AS Grammar: Adjectives

AS Grammar: Adjectives

Grammar: Adjectives

Basic Adjectives

  • Adjectives, also known as describing words, give more information about a noun.
  • They must agree in gender, case, and number with the noun they describe.
  • There are 3 genders in German: masculine (der), feminine (die), and neuter (das).

Adjective Endings

  • Adjective endings can be tricky because they change based on the article (definite, indefinite) and the case of the noun.
  • The key is the preceding article; if you can get the ending of the article right, you can get the ending of the adjective right.


  • After the definite articles (der, die, das), the general endings are -e for nominative, -en for accusative, -en for dative, and -en for genitive (e.g., der alte Mann, the old man; die alte Frau, the old woman; das alte Haus, the old house).

  • After the indefinite articles (ein, eine, ein), the general endings are -er for masculine (nominative), -e for feminine (nominative), and -es for neuter (nominative); then for accusative it is -en for masculine, -e for feminine, and -es for neuter; for dative, it’s -en for all gender (e.g., ein alter Mann, an old man; eine alte Frau, an old woman; ein altes Haus, an old house).

Predicate Adjectives

  • Predicate adjectives come after a verb and they do not have any endings. They are simply placed after the verb to describe the noun (e.g., Die Frau ist alt, the woman is old).

Comparative and Superlative Forms

  • Comparative form is used when comparing two items. In German, adjectives are typically made comparative with -er (e.g., alt -> älter).
  • Superlative form is used to describe the “most” of something. In German, this form is typically expressed by adding -st or -est to the adjective and putting “am” beforehand (e.g., alt -> am ältesten).

Remember not to translate your adjectives literally. Sometimes the meaning can change depending on the context. Be sure to practice to familiarise yourself with each application and watch out for exceptions to the rules! Happy revision!