Indefinites – jeder, einige, viel(e), alle


Indefinites usually refer to parts of something or to a whole group, and not to a specific person or object. The most important indefinites are: jeder ‘each’/‘every’, einige ‘some’/‘any’, viel(e) ‘much’/‘many’ and alle ‘all’/ ‘everybody’:

Jedes Kind bekommt ein Eis.
Every child gets an ice cream.
Einige Leute konnten nicht kommen.
Some people couldn’t come.
Viele Köche verderben den Brei.
Many cooks spoil the broth.
Allen Kompositionen von Mozart wurde eine Katalogsnummer gegeben.
All the compositions by Mozart were given a catalogue number.

The indefinites follow the same declension pattern as dieser. Note that einige ‘some’/‘any’ and alle ‘all’/‘everybody’ can only be used in the plural. viel(e) usually appears without ending before singular nouns and ‘uncountable’ nouns when used in the sense of ‘much’/‘a lot of’:

Er trinkt viel Bier.
He drinks a lot of beer.
Sie hat viel Mut.
She has a lot of courage.