A2 Grammar: Adjectives

A2 Grammar: Adjectives

Grammar: Adjectives

Types of Adjectives

  • In general, German adjectives fall into two categories: attributive adjectives, which precede a noun and take an ending, and predicative adjectives, which follow verbs like sein (to be), werden (to become), or bleiben (to stay) and don’t take an ending.

Adjective Endings

  • Adjective endings depend on the gender, case, and number of the noun they describe.
  • Additionally, the ending differs based on whether the adjective is preceded by a definite article (the), an indefinite article (a/an), or no article.

Declension of Attributive Adjectives

  • If an attributive adjective is preceded by a definite article, the ending is typically -e or -en. For instance, der alte Mann (the old man), die alte Frau (the old woman), das alte Haus (the old house).
  • If the adjective is preceded by an indefinite article or a possessive determiner (mein, dein etc.), the ending follows a similar pattern to the definite article: ein alter Mann (an old man), meine alte Katze (my old cat).
  • Without an article, the adjective takes the strong ending: alter Wein schmeckt besser (old wine tastes better).

Comparative and Superlative Forms

  • Adjectives can be compared in German just as in English, using the comparative and superlative forms.
  • To form the comparative, add -er to the end of the adjective. For example, schnell (fast) becomes schneller (faster).
  • The superlative is formed by using am before the adjective (with its -sten ending) and sten after it. For example, am schnellsten (fastest).
  • Note that irregular adjectives have irregular comparative and superlative forms. For instance, gut (good) becomes besser (better) and am besten (best).

Adjective Derivation

  • German adjectives can be derived from nouns, verbs and other adjectives often by adding suffixes such as -lich, -ig, -isch. For instance, Freund (friend) yields freundlich (friendly), Schönheit (beauty) yields schön (beautiful).

With structured repetition and practice, your understanding of German adjective usage will deepen. Remember, keep revision and practice consistent! Hang in there!