The adjective

The adjective is a flexible part of speech which defines the charcateristics of an object, being or phenomenon. (the color, dimension, shape, quality) 

In german the adjective that is placed in front of the noun changes it’s shape by the help of some endings depending on the nouns gender and number.



If the adjective is preceded by an article (der, die, das) in singular it receives the ending “-e” for each gender.

(schön) Der schöne Mann. = the beautiful man

(schön) Die schöne Frau. = the beatiful woman

(schön) Das schöne Kind. = the beautiful child

Other examples:

(grün) Das grüne Auto. = the green car

(rot) Die rote Bluse. = the red blouse

(fleißig) Der fleißige Schüler. = the hard-working student


If the adjective is preceded by the article “die“, which defines plural, the adjective receives the ending “-en

(gut) Die guten Leute = the good people

(grau) Die grauen Taschen = the grey pockets

(schmutzig) Die schmutzigen Schuhe = the dirty shoes

(hoch) Die höhen Bäume = the tall trees

If the adjective is not preceded by the article “die” which stands for plural, the adjective receives the ending “-e”.

(schön) schöne Männer. = beautiful men

(schön) schöne Frauen. = beautiful women

(schön) schöne Kinder. = beautiful children

Other examples:

(blau) blaue Autos. = blue cars

(gelb) gelbe Blusen. = yellow blouses

(gut) gute Eltern. = good parents

Sometimes the adjectives placed in front of nouns are not preceded by a definite article (without: der, die, das) or indefinite article, in this case the adjectives receive the following endings:

· -er“ for masculine gender nouns,

· -e“ for feminine gender nouns,

·    -es“ for neuter gender nouns,

· -e“ for plural nouns

(schön) Schöner Mann. = beautiful man

(schön) Schöne Frau. = beautiful woman

(schön) Schönes Kind. = beautiful child

Other examples:

(grau) Graues Auto. = grey car

(schwarz) Schwarze Taschen. = black pockets

(gut) Guter Hund. = good dog

(lang) Langes Haar. = long hair

(alt) Alte Kirche. = old church



· schön = beautiful,

· grün = green,

· rot = red,

· blau = blue,

· fleißig = hard-working,

· gelb = yellow,

· gut = good,

·    grau = grey,

· schwarz = black,

· lang = long,

· alt = old,

· hoch = tall



·    Der Mann = the man,

· Die Frau = the woman,

·    Das Auto = the car,

·   Die Bluse = the blouse,

· Der Schüler = the student,

· Die Eltern = the parents,

·    Die Tasche = the pocket,

· Der Hund = the dog,

· Das Haar = the hair,

·    Die Kirche = the church


Adjectives preceded by the indefinite article  

Adjective preceded by:

Gender of the noun


adjective + ending „-er


adjective + ending „-e


adjective + ending „-es

Indefinite article:

·    ein“ for masculine gender,

·   eine“ for feminine gender,

·    ein for neuter gender

Ein guter Freund.

(= a good friend)

Ein grüner Koffer.

(= a green briefcase)

Eine gute Freundin.

(= a good girlfriend)

Eine kleine Insel.(= a small island) 

Ein gutes Kind.

(= a good child)

Ein gelbes Haus.

(= a yellow house)

The same way with the denied indefinite articlet: kein(m.), keine(f.), kein(n.) and possessive pronoun: mein, dein, sein, ihr etc.

Caption: m. = masculine gender, f. = feminine gender, n. = neuter gender.


When it is preceded by a noun, the adjective doesn't change it's shape.


schnell (fast) - Der Fahrrad ist schnell. (The bicycle is fast.) 

 schnell (fast) - Das Auto fährt schnell. (The car drives fast.) 

 groß (big) - Die Erde ist groß. (The Earth is big.) 

 rund (round) - Die Erde ist rund. (The Earth is round.) 

 klein (small) - Das Kind ist klein. (The child is small.) 

 laut (noisy) - Die Leute sind laut. (The people are noisy.) 

 hoch (tall) - Der Berg ist hoch. (The montain is tall.) 


1. Two or more successive adjectives share the same endings:
Die hübsche, junge Frau. (The pretty, joung woman.)
 Ein alter, großer Baum. (The old, big tree.) 

2.  If we would like to apply the same adjective to more nouns, the shape of the adjective differs for every noun according to it's gender:

 Schönes Haus, schöner Baum, schöner Garten... (Beautiful house, beautiful tree, beautiful garden...) 

 Liebe Mutter, lieber Vater... (Dear mother, dear father...) 

3.  If the adjective is following the words “etwas”, “nichts”, “viel”, “wenig” it becomes a noun and it will be written with capital letter:

 Ich zeige dir etwas Schönes! (I show you something beautiful!)

 Es ist nichts Schlimmes passiert. (Nothing bad happened.) 

 In der Schule haben wir viel Neues gelernt. (In school we learned many new things) 

4.  Adjectives ending in –er–el or –en, while declining, the vowel "e" can be eliminated:

 Examples: teuer, sauer, dunkel, offenDas teure Haus. (The expensive house.)

 Der saure Wein. (The sour wine.) 

 Das dunkle Himmel. (The dark sky.)

 Die offne Tür. (The open door.)