Easy Learning German

Using adjectives - Easy Learning Grammar German

  • Adjectives are words like clever, expensive and silly that tell you more about a noun (a living being, thing or idea). They can also tell you more about a pronoun, such as he or they. Adjectives are sometimes called ‘describing words’. They can be used right next to a noun they are describing, or can be separated from the noun by a verb like be, look, feel and so on.
a clever girl
an expensive coat
a silly idea
He’s just being silly.
  • In English, the only time an adjective changes its form is when you are making a comparison.
She’s cleverer than her brother.
That’s the silliest idea I ever heard!
  • In German, however, adjectives usually agree with what they are describing. This means that their endings change depending on whether the person or thing you are referring to is masculine, feminine or neuter, and singular or plural. It also depends on the case of the person or thing you are describing and whether it is preceded by the definite or indefinite article.
Das neue Buch ist da.The new book has arrived.
Ich wollte es der alten Frau geben.I wanted to give it to the old woman.
Sie erzählte mir eine langweilige Geschichte.She told me a boring story.
Die deutschen TraditionenGerman traditions
  • As in English, German adjectives come BEFORE the noun they describe, but AFTER the verb in the sentence, unless the noun is the subject of the sentence and is written BEFORE the verb. The only time the adjective does not agree with the word it describes is when it comes AFTER the verb.
eine schwarze Katzea black cat
Das Buch ist neu.The book is new.
Key points
  • Most German adjectives change their form according to the case of the noun they are describing and whether the noun is masculine, feminine or neuter, singular or plural.
  • In German, as in English, adjectives come before the noun they describe, but AFTER the verb in the sentence.

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