Strong Nouns Overview

To recap what we have learned, all nouns are subdivided into three grammatical categories called genders. These categories are purely grammatical and are not determined by the meaning of the words, so they just have to be learned. The gender of a word changes which inflectional suffix it takes and which demonstrative pronoun it uses. Strong Nouns have many inflection variants.

The inflectional suffix taken by a noun depends on its case. The case of a noun is determined by its function in a sentence. A subject takes the nominative, a direct object takes the accusative, a possessive takes the genitive, and an indirect object takes the dative.

Lastly, nouns decline differently depending on whether they are singular or plural. Examine the sentence 'se cyning ond þa idesa ferdon to þæm scipe - the king and the lady went to the ship.

Se cyning
Masculine Subject
þa idesa
Feminine Subject
þæm scipe
Neuter Indirect Object

While the various demonstratives and suffixes may seem like a lot to remember, there are many similarities between the genders. For example, the demonstrative pronoun 'þæm' always signifies the dative, and the 'um' ending always signifies the dative plural. Similarly, the demonstrative pronoun 'þara' and the suffix 'a', always signify the genitive plural. While the dative declensions for masculine, neuter and feminine nouns are identical, you only ever see the demonstrative pronoun 'þære' with feminine nouns.

Strong Masculine Nouns
Nom se cyning þa cyningas
Acc þone cyning þa cyningas
Gen þæs cyninges þara cyninga
Dat þæm cyninge þæm cyningum
Strong Neuter Nouns
Nom þæt scip þa scipu
Acc þæt scip þa scipu
Gen þæs scipes þara scipa
Dat þæm scipe þæm scipum
Strong Feminine Nouns
Nom seo cwen þa cwena
Acc þa cwene þa cwena
Gen þære cwene þara cwena
Dat þære cwene þæm cwenum

Now that you understand how all strong nouns decline, and the stem variations these declensions can cause, it is time to practice strong masculine, netuer and feminine nouns together. Feel free to use the table below to help you with the first batch of questions. You can hide the table at any point by clicking the orange 'Hide Table' button.

Strong Masculine Noun Paradigm
Singular Plural
Nominative se cyning þa cyningas
Accusative þone cyning þa cyningas
Genitive þæs cyninges þara cyninga
Dative þæm cyninge þæm cyningum
Strong Neuter Noun Paradigm
Singular Plural
Nominative þæt scip þa scipu
Accusative þæt scip þa scipu
Genitive þæs scipes þara scipa
Dative þæm scipe þæm scipum
Strong Feminine Noun Paradigm
Singular Plural
Nominative seo cwen þa cwena
Accusative þa cwene þa cwena
Genitive þære cwene þara cwena
Dative þære cwene þæm cwenum

If you want to practice all noun forms, including variant declensions, select the 'With Variant Declensions' option beside 'Test Your Declensions'. You can toggle back to just the basic noun forms by selecting 'Just Basic Nouns'. You can download a pdf of this module using the centre link below. The pdfs also contain a glossary of all nouns used in the module. Otherwise, feel free to continue on to the next module using the link on the right.

Test Your Declensions

In the textboxes below, fill out the fully declined version of the word in brackets.

Use these buttons to insert thorn, ash and eth when you have an input selected.

Test Your Vocabulary

You were introduced to a lot of new vocabulary in this module. Test your understanding of these new words by trying the flashcards. This opens a modal where you can translate words on a flashcard. Alternatively, you can try reading a text. This opens up an excerpt of an Old English text in a new tab.