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derselbe (demonstrative)

  1. the same
  2. selfsame
  3. idem


Declension of derselbe
masculine feminine neuter plural
nominative derselbe dieselbe dasselbe dieselben
genitive desselben derselben desselben derselben
dative demselben derselben demselben denselben
accusative denselben dieselbe dasselbe dieselben

Usage notes[edit]

Purists claim that derselbe should be used only if one refers to physically the same object, whereas der gleiche (see gleich) should be used when referring to an object of the same kind. For example:

  • Ich habe dasselbe Buch gelesen. – I read the very same copy of that book.
  • Ich habe das gleiche Buch gelesen. – I read the same book in another copy.

However, this rule is an artificial prescription and frequently ignored by the best authors and writers, let alone the colloquial language where derselbe and der gleiche are perfect synonyms.