Weak Nouns

Weak nouns are considered grammatically weak because there are very few variations in how they decline. Just like weak adjectives, almost all weak nouns end in 'an', the exceptions being the nominative singular, genitive plural and dative plural endings. Examine the sentence below, 'Þa huntan feng þa hearpan - the hunters took the harps'.

Þa
Plural
Demon.
huntan
Weak
Masculine
feng
Strong
Verb
þa
Plural
Demon.
hearpan
Weak
Feminine

Only the nominative singular and neuter accusative forms differ between genders, and there are only two weak neuter nouns: 'eage - eye' and 'eare - ear'. All other weak nouns are either masculine or feminine.

Weak Masculine Noun
Singular Plural
Nominative se hunta þa huntan
Accusative þone huntan þa huntan
Genitive þæs huntan þara huntena
Dative þæm huntan þæm huntum
Weak Neuter Noun
Singular Plural
Nominative þæt eage þa eagan
Accusative þæt eage þa eagan
Genitive þæs eagan þara eagena
Dative þæm eagan þæm eagum
Weak Feminine Noun
Singular Plural
Nominative seo tunge þa tungan
Accusative þa tungan þa tungan
Genitive þære tungan þara tungena
Dative þære tungan þæm tungum

As you can see, there is not much variation between weak nouns which make their declensions easy to learn. One way of identifying a weak noun is that their nominative form often ends in a vowel (except 'u', which is either strong feminine or minor u-declension). For example, 'mona - moon', 'sunne - sun', and 'steorra - star' are all weak. You can practice weak nouns below.

Return to Introduction to Weak and Minor Nouns Continue to Minor Nouns

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.