German for Music Lovers

Strong Adjective Endings


Why learn adjective endings?

Learning adjective endings: "weak" adjective endings

Learning adjective endings: "strong" adjective endings

Flow Chart of Adjective Endings

Wortschatz: Vocabulary

Before you attempt to learn the adjective endings, you must know the patterns of the "der"- and "ein"-words. When you have learned these patterns, learning the adjective endings is not at all difficult. Click here to review these patterns.
 

Strong Adjective Endings

The strong adjective endings are virtually the same as the "der"-word endings.

MÄNNLICH
WEIBLICH
SÄCHLICH
MEHRZÄHLIG
NOMINATIV
der Wein

guter Wein

ein guter Wein

die Milch

warme Milch

das Bier

kaltes Bier

ein kaltes Bier

die Obstsäfte

frische Obstsäfte

AKKUSATIV
den Wein

guten Wein

die Milch

warme Milch

das Bier

kaltes Bier

ein kaltes Bier

die Obstsäfte

frische Obstsäfte

DATIV
dem Wein

gutem Wein

der Milch

warmer Milch

dem Bier

kaltem Bier

den Obstsäften

frischen Obstsäften

GENITIV
des Weines

***guten Weines***

der Milch

warmer Milch

des Bieres

***kalten Bieres***

der Obstsäfte

frischer Obstsäfte

Compare the "der"-words and the "ein"-words." Mostly, their endings are identical, but the "der"-words provide a bit more information about case, because the masculine nominative and neuter nominative and accusative "ein"-words lack endings. This slight distinctive edge makes the "der"-word endings favored in German: they are the "strong" endings.

If a "der"-word ending does not precede the noun, the adjective takes it on: it uses a "strong" or "der"-word ending to provide as much information as possible about case, gender and number.

Notice that the genitive masculine and neuter "strong" endings in the chart *** are not identical with the "der"-word ending. This is easy to remember when you understand the logic of it: the "strong" ending is indeed present, as a suffix on the noun itself (Weines,Bieres) . Therefore, German uses the "weak" ending as is normal when the "strong" ending is already present.

The following flow chart illustrates when to use "strong" and when to use "weak" adjective endings. 

 

Practice using "strong" adjective endings.

 More practice with "strong" endings.

Index

©A. Campitelli; Greensboro, NC 1999-2001