In German it is possible to form nouns out of adjectives or verbs: these are the substantivized adjectives or verbs. To form these words, you simply change the first letter into a capital letter and you add a definite and indefinite article.
Substantivized adjectives are nouns formed from adjectives, without their prefix or suffix. All German adjectives can be used as nouns.
This table shows some examples:
|gut||das Gute||good - the good|
|deutsch||der Deutsche||German - the German|
|schön||das Schöne||beautiful - the beauty|
Substantivized adjectives can be masculine or feminine. In this case, they designate animate beings.
|jung||der Jugendliche||young - adolescent|
|erwachsen||der Erwachsene||grown-up - adult|
|groß||die Große||tall - the tall|
Neuter substantivized adjectives refer to qualities or certain abstract concepts.
|gut||das Gute||good - the good|
|grün||das Grüne||green - the green|
Although substantivized adjectives are nouns, they are declined as adjectives. You can also have look in the topic of the declension of adjectives.
|Nominative||der Alte||die Alte||das Alte||die Alten|
|Genitive||des Alten||der Alten||des Alten||der Alten|
|Dative||dem Alten||der Alten||dem Alten||den Alten|
|Accusative||den Alten||die Alte||das Alte||die Alten|
Translation: alt - old der Alte - the old
Neuter substantivized adjectives can be used with the words etwas, nichts, wenig, and viel. However, they remain nouns and are therefore capitalized. In this case, the noun is used in the nominative case singular and ends with -s or -es.
Like substantivized adjectives, substantivized verbs are formed from a verb (infinitive or past/present participle) without any prefix or suffix.
The substantivized infinitive is formed from the infinitive of a verb. They take a capital letter. The substantivized infinitive describes an action, the act of doing something.
Substantivized infinitves are always neuter.
|leben||das Leben||live - life|
|essen||das Essen||eat - the food|
|trinken||das Trinken||drink - the drink|
It is common to use these substantivized infinitives without any articles. Here are some examples.
The substantivized infinitives are declined as regular neuter nouns. They take the -s only in Genitive singular and they remain unchanged in the other cases. Normally is only used in the singular. Here you can find the declension table of das Laufen (laufen) - the walking (walking).
|Singular||das Laufen||des Laufens||dem Laufen||das Laufen|
Substantivized infinitives are often used in combination with bei, zu and von. Be careful: This prepositions are changing, if they are used with an article. Substantivized infinitives are similar to the English gerund with -ing or a simple infinitive. Here are some examples:
|bei (+ articles)||
You can form a noun out of the present participle of a verb. Have also a look into the topic of the present participle of verbs.
Remember: to form a present participle in German, you need to add an -end or -nd to the radical of the verb.
In this table you can find some examples.
|reisen - travel||reisend - travelling||der Reisende - traveller|
|schlafen - sleep||schlafend - sleeping||der Schlafende - sleeper|
The nouns of present participle are declined as adjectives. You can find the declension of der Reisender - traveller in this table below.
|Singular||der Reisende||des Reisenden||dem Reisenden||den Reisenden|
|Plural||die Reisende||der Reisenden||den Reisenden||die Reisenden|
You can also form a noun out of the past participle of a verb. Have a look into the topic of the present participle of verbs. In this table you can find some examples.
|kaufen - buy||gekauft - bought||das Gekaufte - the bought|
|geben - give||gegeben - given||das Gegebene - the given|
As for the present participle, also the substantivized past participle are declined as adjectives. You can find the declension of das Gekaufte - the bought thing in this table below.
|Singular||das Gekaufte||des Gekauften||dem Gekauften||den Gekauften|
|Plural||die Gekauften||der Gekauften||den Gekauften||die Gekauften|
4.7/5 from 5 reviews
Hi! I am Donatella, I'm Italian and I have been living in Vienna since 2009. I teach Italian and German as a foreign language. I really... like teaching and I enjoy it! Every day I have the great chance to work together with people with different ages, backgroung and learning goals. Thanks to my job I can broaden and deepen my knowledge and skills and of course meet people from all over the world. Foreign languages represent my first interest, as a learner too. After having experienced a distance learning course I find the e-learning a personal, specific and practical method to learn, improve or polish up a foreign language! I would be glad to hear from you! Read more
Hello everyone and a big warm welcome to all the fellow language learners, My name is Katerina, I’m a native Russian speaker and a foreign... language teacher from St Petersburg, Russia. I’ve always been addicted to learning foreign languages, be it English, German, Spanish, Turkish or Arabic, so turning my passion into my job was just a matter of time. I have a Master’s degree in linguistics which taught me to understand the way the mechanism of a language works and thus to help my students see the logics behind the grammar rules. Being a constant language learner enables me to see the process from both sides and to predict the difficulties my students might face. The fact that I’m not a native speaker of English or German means I’ve been through exactly the same language-learning journey you’re about to take, and thanks to my personal experience as a student, I can make this road smooth for you. I've had students of all ages, from pre-school kids to senior generation, and I feel comfortable working with both beginners and those who are eager to take their learning process to a new level. In my classes I encourage you to talk in the language we’re studying as much as possible, putting every single bit of knowledge into practice right away. If you’re a Russian-learner, I’d be glad to prove it to you that you can absolutely nail my mother-tongue - and yes, you’ll be able to make a small talk in Russian by the end of the first class even if you’re an absolute beginner! We’ll be focusing on the topics that are most relevant to your goals, while discovering the language and getting to know more about the culture of people who speak it. I offer a short free trial class, for us to give each other a smile and discuss our teaching pattern, in order to ajust it to your goals and make our lessons the bee's knees :) See you soon! Read more
Hello =) My name is Karolin and I have been living in Chile for more than 2 years now. I've been teaching via Skype for quite some time and... I've found that this kind of work is fun. That's why I would like to expand my circle of students. Both in English and in German, I teach classes for beginners and advanced students. I speak Spanish fluently, but I do not want to cheat anyone, so I note here that I speak the spanish from Chile. I learned and teach the spanish from Spain and I can explain the differences if you're interested, but that is why I only teach spanish for beginners. If you'd like to get to know me and my teaching methods, just contact me and we will do a free trial lesson. See you soon! Read more