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definition of the word -chen

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-chen

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See also chen, Chen, chēn, chén, chěn, and chèn

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Originally from Northern Germany, has today mostly replaced the older -lein. Cognate with Dutch -tje and -ke.

  • IPA: /çn̩/, /çən/

-chen

  1. the most common German suffix to create a diminutive form; e.g., HundHündchen

Words that end in the suffix -chen always become neuter. This is why the common German word for girl, Mädchen, is neuter and not feminine: the non-diminutive word is feminine: Magd/Mädel. Words that end in the suffix -chen are identical in the singular and in the plural: das Mädchen is 'the girl', die Mädchen are 'the girls'.

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