Adjective Endings

 

  • Adjectives preceding  nouns normally have endings.
  • Noun phrases contain NOUNS along with limiting words (der- or ein-words) and/or adjectives: the coffee, the hot coffee, a hot coffee, or just hot coffee
  • You must memorize two charts, “Primary Endings” and “Secondary Endings”
Primary Endings
(Same as “er-word” endings, except genitive masc. and neut.*)
  Masc Neut Fem Plural
Nom -er -es -e -e
Acc
-en
-es
-e
-e
Dat
-em
-em
-er
-en
Gen
-en
-en
-er
-er

 * Constructions using these forms are rare. The normal primary ending "-(e)s" still appears on the noun itself:
 EX: Das ist kein Zeichen großen Mutes. (That is no sign of great courage.)  

Secondary Endings (can only be -e or -en)
  Masc Neut Fem Plural
Nom -e -e -e -en
Acc
-en
-e
-e
-en
Dat
-en
-en
-en
-en
Gen
-en
-en
-en
-en

Adjective Ending Rules (Only 3!! )
  1. If limiting word has an ending, then adjective takes secondary ending:
        Ex: Der gute Mann ist mein Vater.  Ich fahre mit diesem alten Wagen.

  2. If limiting word has no ending (ein-words in some cases) or if there is NO limit word, then the adjective takes the primary ending:
        Ex: Das ist ein gutes Haus.  Mit kaltem Wasser kannst du nicht kochen.

  3. Multiple adjectives in a row take the same ending: Ein gutes schönes Haus.

Steps to get adjective endings right
  1. Isolate the noun phrase and determine its gender and case.
  2. If necessary, put the correct endings on the limiting word FIRST. (Ignore the adj.)
  3. Follow above rules to choose the correct adjective ending.


Copyright © 2017 Will Lehman. All artwork copyright © 2017 Milo Schuman.