Adjectives and Adverbs

Conjunctions consisting of more than one part

There are a few conjunctions which consist of more than one part. They can be divided into two main groups: • Coordinating conjunctions such as entweder . . . oder ‘either . . . or’, sowohl . . . als (auch) ‘as well as’: Ich fahre entweder in die Stadt oder ich bleibe zu Hause. Either I’m going into town or I’m staying at home. Sie studierte sowohl in Leipzig als auch in Cambridge. She studied in ... »

Subordinating conjunctions

Major subordinating conjunctions Frequently used subordinating conjunctions in German include: als when (referring to an event or period in the past) bevor before bis until da as, since damit so (that) dass that nachdem after ob whether (or not) obwohl although sobald as soon as seitdem since während while weil because wenn when, whenever (present tense) if (conditional, hypothetical) whenever (re... »

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 adve... »

Comparative and superlative forms of adjectives

Adjectives are frequently used in the comparative and superlative form. The comparative form is constructed by adding -er while the superlative is formed with am + -sten. billig → billiger → am billigsten klein → kleiner → am kleinsten Note that most monosyllabic adjectives with the stem vowel a, o or u also take an umlaut in both forms: warm → wärmer → am wärmsten jung → jünger → am jüngsten When... »

Points to watch out for

When positioned before a noun, adjectives with -au or -eu (sauer, teuer) drop the -e before -r, while adjectives ending in -el (dunkel) drop the -e before the -l. Also note that hoch loses the letter -c: Er fährt einen teuren Sportwagen. He drives an expensive sports car. Es war eine dunkle Nacht. It was a dark night. Sie sprang über den hohen Zaun. She jumped over the high fence. Colours ending i... »

Adjectives with the definite article

Here is an overview of adjective endings when the adjective is preceded by a definite article: Note that adjectives after the definite article only take two endings: -e and -en. Here are all endings in the dative: Bist du schon in dem neuen Film von Spielberg gewesen? Have you been to see the new film by Spielberg yet? Mit der neuen CD von Sting kann ich nicht viel anfangen. The new CD by Sting do... »

Adjectives with the indefinite article

Here is an overview of adjective endings when the adjective is preceded by an indefinite article: Other determiners – the possessives and kein All possessives (mein, Ihr, unser etc.) and the negative kein follow the same declension pattern as ein, but note that all plural forms end in -en: Nom. – meine/keine guten Pläne Acc. – meine/keine guten Pläne Dat. – meinen/keinen guten Plänen Gen. – meiner... »

Adjectives with no article

Here is an overview of adjective endings with no preceding article: Note that in the absence of an article, the adjectives function as ‘markers’ for the noun and are very similar to the endings of the definite article. Here are all endings in the nominative: Deutscher Wein ist nicht teuer. German wine is not expensive. Deutsche Musik verkauft sich international nicht so gut. German music doesn’t s... »

Use of adjectives

Adjectives provide more information about nouns: Dieses Handy ist teuer. This mobile phone is expensive. Sie ist eine interessante Frau. She is an interesting woman. Adjectives can either appear after the noun (Dieses Handy ist teuer) or directly in front of the noun they describe (eine interessante Frau) Adjectives after nouns – do not take endings Adjectives do not change when they appear after ... »