Definition - Adjectives are words that describe
and give information about nouns.
Types - The following is a list of the most
common types of adjectives.
Qualifying adjectives express characteristics of people, things, places,
dünn [thin], blau [blue], dunkel [dark], wichtig
[important], alt [old], ...
Numerals define the number of nouns:
dreßig [thirty], sechshundert [six hundred], ...
Demonstrative adjectives refer to location:
jener [that], ...
Use - In German, the adjectives change their
form depending on the gender and the position of the nouns to which they
refer. When the adjectives follow a noun and the verb 'sein' [to be],
the adjectives are invariable. This is called 'predicative use of adjectives'.
However, when the adjectives come before a noun, they may be written with
endings that change according to the gender (masculine - feminine - neuter),
the number (singular - plural), and other elements like the presence of
articles (definite -
indefinite). This is called 'attributive use of adjectives'.
Examples of predicative use of adjectives:
Der Tisch ist lang
und schmal. [The table is long and narrow.]
Diese Tasche ist
blau. [This bag is blue.]
ist klein. [The girl is small.]
Die Leute sind
glücklich. [The people are happy.]
Examples of attributive use of adjectives:
Das ist ein langer,
schmaler Tisch. [This is a long, narrow
Tasche ist schwer. [This blue bag is heavy.]
Mädchen ist schön. [The small girl is beautiful.]
Leute sind jung. [The happy people are young.]