Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 3

Adjective Endings I

Nominative Case
The following chart shows the adjective endings for the nominative case with the definite articles (der,
die, das) and the indefinite articles (ein, eine, keine).
Nominative Case (Subject Case)
Masculine
der
Feminine
die
Neuter
das
Plural
die
der neue agen
the new car
die sch!ne Stadt
the beautiful cit"
das alte #uto
the old car
die neuen $%cher
the new boo&s
Masculine
ein
Feminine
eine
Neuter
ein
Plural
keine
ein neuer agen
a new car
eine sch!ne Stadt
a beautiful cit"
ein altes #uto
an old car
&eine neuen $%cher
no new boo&s
To further clarif" what is ha''ening here( ta&e a loo& at the two )erman sentences below. hat do "ou
notice about the word grau*
+. Das Haus ist grau. (The house is gra".)
,. Das graue Haus ist rechts. (The gra" house is on the right.)
-f "ou answered that grau in the first sentence has no ending and grau in the second sentence does
have an ending( "ou.re right/ -n grammatical terms( adding endings to words is called 0inflection0 or
0declination.0 hen we 'ut endings on words( we are 0inflecting0 or 0declining0 them.
1i&e man" things )ermanic( this used to ha''en in 2ld 3nglish. The grammar of modern )erman is
similar to 2ld 3nglish (including gender for nouns/). $ut in modern 3nglish there is no inflection of
adjectives. 4ou can confirm this if "ou loo& at the 3nglish versions of the 'revious two sentences about
the gra" house. -n sentence , the )erman word grau has an 5e ending and the 3nglish word 0gra"0 has
no ending.
The ne6t logical 7uestion is8 h" does grau have an ending in one sentence but not the other* 1oo& at
the two sentences again( and "ou can 'robabl" see the significant difference. -f the adjective (grau)
comes before the noun (Haus)( it needs an ending. -f it comes after the noun and verb (ist)( it should
have no ending. The minimum ending for an adjective before a noun is an 0e055but there are some other
'ossibilities. $elow we.ll loo& at some of these 'ossibilities and the rules for using them.
$ut first we need to tal& about another grammar term8 case. 9emember when "our 3nglish teacher tried
to e6'lain the difference between the nominative and objective cases* ell( if "ou understand the
conce't in 3nglish( it will hel' "ou with )erman. -t.s basicall" 'rett" sim'le8 nominative : subject( and
objective : direct or indirect object. For now( we.re going to stic& to the sim'le one( the nominative
case.
-n the sentence 0;as <aus ist grau.0 the subject is das Haus and das Haus is nominative. -t.s the same
for 0;as graue <aus ist rechts.0 -n both sentences( 0das <aus0 is the nominative subject. The rule for
this is sim'le8 in the nominative case with the definite article (the=der, die, das) the adjective ending is
5e when the adjective comes before the noun. So we would get 0;er blaue agen...0 (The blue car...)(
0;ie &leine Stadt..0 (The small town...)( or 0;as sch!ne M>dchen...0 (The 'rett" girl...).
$ut if we sa" 0;as M>dchen ist sch!n.0 (The girl is 'rett".) or 0;er agen ist blau.0 (The car is blue.)(
there is no ending at all on the adjective (schn or blau) because the adjective is located after the noun
('redicate adjective).
The rule for adjectives with the definite article (der( die( das) or the so5called der5words (dieser(
jeder( etc.) is sim'le( because the ending is alwa"s 5e in the nominative case (e6ce't for the 'lural
which is alwa"s 5en in all situations/).
<owever( when the adjective is used with an ein5word (ein( dein( keine( etc.)( the adjective must
reflect the gender of the noun that follows. The adjective endings 5er( 5e( and 5es corres'ond to the
articles der( die( and das res'ectivel" (masc.( fem.( and neuter). 2nce "ou notice the 'arallel and the
agreement of the letters r( e( s with der( die( das( it becomes less com'licated than it ma" seem at first.
Adjective Endings II
Accusative/Dative
The following chart shows the adjective endings for the accusative and dative cases with the definite
articles (der, dem, der) and the indefinite articles (einen, einem, einer, keinen). The nominative case
endings were 'reviousl" outlined in Part -. The adjective endings for the genitive case follow the same
'attern as the dative. (For more( see # Closer 1oo& at the )enitive Case.)
Accusative Case (;irect 2bject)
Masculine
den
Feminine
die
Neuter
das
Plural
die
den neuen agen
the new car
die sch!ne Stadt
the beautiful cit"
das alte #uto
the old car
die neuen $%cher
the new boo&s
Masculine
einen
Feminine
eine
Neuter
ein
Plural
keine
einen neuen agen
a new car
eine sch!ne Stadt
a beautiful cit"
ein altes #uto
an old car
&eine neuen $%cher
no new boo&s
Dative Case (-ndirect 2bject)
Masculine
dem
Feminine
der
Neuter
dem
Plural
den
dem netten Mann
(to) the nice man
der sch!nen Frau
(to) the beautiful woman
dem netten M>dchen
(to) the nice girl
den anderen 1euten?
(to) the other 'eo'le
Masculine
einem
Feminine
einer
Neuter
einem
Plural
keinen
einem netten Mann
(to) a nice man
einer sch!nen Frau
(to) a beautiful woman
einem netten M>dchen
(to) a nice girl
&einen anderen 1euten?
(to) no other 'eo'le
?Plural nouns in the dative add an 5n or 5en ending if the 'lural form does not alread" end in 5(e)n.
NOTE8 The adjective endings in the )enitive Case are the same as in the ;#T-@3 5 all 5en/
#s we saw earlier in Part - (Nominative)( an adjective that 'recedes a noun must have an ending55at
least an 5e. #lso notice that the endings shown here in the #CCAS#T-@3 (direct object) case are
identical to those in the N2M-N#T-@3 (subject) case55with the sole e6ce'tion of the masculine gender
(der/den). The masculine gender is the onl" one that loo&s an" different when the case changes from
nominative (der) to accusative (den).
-n the sentence 0;er blaue agen ist neu(0 the subject is der Wagen and der Wagen is nominative. $ut
if we sa" 0-ch &aufe den blauen agen.0 (0-.m bu"ing the blue car.0)( then 0der agen0 changes to
0den agen0 as the accusative object. The adjective ending rule here is8 in the accusative case with the
definite article (the=den, die, das) the adjective ending is alwa"s 5en for the masculine (den) form. $ut
it remains 5e for die or das. So we would get 0...den blauen agen...0 (...the blue car...)( but 0...die
blaue T%r..0 (the blue door)( or 0...das blaue $uch...0 (the blue boo&).
hen the adjective is used with an ein5word (einen( dein( keine( etc.)( the accusative adjective ending
must reflect the gender and case of the noun that follows. The adjective endings 5en( 5e( and 5es
corres'ond to the articles den( die( and das res'ectivel" (masc.( fem.( and neuter). 2nce "ou notice the
'arallel and the agreement of the letters n( e( s with den( die( das( it ma&es the 'rocess a little clearer.
Man" )erman learners find the ;#T-@3 (indirect object) case to be intimidating( but when it comes to
adjective endings in the dative( it couldn.t be more sim'le. The ending is #1#4S 5en/ That.s it/ #nd
this sim'le rule a''lies to adjectives used with either the definite or indefinte articles (and ein5words).
#s we mentioned in Part -( this is another illustration of wh" it is im'ortant to learn the gender of nouns
in )erman. -f "ou don.t &now that Wagen is masculine (der)( then "ou won.t be able to sa" (or write)
03r hat einen neuen agen.0 (0<e has a new car.0)