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The suffix ( suffix ) -keit used in the German language in addition to the suffix -ness for substantiation of adjectives ( adjectives ). Nouns in -eness are always feminine and form the plural in -en .


The suffix -heit is a variant of -heit and developed in Middle High German from words with the end syllables -ic-heit and ec-neity. Therefore, in some formations, intermediate syllables such as -lich , -ig etc. are inserted if they are not already contained in the adjective:

  • a quick ig ness, multiple quick ig ness s

Some formations have developed an independent meaning that can no longer or only indirectly be traced back to the adjective:

  • a Geschwind accuracy, several Geschwind accuracy en

Substantivating nouns already adjective with the suffix -like adjective through -keit (or -heit ) is generally regarded as a bad style of speech. Formations like

  • an image by way of accuracy, multiple image by way of accuracy s

should therefore be avoided if possible. In cases in which an adequate replacement with another German noun does not seem possible, the sentence should either be reformulated or a generally understandable foreign word should be used:

  • Her seriousness was impressive. (bad style)
  • She looked impressively serious . (better)
  • Your seriousness was impressive. (also better, but in a special case only makes sense in a clear context due to the pragmatic use of the foreign word )

See also

Wiktionary: -keit  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Web links