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Adjectives
 


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, or ideas:
             • groß [big], dünn [thin], blau [blue], dunkel [dark], wichtig [important], alt [old], ...

Numerals define the number of nouns:
             • zwei [two], dreßig [thirty], sechshundert [six hundred], ...

Demonstrative adjectives refer to location:
             • dieser [this], 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.]
             • Das Mädchen 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 table.]
             • Diese blaue Tasche ist schwer. [This blue bag is heavy.]
             • Das kleine Mädchen ist schön. [The small girl is beautiful.]
             • Die glücklichen Leute sind jung. [The happy people are young.]


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