German Adjectives

    Beginner German - Level A1


    An introduction to adjectives in German. Learn how to use basic adjectives.



    German A1.1

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    German A1

    German Adjectives

    Adjectives are words that modify a noun or pronoun by describing a characteristic (size, age, shape, color, feeling, or opinion). They can be placed before a noun or pronoun (attribute position) or after a noun (predicative position). When adjectives are in the predicative position, they do not have endings and are the same for any noun or pronoun, regardless of gender, case and number (singular or plural). 

    Das Haus ist schön. The House is beautiful. (das Haus - singular, neutral noun)
    Die Blumen sind schön. The flowers are beautiful. (die Blumen - plural, feminine noun)
    Ich bin schön. I am beautiful. (I - subject/nominative pronoun)

    The adjective "schön" remains unchanged, regardless of the gender, case and number of the noun or pronoun, as long as it is placed behind the noun/pronoun it characterizes (predicative position). 

    Adjectives in the attributive position (for A2.2 students)
    When adjectives are placed before the noun or pronoun, then we need to add endings depending on the gender, case and number of the noun or pronoun they modify. Adjectives that are preceded by a definite article or "der" words (dieser, jeder, jener, etc) have weak adjective endings. There are only two possible weak endings: "-e" and "-en"

    Weak Adjective Endings

    Der leckere Kuchen riecht gut.
    The delicious cake smells good. (der Kuchen, singular masculine, nominative)

    Die schönen Blumen riechen gut. 
    The beautiful flowers smell good. (die Blumen, plural, feminine, nominative)

    Adjectives that are preceded by an indefinite article or "ein" words (possessive articles, etc.)  have strong adjective endings.

    Strong Adjective Endings

    Ich lese ein interessantes Buch. 
    I am reading an interesting book. (das Buch, singular, neutral, accusative)

    Wir pflücken die schönen Blumen. 
    We are picking the beautiful flowers. (die Blumen, plural, feminine, accusative)

    Adjectives also take strong endings when they are not preceded by a determiner. This is often used in news articles, ads or job postings. 

    Strong Endings Unpreceded

    Wohnung mit schönem Blick frei.  
    Apartment with beautiful view available. (der Blick, singular, masculine, dative)

    Haus mit grosser Terrasse frei. 
    House with large patio available. (die Terasse, singular, feminine, dative)

    Additional Activities

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