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What is the difference between using ‘von’ and ‘des’?

In my latest notebook, I was talking about the German singer Lafee. I had to write in possessive form quite a bit.

I understand 'von' can be used as 'by', as I wrote in the sentence "Ich mag die Musik von Lafee" (I like Lafee's music/I like music by Lafee).

However when I wrote "Ich liebe die Lieder des Lafee heißt 'Ich bin ich' und 'Leb deine Träume'.",( I like Laffe's songs called 'I am me' and 'Live your dreams') and "Die Stimme des Lafee ist sehr nett" (Lafee's voice is really nice), both were corrected to use 'von'.

I can see why the first one might be 'von', but am very confused why you would say Die Stimme von Lafee.

Why do you use 'von' in this last sentence? Can you please explain a bit more about the difference between using 'von' and 'des', please.

Please if possible could you explain in English, as I am new to German and do not understand complicated sentences/grammar yet.


For learning: German
Base language: English
Category: Language



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    Good question actually. The Genetiv corresponds to English "X of Y", so I think the fact that you say "music by Lafee" instead of "music of Lafee" explains why you use "von" instead of the Genitiv. You can actually use the form without article, both in front and after ("Ich mag Lafees Musik", "Ich mag die Musik Lafees"). You could also say "Lafees Stimme ist sehr nett" or "Die Stimme Lafees ist sehr nett". Note that there's no apostrophy.

    I'm not really sure about the rule that disallows "die Stimme der Lafee". I think in general you can not use Genitiv with in article when it's about a person. In English, "the voice of the Lafee" sounds wrong, too. So that may be a reason why you have to use "von" instead. In colloquial German, there is a tendency to replace the Genitiv with "von" (even where it wouldn't be correct in written German), so this may play a role, too.

    Maybe someone else can point you to the exact rule.



    since Lafee is a woman, we'd say: Ich liebe die Lieder der Lafee - the article (genitive ) for female nouns is der - but it is more common to say: Ich liebe die Lieder von Lafee

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