chapter  6
Adjectives
Pages 18

Adjectives are words which describe, modify, or qualify nouns and pronouns. They do this in two main ways:

• either on their own or as part of a longer adjectival phrase. They then form part of a noun phrase, and they come immediately before the noun, after any determiners. This is called the attributive use of the adjective:

Determiner Adjective/adjectival phrase Noun

eine das die

kaltes hohe ultramoderne jetzt über das Internet erhältlichen

Wasser Wand Raumschiff Games

• or by being used as a complement to a noun which is the subject or object of a verb, see also 18.6. This is called the predicative use of the adjective:

Helga ist aber klein Das Mädchen lag krank im Bett Er isst die Würstchen warm Sie strich die Wand gelb

In German, attributive adjectives (and only attributive adjectives) have endings which indicate the same grammatical categories as nouns, i.e. case, plural and gender. They are said to decline in agreement with the noun. There are two main sets of adjective endings in German, the socalled strong and weak declensions. Which one is used depends on whether or not there is also a determiner in the noun phrase, and what kind of ending it has (if any). Predicative adjectives have no endings.