Adjective endings are an important topic in German grammar. Only attributive adjectives, that is adjectives that come before nouns are declined in the German grammar. Learn in this article how to declined adjectives. A complete guide with a table.
german Adjective declination table
This is the table that will help you the most to learn the adjective endings.
First, you need to know in which case the adjective should be. Secondly, you need to know the gender of the noun that the adjective describes. Thirdly, you need to determine whether you have a definite, indefinite, or no article. If you know these 3 things you can figure out the answer using the table.
Der Praktikant schreibt einen langweiligen Bericht.
1. Akkusative: What does the young intern write? The report, 2. einen (der) Bericht = masculine, 3. einen = indefinite article
Good news though, you don’t have to learn the table by heart. You can derive the adjective endings for the most part from the endings of the definite articles.
das Unternehmen ➡️ ein kleines Unternehmen (das Unternehmen = the company)
für den Anwalt ➡️ für einen schlauen Anwalt (der Anwalt = the lawyer, schlau = smart, intelligent)
Important note: adjectives that are followed by these words are declined in the same way as adjectives after definite article: derselbe, dieser, jener, mancher, solcher, welcher, alle.
More about German Prepositions here.
Predicative & Adverbial Adjectives
As mentioned earlier, the adjective declination refers to attributive adjectives. Predicative and adverbial adjectives do not change their original form.
Predicative: Der Anwalt ist schlau. (no declination)
Adverbial: Er rechnet gut. (no declination)
Declination of 2 German adjectives in a row
If you have two consecutive adjectives you just follow the same pattern. Both adjectives are declined.
Der Geschäftsmann kauft ein solides deutsches Unternehmen.
The businessman buys a solid German company.
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Here is a great video that will also help you to learn the adjective endings.
Summary of adjective Endings in German
- Learn the table, but realize that you can derive the table from the definite article endings.
- Determine all 3 components: gender, case, and article type.
- Make sure to only decline attributive adjectives.
- Consecutive articles are declined in the same way as if there is only one article.