Emphasizes some kind of adjective


The Adjectives, also adjectives, epithets and how-words belong to the ten parts of speech in German grammar. Adjectives provide information about what something is like or describe the relationship between things, things, processes or states. Adjectives can be inflected and adapt to the case of the noun. They can also be increased (Positive comparative superlative).


The term is derived from the Latin noun adjective off what to do with the added translates. Accordingly, the translation already refers to what adjectives are basically about: namely something that is added to a thing [to describe it in more detail]. Let's look at an example.

Walther is a handsome man.

In the example above becomes the noun (Noun)man through the adjective beautiful described in more detail. It is noticeable that the adjective adapts to the case of the noun. The man namely is in the nominative(Who or what is beautiful?), where also the indefinite article a is needed. This constellation requires the basic form of the adjective (beautiful) with the ending -he is provided.

Adjective types: attributive, predicative, adverbial

Adjectives can be divided into three types. They are either attributive, predicative or adverbial. Attributive adjectives always adapt to the case of the noun (see example), whereas they are not changed in the predicative or adverbial use.

Predicative and adverbial adjectives do not change their form. This means that the basic form of the adjective is retained in the sentence and is not declined. Predicative and adverbial adjectives come after verbs. (1)Predicative adjectives after be / stay / become, (2)adverbial after the other.

Peter is funny.
Walther writes beautifully.

In the example sentences are the adjectives immediately after the verbs it's his) and writes (to write). For this reason they cannot be attributive and are not declined. The word funny is used predictively, where beautiful is used adverbially. Let's look at attributive use.

Attributive Adjectives always appear between the article and the noun and describe the noun more precisely. These adjectives must be declined. That depends on whether the noun is feminine (feminine), male (masculine), neutrally (neutral) is and whether it is in the singular(Singular) or in the plural (Plural) stands.

He is a hard worker.
This is a beautiful car.
My tired eyes itch.

Note: It is crucial that there is no adjustment in the predicative or adverbial use, but there is in the attributive use. In addition, adjectives can be used nominally. They are used like nouns, adapt to the case and are capitalized (Example: you are the most beautiful, I am the best, she is the fastest, ...).

Declension of adjectives

Attributive adjectives adapt to gender(Gender), Case(Case) and number(Number) at. This adjustment is known as declination. The adjective ending changes. There are a few rules that must be observed in order to develop the adjective ending.

casedefinite article[1]indefinite article
Possessive articles (your ...), no
without article
m[2]f / nPlmfnPlmfnPl
1st case
2nd case
3. Case
4th case
[1] Note: Is an adjective after the words all, same, this, that, everyone, some, such, which one if it is declined, as if it were after a certain article. (Ex .: This good dog is hungry, but: A good dog is hungry.)
[2] m = masculine (male), n = neutral (neuter), f = feminine (Female), Pl = plural (Plural)
From this overview it can be concluded which adjective ending is used in the possible constellations. A look at the first column explains the principle. If the noun is in the singular, is masculine and is determined by the nominative, the adjective ending is -e (The big tree grows.).

However, there are some exceptions to these rules. These concern the adjective high as well as the endings -he, -e as -el. We will now look at these special features.

1. The adjective high is irregular, if it is used attributively, it is not applicable c.
  • The tree is high → A tall tree.
  • My debts are high → I have a lot of debts.
  • The house is high → I live in a high house.
2. If the adjective ends in -er in the basic form, which follows a vowel, this does not apply e often.
  • sour → one acid Lemon.
  • expensive → mine expensive Chain.
3. If an adjective ends in the basic form e, will not be an additional e attached.
  • cloudy → a cloudy sky, Not:.
  • soft → the soft music, Not:.
  • coward → a cowardly dog, Not:.
4. Ends an adjective in its basic form el, this is mostly omitted e out el.
  • noble → a noble sword, Not:.
  • sensitive → The sensitive boy, Not:.
  • dark → a dark night Not:.

Comparison (Increase) of adjectives

A special feature of the adjectives is that they can be increased. Such an increase is called a comparison. There are three forms of increase: the basic form of an adjective is called positive, the first increase is called a comparative and the third level is called a superlative.

The comparative compare two things (X is greater than Y), whereas the superlative compares a thing with several things or the whole and forms the highest level (Z is the largest). The comparative indicates that two adjectives are not equal to each other, whereas the superlative indicates that a thing has the highest possible degree of a property or feature. Let's look at an example.

Jonas is great. Peter is taller than Jonas. Walther is the greatest.

In the example above, all three forms of increase can be found. These have been marked in color. The positive is used when the adjective is used without a degree. The comparative is used to compare two things based on one thing in common: namely, Peter is taller. The superlative now represents the highest possible degree of this characteristic: Walther is even bigger, he is the biggest.

Comparison of the adjectiveregularlyirregular
positive(Basic level)beautifulWell
comparative(1st increase)beautifulhebetterhe
superlative(2nd increase)most beautifulstenon besten

Formation and function of the positive

The positive is the basic form of the adjective and is also known as the positive form. The positive can be used in comparisons that result from a as - Construction to be formed.

Franzi is as creative as Maria.
Jonas is not as big as Peter.
I am as strong as you
The house is three times the height of the tree.

The example sentences above show the correct use of the positive, i.e. the positive form of the adjective. It can be seen that the adjectives have no additional endings and exist in their basic form. Construction can do two things (People, facts) be equated.

Formation of comparative and superlative

The comparative and the superlative are the second and third increments of the adjective. The comparative is used to compare things with each other, whereas the superlative indicates that a thing has the highest possible degree of a property or a characteristic.

The comparative is basically formed by adding the ending -he is hanged. Usually it is done using as educated. It is important here that the comparative is only declined if it is directly in front of a reference noun (1), so it is used attributively. If this is not the case, it is not adjusted to the case, number and gender of the noun (2).

(1) There is nice hereereFlowers than home.
(2)Wildflowers are beautifulhe as cut flowers.

In the example sentences above the comparative stands once directly in front of the noun to which it refers and must therefore be followed by the gender (Gender), Case (Case) and number (Number) of the noun. In the second sentence there is another word between the comparative and the noun, which is why the raised adjective in this sentence does not have to adapt.

The superlative can with at the or one certain articles be initiated. If the superlative is made using at the formed, is attached to the adjective a -st hanged. Becomes the superlative with a certain articles formed, becomes a -ste attached. Let's look at some examples.

Walther is beautifulsten.
Walther is beautifulste Man in space.

These examples illustrate the principle of superlative education. The first sentence is the highest form of escalation with the help of at thewhich is why the adjective is on -st ends. The second sentence uses a specific article for education (the), whereby the superlative means the ending -ste is formed.

Attributive adjectives always form the superlative with the help of the specific article, the increase is formed as follows: Basic form + ending of the increasing form + declination.
  • the handsome man - the handsome man - the most handsome man
  • a handsome man - a handsome man - the most handsome man

Adverbial adjectives (AA), which come after a verb, always form their superlative with at the. Predicative adjectives (PA), so adjectives after be / stay / become, can be in top form with at the as well as with the certain articles form.

  • (AA) nicer - nicer - most beautiful
  • (AP) This house is the most beautiful.
  • (AP) This house is the most beautiful.

Comparison: irregular adjectives and exceptions

(1) Adjectives starting with the lettersd / t or s / ß / x / z end, form the top form (Superlative) mostly with the adjective ending est(Ex .: fat - fatter - fattest, nice - nicer - nicest). The additional e serves as a pronunciation aid.

(2) Some adjectives form superlatives and comparatives with an umlaut. Very often this applies to monosyllabic adjectives. Here the vowel of the basic form changes into an umlaut (Ex .: cold - colder - coldest; smart - smarter - smartest).

(3) Ends the basic form of the adjective el or evil and is also unstressed, this is not applicable e in the formation of the comparative. However, it remains in top form (Ex .: noble - nobler - most noble). This does not apply if the ending is stressed or the adjective is on ell ends (E.g .: current - current - most current).

(4) There are also adjectives that are irregular. The comparative and the superlative simply have to be learned here, since the rules presented are applicable, but the basic form of the adjective changes.

irregular adjectives (Selection)
highhigherthe highest
closecloserthe next
muchverythe most
largegreaterthe biggest
Brief overview: The most important things about the adjective at a glance
  • Adjectives belong to the ten parts of speech in German. They describe how something is made or describe the relationship between things, things, processes or states. That is why they are also known as how-words or adjectives. They are also inflectable - so they can adapt to the number, gender and case of a noun.
  • A distinction can be made between attributive, predicative and adverbial adjectives. Attributive adjectives come immediately before a noun and must be inflected, the other forms remain in their basic form.
  • Adjectives can also be increased. This increase is called a comparison. The comparison enables several things to be compared. The individual forms of increase are positive, comparative and superlative.