Demonstrative adjectives in German
The following chapter will deal with the use of demonstrative adjectives in German and their differences to demonstrative pronouns.
- 1.What are demonstrative adjectives?
- 2.How to use demonstrative adjectives
- 2.1.Dieser, diese, dieses as demonstrative adjectives
- 2.2.Examples of the use of dieser, diese, dieses
- 2.3.Jener, jene, jenes as demonstrative adjectives
- 3.Difference between demonstrative adjectives and demonstrative pronouns
What are demonstrative adjectives?
Demonstrative adjectives describe which noun you are talking about in a sentence and stand right before the noun. There is often a confusion about what are demonstrative adjectives and demonstrative pronouns. This often occurs, because the same words are used for both types.
- dieser, diese, dieses
- jener, jene, jenes
How to use demonstrative adjectives
To use demonstrative adjectives, you have to make a distinction between:
- if it's nearby or far away
- if a noun is in singular or plural
- if it's masculine, feminine or neuter.
Dieser, diese, dieses as demonstrative adjectives
When something is near by, the right words to demonstrate a noun are dieser, diese and dieses. To use it correctly, you have to further decide on the number and the gender of the noun.
|Nouns that are nearby||Singular||Plural|
|Masculine||dieser (this)||diese (these)|
|Feminine||diese (this)||diese (these)|
|Neuter||dieses (this)||diese (these)|
Examples of the use of dieser, diese, dieses
- Dieser Schuh gefällt mir sehr. (I like this shoe a lot.)
- Diese Schuhe gefallen mir sehr. (I like these shoes a lot.)
- Ich mag diese Tasche. (I like this bag.)
- Ich mag diese Taschen. (I like these bags.)
- Dieses Baby schreit sehr oft. (This baby is screaming very often.)
- Diese Babys schreien sehr oft. (These babys are screaming very often.)
Keep in mind, that the noun needs to be declined in accordance to the number and gender of it.
Jener, jene, jenes as demonstrative adjectives
On the opposite, if something is far away you have to use the demonstrative adjectives jener, jene and jenes. Again, you will have to decide on the gender and number of the noun.
|Nouns that are far away||Singular||Plural|
|Masculine||jener (that)||jene (those)|
|Feminine||jene (that)||jene (those)|
|Neuter||jenes (that)||jene (those)|
Examples of the use of jener, jene, jenes
- Dieser Baum hier ist größer, als jener Baum dort. (That tree is bigger than that one over there.)
- Diese Bäume hier sind größer, als jene Bäume dort. (These trees are bigger than those over there.)
- Jene Schulklasse macht heute einen Ausflug. (That school class is making an excursion today.)
- Jene Schulklassen machen heute einen Ausflug. (Those school classes are making an excursion today.)
- Jenes Buch ist langweilig. (That book is boring.)
- Jene Bücher sind langweilig. (Those books are boring.)
Difference between demonstrative adjectives and demonstrative pronouns
The difference between demonstrative adjectives and demonstrative pronouns is nearly the same as with possessive adjectives and pronouns:
- demonstrative adjectives stand before the noun
- demonstrative pronouns either precede a verb or replace the noun.
|Sentence with demonstrative pronoun||Sentence with demonstrative adjective|
|Dieses ist sehr gut. (This one is very good.)||Dieses Buch ist sehr gut. (This book is very good.)|
|Diese sind sehr teuer. (These are really expensive.)||Diese Bücher sind sehr teuer. (These books are very expensive.)|
|Welche Tasche magst du am meisten? Jene! (Which bag do you like the most? That one!)||Welche Tasche magst du am meisten? Ich mag jene Tasche am liebsten! (Which bag do you like the most? I like that one the most!)|
|Hast du dies gesehen? (Have you seen this?)||Hast du diese Seite gesehen? (Have you seen this page?)|
To learn more about the use of demonstrative pronouns, see the chapter about German demonstrative pronouns.
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