Adverbs in German


While adjectives describe nouns, adverbs provide more information about verbs:

Adjective Sie ist schön. She is beautiful.
Adverb Sie singt schön. She sings beautifully.

Contrary to English where adverbs often differ from adjectives (‘beautiful’ → ‘beautifully’), adverbs in German use the form of the adjectives. However, adverbs in German do not take any endings.

Comparative and superlative of adverbs

Adverbs form their comparative in the same way as adjectives by adding -er. The superlative forms are usually constructed with am + -sten:

Sie singt schön. → Sie singt schöner. → Sie singt am schönsten.

Note that gern has irregular comparative and superlative forms: lieber, am liebsten.
Ich trinke gern Wasser. → Ich trinke lieber Bier. → Ich trinke am liebsten Wein.

Different ways of comparing – als and so . . . wie

There are two main ways of comparing in German:

• als is frequently used to express inequality, corresponding to the English ‘than’:
Die CD ist teurer als das Buch. The CD is more expensive than the book.

• so . . . wie expresses the idea of equality and corresponds to the English ‘as . . . as’:
Er ist so groß wie sein Bruder. He is as tall as his brother.