between wilþeis or wilþjis as the neuter genitive singular form stems from the following facts:

The strong -i declension

Adjectives of this class have replaced most forms with forms taken from the -ja declension. Only the nominative singular, the neuter accusative singular and the masculine and neuter genitive singular have genuine -i stem forms.

Case hráins, hráin, hráins
Singular Plural
Masculine Neuter Feminine Masculine Neuter Feminine
Nominative hráins –s hráin hráins –s hráinjái –jái hráinja –ja hráinjōs –jōs
Accusative hráinjana –jana hráinja –ja hráinjans –jans
Genitive hráinis –is hráinis –is *hráinjáizōs *–jáizōs hráinjáizē –jáizē hráinjáizē –jáizē hráinjáizō –jáizō
Dative hráinjamma –jamma hráinjamma –jamma hráinjái –jái hráinjáim –jáim hráinjáim –jáim hráinjáim –jáim

The following adjectives of this type are extant (along with a few others): analáugns "hidden", anasiuns "visible", andanēms "pleasant", áuþs "desert", brūks "useful", gafáurs "well-behaved", gamáins "common", hráins "clean", sēls "kind", skáuns "beautiful", skeirs "clear", suts (?sūts) "sweet".

The strong -u declension

Similarly to -i stem adjectives, -u stem adjectives have replaced most forms with those taken from the -ja declension.

Case hardus, hardu/hardjata, hardus
Singular Plural
Masculine Neuter Feminine Masculine Neuter Feminine
Nominative hardus –us hardu, hardjata –u, –jata hardus –us hardjái –jái *hardja *–ja hardjōs –jōs
Accusative hardjana –jana hardjans –jans
Genitive *hardáus *–áus *hardáus *–áus *hardjáizōs *–jáizōs hardjáizē –jáizē hardjáizē –jáizē hardjáizō –jáizō
Dative *hardjamma *–jamma *hardjamma *–jamma *hardjái *–jái hardjáim –jáim hardjáim –jáim hardjáim –jáim

The following adjectives of this type are extant: aggwus "narrow", aglus "difficult", hardus "hard", hnasqus "soft", kaúrus "heavy", manwus "ready", qaírrus "gentle", seiþus "late", tulgus "steadfast", twalibwintrus "twelve years old", þaúrsus "withered", þlaqus "soft".

The weak declension

Weak adjectival endings are taken from the corresponding endings of masculine, feminine and neuter n-stems, e.g. masculine guma "man", feminine tuggō "tongue", neuter haírtō "heart". All adjectives have the same endings, regardless of the underlying stem class of the adjective. The only difference is that ja-stems, i-stems and u-stems have a -j- at the end of the stem, e.g. masculine singular nominative weak niuja "new", wilþja "wild", hráinja "clean", hardja "hard", corresponding to the strong forms niujis (short ja-stem), wilþeis (long ja-stem), hráins (i-stem), hardus (u-stem).

Case blinda, blindō, blindō
Singular Plural
Masculine Neuter Feminine Masculine Neuter Feminine
Nominative blinda –a blindō –ō blindō –ō blindans –ans blindōna –ōna blindōns –ōns
Accusative blindan –an blindōn –ōn
Genitive blindins –ins blindins –ins blindōns –ōns blindanē –anē blindanē –anē blindōnō –ōnō
Dative blindin –in blindin –in blindōn –ōn blindam –am blindam –am blindōm –ōm


Personal pronouns

Gothic personal pronouns
Personal pronouns 1st person 2nd person 3rd Person Reflexive
Singular Dual Plural Singular Dual Plural Masculine Neuter Feminine
Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative ik wit weis þu jut jus is eis ita ija si ijōs
Accusative mik ugkis uns, unsis þuk igqis izwis ina ins ija sik
Genitive meina ugkara unsara þeina igqara izwara is izē is izē izōs izō seina
Dative mis ugkis unsis, uns þus igqis izwis imma im imma im izái im sis

Possessive pronouns

Gothic possessive pronouns
Possessive pronouns Possessee
Masculine Neuter Feminine
Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural
Possessor Singular Nominative meins -s meináí -ái mein(ata) -(ata) meina -a meina -a meinōs -ōs
Accusative meinana -ana meinans -ans
Genitive meinis -is meináizē -áizē meinis -is meináizē -áizē meináizōs -áizōs meináizō -áizō
Dative meinamma -amma meináim -áim meinamma -amma meináim -áim meinái -ái meináim -áim
Dual/ Plural Nominative unsar -_ unsarái -ái unsar -_ unsar -a unsara -a unsarōs -ōs
Accusative unsarana -ana unsarans -ans
Genitive unsaris -is unsaráizē -áizē unsaris -is unsaráizē -áizē unsaráizōs -áizōs unsaráizō -áizō
Dative unsaramma -amma unsaráim -áim unsaramma -amma unsaráim -áim unsarái -ái unsaráim -áim

Gothic possessive pronouns are formed by adding the above shown suffixes to the genitive ("possessor") form of the given personal pronoun. Reflexive pronouns are inflected similarly. The form used outside of possession is derived from the nominative feminine singular. The possessor suffixes are the same in the possessee plural. Meina "my, mine" and unsara "our, ours" are shown here for example, but others can apply.

Demonstrative pronouns

Gothic demonstrative pronouns
Demonstrative pronouns The/ This
Masculine Neuter Feminine
Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative sa þái þata þō þōs
Accusative þana þans þō
Genitive þis þizē þis þizē þizōs þizō
Dative þamma þáim þamma þáim þizái þáim

Compound forms with the suffix -(u)h meaning "this, these; that/ those" and with -ei creating relative pronouns also exist. The suffix -ei can also be added to first and second person pronouns to create first and second person relatives. All compound forms drop the "u" in -uh after a vowel and change word-final -s to a -z if the next letter is a vowel.

Interrogative pronouns

Gothic interrogative pronouns
Interrogative pronouns Masculine Neuter Feminine
Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural
What/ Who Nominative ƕas *ƕái ƕa *ƕō ƕō *ƕōs
Accusative ƕana ƕans
Genitive ƕis *ƕizē ƕis *ƕizē *ƕizōs *ƕizō
Dative ƕamma *ƕáim ƕwamma *ƕáim ƕizái *ƕáim
Which one (of two) Nominative ƕaþar *ƕaþarái ƕaþara(ta) *ƕaþara *ƕaþara *ƕaþarōs
Accusative *ƕaþarana *ƕaþarans
Genitive *ƕaþaris *ƕaþaráizē *ƕaþaris *ƕaþaráizē *ƕaþaráizōs *ƕaþaráizō
Dative *ƕaþaramma *ƕaþaráim *ƕaþaramma *ƕaþaráim *ƕaþara *ƕaþaráim
Which (of more than two) Nominative ƕarjis ƕarjái ƕarjata, ƕari ƕarja ƕarja ƕarjōs
Accusative ƕarjana ƕarjans
Genitive ƕarjis ƕarjáizē ƕarjis ƕarjáizē ƕarjáizōs ƕarjáizē
Dative ƕarjamma ƕarjáim ƕarjamma ƕarjamma ƕarjái ƕarjáim

The plural form *ƕans (masculine accusative) occurs once as part of the indefinite pronoun ƕanzuh "each, every"; the other plurals are reconstructed. Hwas is declined irregular, but shares similar forms with sa, the others are declined mostly like strong (j)a-stem adjectives. Hwaþar is only extant in the nominative masculine singular and neuter singular nominative/ accusative; the other forms are reconstructed.

The following additional pronouns exist, all declined strong as a-stems:

Indefinite pronouns

Three indefinite pronouns are formed by appending -uh "and" to the interrogative pronouns ƕas "who, what", ƕarjis "which (of many)", and ƕaþar "which of two"; compare the analogously formed Latin pronoun quisque "each", formed from quis "who" and -que "and". Both ƕazuh and ƕarjizuh mean "each, every"; *ƕaþaruh means "each of two".

Before -uh, -s appears in the original form of -z-, and after long vowels and stressed short vowels, the u of -uh is elided. Unstressed short vowels are dropped before -uh in the declension of ƕazuh; however, in the other two pronouns, long vowels appear in place of unstressed short vowels, preserving an older state of affairs, and the u of -uh is elided. Declension tables of ƕazuh and ƕarjizuh are presented below. Of *ƕaþaruh, only a single form is extant, the dative singular *ƕaþarammēh, occurring in the compound form áinƕaþarammēh "to each one of two".

The plural form ƕanzuh (masculine accusative) occurs once, in the expression insandida ins twans ƕanzuh "he sent them forth two and two".

Case Indefinite #1: Each/Every
Masculine Neuter Feminine
Nominative ƕazuh ƕah ƕōh
Accusative ƕanuh
Genitive ƕizuh ƕizōzuh
Dative ƕammuh ƕizáih
Case Indefinite #2: Each/Every
Masculine Neuter Feminine
Nominative ƕarjizuh ƕarjatōh ƕarjōh
Accusative ƕarjanōh
Genitive ƕarjizuh ƕarjizōzuh
Dative ƕarjammēh ƕarjáih

Additional pronominal forms are

Case þisƕazuh saei "Whoever/Whatever"
Masculine Neuter
Nominative þisƕazuh saei þisƕah þei, þisƕah þatei
Accusative þisƕanōh saei
Genitive ? þisƕizuh þei
Dative þisƕammēh saei þisƕammēh þei
Case ni mannahun "No one"
Nominative ni mannahun
Accusative ni mannanhun
Genitive ni manshun
Dative ni mannhun
Case ni áinshun "No one, no, none, nothing"
Masculine Neuter Feminine
Nominative ni áinshun ni áinhun ni áinōhun
Accusative ni áinnōhun, ni áinōhun
Genitive ni áinishun ni áinishun *ni áináizōshun
Dative ni áinummēhun ni áinummēhun ni áináihun


Gothic numbers
# Cardinal Ordinal
Word Declension Word Declension
1 áins strong singular a-stem fruma irregular
frumists strong a-stem
2 twái irregular anþar irregular
3 þreis irrregular þridja Weak a-stem
4 fidwōr undeclined or i-stem *fidurþa
5 fimf fimfta
6 saíhs saíhsta
7 sibun *sibunda
8 ahtáu ahtuda
9 niun niunda
10 taíhun taíhunda
11 áinlif *ainlifta
12 twalif *twalifta
13 *þreitaíhun *þreitaíhunda
14 fidwōrtaíhun *fidurþataíhunda
15 fimftaíhun fimtataíhunda
16 saíhstaíhun *saíhstataíhunda
17 sibuntaíhun *sibundataíhunda
18 ahtáutaíhun *ahtudataíhunda
19 niuntaíhun *niundataíhunda
20 twái tigjus tigjus is a plural masculine u-stem;

multiplier agrees in case

30 þreis tigjus
40 fedwōr tigjus
50 fimf tigjus
60 saihs tigjus
70 sibuntēhund undeclined or uncertain declension
80 ahtáutēhund
90 niuntēhund
100 taíhuntēhund
100, 120 hund neuter a-stem
(#) x 100 (or x 120) (#) hund multiplier agrees in case + hund
1000, 1200 þūsundi feminine jō-stem
(#) x 1000 (or x 1200) (#) þūsundi multiplier agrees in case + þūsundi

Hund and þūsundi can mean either "100" and "1000" or "120" and "1200", depending on scale. Táihuntēhund always means "100". Áins has two different ordinals.

Numbers below 20 behave as adjectives, whereas those starting at 20 behave as nouns and govern the genitive case of an associated object, e.g. dagē fidwōr tiguns "for forty days", fimf þūsundjōs waírē "five thousand men", miþ twáim tigum þūsundjō mannē "with twenty thousand men". Ordinal numbers are always adjectives.

Plural forms of áins meaning "some" also occur, otherwise the numbers are always declined as plural.

Higher numbers from fidwōr "four" through niuntaíhun "nineteen" are normally undeclined, but can be declined as -i stems, e.g. dative fidwōrim, genitive *fidwōrē.

Decades sibuntēhund "seventy", ahtáutēhund "eighty", niuntēhund "ninety" and taíhuntēhund/taíhuntaíhund "one hundred" are normally undeclined, but genitive niuntēhundis "of ninety" occurs.

A handful of numerals are declined irregularly, shown below:

Gothic irregular numeral declension
Numeral declension Masculine Neuter Feminine
Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural
Fruma/ Frumō/ Frumei,


Nominative fruma frumans frumō frumōna frumei frumeins
Accusative fruman frumein
Genitive frumins frumanē frumins frumanē frumeins frumeinō
Dative frumin frumam frumin frumam frumein frumeim
Twái/ Twa/ Twōs


Nominative twái twa twōs
Accusative twans
Genitive twaddjē twaddjē *twaddjō
Dative twáim twáim twáim
Anþar/ Anþar/ Anþara


Nominative anþar anþarái anþar anþara anþara anþarōs
Accusative anþarana anþarans
Genitive anþaris anþaráizē anþaris anþaráizē anþaráizōs anþaráizō
Dative anþaramma anþaráim anþaramma anþaráim anþarái anþaráim
Þreis/ Þrija/ Þreis


Nominative þreis þrija þreis
Accusative þrins þrins
Genitive þrijē þrijē *þrijō
Dative þrim þrim þrim


Other numerals

"Both" is bái or bajōþs, of which the following forms are extant:

Case bái/ba/*bōs
Masculine Neuter Feminine
Nominative bái, bajōþs ba bōs
Accusative bans
Genitive ?
Dative báim, bajōþum

The extant forms of bái match the corresponding forms of twái "two", and evidence from other Germanic languages, e.g. Old English, indicates that all forms are constructed in this fashion.

Distributive numerals answer the question "how many at a time?". The isolated form tweihnái "two each" exists, declined as a plural strong adjective. Otherwise, distributive numerals are expressed using prepositional phrases, e.g. bi twans aíþþáu máist þrins "by twos or at most by threes"; ana ƕarjanōh fimftiguns "by fifties in each (company)"; insandida ins twans ƕanzuh "he sent them forth two and two".

Multiplicative numerals answer the question "how many times more?" and are formed by adding the adjectival stem -falþs to the stem of the corresponding cardinal. Extant are áinfalþs "onefold, simple"; fidurfalþs "fourfold" (note, not *fidwōrfalþs); taíhuntaíhundfalþs "hundredfold"; managfalþs "manifold".

Numeral adverbs answer the question "how often?" or "how many times?". They are formed by combining the cardinal or ordinal with the noun *sinþs "time" (lit. "a going"), and placing the result in the dative case: áinamma sinþa "once"; anþaramma sinþa "a second time"; twáim sinþam "twice"; þrim sinþam "thrice"; fimf sinþam "five times"; sibun sinþam "seven times". Compare Old English ǣne sīða "once", fīf sīða "five times".

See also


  1. ^ Ratkus, Artūras (2015). "Gothic possessives, adjectives, and other modifiers in -ata". Journal of Germanic Linguistics. 27 (3): 54–64. doi:10.1017/S1470542714000233. S2CID 170711397.