• German grammar
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  • 1 German pronunciation [0/1]
  • 2 German functions of words [0/5]
  • 3 German sentence structure [0/28]
  • Construct a German sentence! (Score -/-)
  • Make a German indirect speech! (Score -/-)
  • 3.1 Sentence structure of main clauses in German [0/4]
  • 3.2 Dependent clauses in German [0/12]
  • 3.3 Negation in German [0/3]
  • 3.4 Questions in German [0/2]
  • 3.5 Indirect speech in German [0/2]
  • 3.6 Conjunctions in German [0/3]
  • 4 German Articles [0/7]
  • 5 German nouns [0/28]
  • Fill in the correct form of the German noun! (Score -/-)
  • Form the correct plural form of the German nouns! (Score -/-)
  • Fill in the correct definite and indefinite article! (Score -/-)
  • Translate these nouns into German (Score -/-)
  • Match the right German word to the sentences (Score -/-)
  • 5.1 Gender of German nouns (substantives) - der, die, das [0/9]
  • 5.2 Plural of German nouns [0/4]
  • 5.3 German declension (N-declension) [0/4]
  • 5.4 Diminutive (-lein, -chen) in German [0/3]
  • 5.5 Compound nouns in German [0/2]
  • 5.6 Adjectives and verbs as nouns in German [0/1]
  • 6 German pronouns [0/19]
  • 7 German cases [0/13]
  • 8 German adjectives [0/29]
  • Exercise for building German adjectives (Score -/-)
  • Determine the form of use of these German adjectives! (Score -/-)
  • Transform these German adjectives to their nominal form (Score -/-)
  • Build the comparative and superlative of these German adjectives (Score -/-)
  • Insert the German attributive adjective! (Score -/-)
  • 8.1 Different types of adjectives in German [0/3]
  • 8.2 How to form German adjectives [0/1]
  • 8.3 German participle as adjectives [0/2]
  • 8.4 Comparative and superlative adjectives in German [0/4]
  • 8.5 Declension of German adjectives [0/2]
  • 8.6 Forming and declension of ordinal numbers in German [0/2]
  • 8.7 Possessive adjectives in German [0/2]
  • 8.8 Demonstrative adjectives in German [0/2]
  • 8.9 Interrogative and exclamatory adjectives in German [0/2]
  • 8.10 Indefinite adjectives in German [0/2]
  • 8.11 List of German Adjectives [0/2]
  • 9 German adverbs [0/13]
  • 10 German verbs [0/67]
  • Match the correct German verb to the sentences (Score -/-)
  • Form the German simple past and participle II form (Score -/-)
  • Exercise to match the right German auxiliary verb! (Score -/-)
  • Choose the right conjugation of the German verbs (Score -/-)
  • Build the German form of politeness! (Score -/-)
  • 10.1 Auxiliary verbs in German [0/5]
  • 10.2 Modal verbs in German [0/8]
  • 10.3 Separable and inseparable verbs in German [0/3]
  • 10.4 Conjugation of regular verbs (weak verbs) in German
  • 10.5 Conjugation of irregular verbs (strong verbs) in German [0/45]
  • Exercise: German irregular verbs (Score -/-)
  • 10.5.1 Conjugation of geben (to give) in German [0/2]
  • 10.5.2 Conjugation of gehen (to walk, to go) in German [0/2]
  • 10.5.3 Conjugation of lassen (to let) in German [0/2]
  • 10.5.4 Conjugation of nehmen (to take) in German [0/2]
  • 10.5.5 Conjugation of fahren (to drive) German [0/2]
  • 10.5.6 Conjugation of essen (to eat) in German [0/2]
  • 10.5.7 Conjugation of lesen (to read) in German [0/2]
  • 10.5.8 Conjugation of sehen (to see) in German [0/2]
  • 10.5.9 Conjugation of kommen (to come) in German [0/2]
  • 10.5.10 Conjugation of trinken (to drink) in German [0/2]
  • 10.5.11 Conjugation of schlafen (to sleep) in German [0/2]
  • 10.5.12 Conjugation of gefallen (to please) in German [0/2]
  • 10.5.13 Conjugation of schreiben (to write) in German [0/2]
  • 10.5.14 Conjugation of helfen (to help) in German [0/1]
  • 10.5.15 Conjugation of laufen (to run) in German [0/2]
  • 10.5.16 Conjugation of treffen (to meet, to hit) in German [0/1]
  • 10.5.17 Conjugation of tragen (to carry) in German [0/1]
  • 10.5.18 Conjugation of bleiben (to stay) in German [0/1]
  • 10.5.19 Conjugation of schwimmen (to swim) in German [0/1]
  • 10.5.20 Conjugation of finden (to find) in German [0/2]
  • 10.5.21 Conjugation of waschen (to wash) in German [0/1]
  • 10.5.22 Conjugation of bekommen (to get) in German [0/1]
  • 10.5.23 Cojugation of bringen (to bring) in German [0/1]
  • 10.5.24 Conjugation of sprechen (to speak) in German [0/1]
  • 10.5.25 Conjugation of heißen (to be called) in German [0/1]
  • 10.5.26 Conjugation of fliegen (to fly) in German [0/2]
  • 10.5.27 Conjugation of backen (to bake) in German [0/1]
  • 10.5.28 Conjugation of steigen (to rise) in German [0/1]
  • 10.6 List of common verbs in German [0/1]
  • 11 German prepositions [0/27]
  • Spot all the used German prepositions! (Score -/-)
  • Match the German prepositions! (Score -/-)
  • Prepositions and German grammar cases! (Score -/-)
  • Determine which kind of German preposition is being used! (Score -/-)
  • Complete the verbs and adjectives! (Score -/-)
  • 11.1 Locative prepositions in German [0/2]
  • 11.2 Temporal prepositions in German [0/2]
  • 11.3 Modal prepositions in German [0/2]
  • 11.4 Causal prepositions in German [0/2]
  • 11.5 German prepositions requiring the genitive [0/2]
  • 11.6 German prepositions requiring the dative [0/2]
  • 11.7 German Prepositions requiring the accusative [0/2]
  • 11.8 German prepositions with either dative or accusative [0/2]
  • 11.9 German prepositions and articles [0/2]
  • 11.10 German prepositions with verbs [0/2]
  • 11.11 German prepositions and adjectives [0/2]
  • 12 Tenses and conjugation of German verbs [0/23]
  • 13 Infinitive in German [0/8]
  • 14 Imperative in German [0/3]
  • 15 Subjunctive in German [0/6]
  • 16 Active and passive voice in German [0/2]
  • 17 Participle in German [0/6]
  • German adjectives

    What are adjectives and how to use them?

    Adjectives are words naming an attribute or a characteristic of a noun. So, they describe how the refering noun is. For example:

    • Das schöne Mädchen. (The pretty girl.)

    Schön (pretty) is in this case the adjective, because it describes the noun.

    Different types of adjectives

    In German there are four different main types of adjectives and how they are used.

    Form of adjective Characteristics

    The predicative use

    • Noun and adjective are connected through a form of the words 'sein' (to be), 'bleiben' (to stay) or 'werden' (to become)
    • The adjective doesn't need to be conjugated
    • e.g. 'das Mädchen ist schön' (The girl is beautiful)
    The attributive use
    • Adjective stands before the noun
    • It has to be conjugated according the case, number and gender of the noun
    • e.g. 'das schöne Mädchen' (The beautiful girl)
    The adverbial use
    • Adjectives that refer to the time, frequency, quantity and intensity of something
    • The adjective doesn't need to be conjugated
    • e.g. 'Er kann gut singen' (He can sing well.)
    The nominal use
    • The adjectives function as a noun
    • The adjective needs to be adapted to the gender, number and case that is needed
    • the word has to be written with a capital letter
    • 'Er hat nur Schlechtes im Sinn.' (He only has bad things in mind.)

    enlightenedAdditionally, participles and verbs also can assume the function of an adjective.

    To learn more about the different forms of adjectives, their formation and use, have a look at the chapter about it.

    How to form German adjectives

    You can build adjectives out of nouns, verbs, adverbs and other adjectives by adding the right syllable at the end of the word, or using prefixes or suffixes. 

    enlightenedIn all cases a transformation of a vowel to an Umlaut (Ö, Ü, Ä) can be necessary. For instance: rot (red) - rötlich (redish).

     

    Formation of adjective Example

    Using prefixes

    • Das Sofa ist unbequem (The sofa is uncomfortable.)
    • Meine Oma ist uralt. (My grandmother is age-old)

    Transforming a verb

    verb ' liegen' (to lie):

    • Die beiliegende Zeitschrift (the enclosed magazine)

    verb 'schließen' (to close):

    • die verschlossene Tür (The locked door)

    Transforming a noun

    noun 'das Gebilde' (the formation):

    • der gebildete Ausschuss (the composed committee)

    noun 'der Untergang' (the downfall):

    • die untergegangene Welt (the sunken world)

    Transforming an adverb

    adverb: 'bald' (soon):

    • eine baldige Antwort (an early reply)

    adverb: 'sofort' (instant):

    • mit sofortigem Effekt (with immediate effect)

    Transforming an other adjective

    adjective: 'faul' (lazy):

    • der faulige Apfel (the putrid apple)

    adjective: 'voll' (full):

    • völlig ausverkauft (completely sold out)

    Using suffixes

    • Der Boden ist klebrig. (The floor is sticky.)
    • Ein beispielhafter Aufsatz. (an exemplary essay.)

     

    Additionally, there are two types of participles in German:

    1. the present participle
    2. the past participle
      Characteristics Example
    Present participle

    Is used to describe:

    • simultaneous actions
    • actions that aren't finished yet
    • Der singende Mann tanzte im Zimmer. (The singing man is dancing in the room.)
    Past participle

    Is used to describe:

    • activities that happen at different times
    • circumstances of an action
    • Heute trage ich meine neu gekauften Schuhe. (Today I'm wearing my new bought shoes.)

     

    In German language it is also quite common to use compound words. These words are made out of two other. Of course, this can also be used to build new adjectives. For example:

    First word Second word Compound word
    konform (compliant) das System (the system) systemkonform (in conformity with the system)
    behindert (disabled) sehen (to see) sehbehindert (visually impaired)
    groß (big) der Riese (the giant) riesengroß (tremendous)

     

    To get a deeper unterstanding of all this possibilities of forming German adjectives, have a look at the chapter about how to form them.

    Comparative and superlative adjectives in German

    In German there are three degrees of comparison:

    1. Positive: das Bild ist schön. (The picture is pretty.)
    2. Comparative: das Bild ist schöner. (The picture prettier.)
    3. Superlative: das Bild ist am schönsten. (The picture is the prettiest.)

    You usually form the form by adding either -er or am -sten:

    • Comparative: schöner, besser, höher
    • Superlative: am schönsten, am besten, am höchsten

    Of course, there are exceptions of this rule, but to get a deeper insight have a look at the chapter about comparative and superlative in German.

     

    Declension of German adjectives

    In German language it is extremely important to decline the word in the right way. To do so, you have to consider:

    • the article of the noun (der, die, das, ein, eine, ....)
    • the number (singular vs. plural)
    • the gender (masculine, feminine, neuter)
    • the case (nominative, accusative, dative, genitive)

    To decline the adjective in the right way, there are 3 different types of possible declension:

    1. the weak declension (definite article + adjective, e.g. der liebe Vater)
    2. the mixed declension (indefinite article + adjective, e.g. ein lieber Vater)
    3. the strong declension (no article + adjective, e.g. lieber Vater)

    To see the whole declension and exceptional cases, have a look at the chapter about the declension of German adjectives.

    Forming and declension of ordinal numbers in German

    In German, you can use ordinal numbers to express the relative position of a thing etc. or to express a certain order.

    To form the numbers you just:

    • add -te to numbers from 1 to 19
    • add -ste to numbers above 19

    For example:

    Cardinal number Ordinal number
    eins (1) erste (1.)
    zwei (2) zweite (2.)
    drei (3) dritte (3.)
    fünfzehn (15) fünfzehnte (15.)
    einundzwanzig (21) einundzwanzigste (21.)
    zweiunddreißig (32) zweiunddreißigste (32.)

     

    In German it is common to use these numbers as adjectives. Here are some examples:

    • Wir wohnen im fünfzehnten Stock. (We live on the 15th floor.)
    • Felix ist unser zweites Kind. (Felix is our second child.)
    • Das ist mein erster Besuch in Berlin. (This is my first visit in Berlin.)

    To see some more examples, the declension and usage of ordinal numbers, especially their use as adjectives, have a look at the chapter abour forming and declension of ordninal numbers.

    Special adjectives in German

    Additionally, there are some special forms of words in German, that can either be used as adjectives, or as pronouns.

    enlightenedYou might have heard of e.g. possessive pronouns instead of adjectives. The difference between the use as adjective and as pronouns is, that a pronoun replaces a noun of a sentence, whether an adjective accompanies a noun.

    Here you can have a look at the special forms of adjectives:

    Type of adjective Words used
    Possessive adjectives

    mein, dein, sein, ihr, unser, euer, ihr

    • Vielen Dank für Deinen Brief. (Thanks a lot for your letter.)
    Demonstrative adjectives

    dieser, diese, dieses, jener, jene, jenes

    • Dieser Baum hier ist größer, als jener Baum dort. (That tree is bigger than that one over there.)
    Interrogative and exclamatory adjectives

    welch-, was für (ein-)

    • Welcher Mantel gehört Paul? (Which coat is Pauls?) (Interrogative)
    • Welch kluger Mann er ist! (What an intelligent guy he is!)
    Indefinite adjectives

    e.g. etwas, wenige, ein paar, viele etc.

    • Viele Menschen möger lieber Wein als Bier. (Many people like wine better than beer.)

     

    To learn more about each of the types of adjectives used in German, just click on the name and you will get to the special chapter about it.

    Additionally, there is a chapter with a list of German adjectives, representing the most common used adjectives in German language.

    yes In the following chapters you will learn all about the German adjectives and how to use them. Have fun.

    Exercises

    Exercise for building German adjectives

    Determine the form of use of these German adjectives!

    Transform these German adjectives to their nominal form

    Build the comparative and superlative of these German adjectives

    Insert the German attributive adjective!

    Next lessons

    1 Different types of adjectives in German Learn about predicative, adverbial and attributive adjectives in German.
    2 How to form German adjectives Learn how to form German adjectives in the right way
    3 German participle as adjectives Learn about the German participle used as adjective
    4 Comparative and superlative adjectives in German Learn about the German comparative form of adjectives.
    5 Declension of German adjectives Learn how to correctly conjugate the German adjectives
    6 Forming and declension of ordinal numbers in German Learn about German cardinal and ordinal numbers and their use as adjectives.
    7 Possessive adjectives in German Learn about possessive forms of adjectives and their usage.
    8 Demonstrative adjectives in German Learn more about demonstrative adjectives in German.
    9 Interrogative and exclamatory adjectives in German Learn about interrogative and exclamatory adjectives in German and see some useful examples.
    10 Indefinite adjectives in German Learn more about German indefinite adjectives, their usage and the difference to pronouns.
    11 List of German Adjectives Here you'll find a list of different kinds of German adjectives