Last modified on 2 May 2015, at 02:36


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


Alternative formsEdit

  • -ken (colloquial in northern Germany and Westphalia)


Native to the Central German dialects, -chen has widely replaced the southern -lein in standard usage. Cognate with German Low German -ke and Dutch -tje and -ke.


  • IPA(key): /çən/, [çən], [çn̩]


-chen n (plural -chen)

  1. the most common German suffix to create a diminutive form; e.g., HundHündchen ("little dog")

Usage notesEdit

  • Words ending in the suffix -chen are always neuter, whatever gender the basic word.
  • Generally, with few exceptions, diminutives with -chen have an umlauted stem vowel. Double vowels must be singled as the combinations ää and öö are not permitted in German orthography (e.g. Härchen from Haar, Bötchen from Boot).
  • Words ending in -ch (and some others) use the double suffix -elchen, e.g. Strichelchen from Strich. However, the suffix -lein is quite common for these words in writing (Strichlein).

Derived termsEdit

See alsoEdit




  1. the most common suffix to create the diminutive form in Luxembourgish; eg. KazKätzchen