Adjectives in German Grammar

Introduction

Adjectives modify nouns. There are three types of adjectives in German grammar: prädikative (predicative), adverbiale (adverbs) and attributive. Predicative adjectives and adverbs do not change their form, whereas, attributive adjectives change their ending depending on the noun they modify.

Learn about different types of adjectives in German grammar on Lingolia then test your grammar skills in the exercises.

Example

Der Clown ist lustig. Er springt lustig herum. Er ist ein sehr lustiger Clown. So einen lustigen Clown habe ich noch nie gesehen.

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Predicative Adjectives and Adverbs

Predicative adjectives and adverbs always maintain the same form, whether they relate to a noun that is masculine, feminine, neuter, plural or declined.

  • Predicative adjectives are adjectives that come after the verbs sein/bleiben/werden.
    Example:
    Der Clown ist lustig.The clown is funny.
  • Predicative adverbs are adjectives that come after other verbs (not sein/bleiben/werden).
    Example:
    Der Clown springt lustig herum.The clown springs around funnily.

Attributive Adjectives

Attributive adjectives come between the article and the noun. We have to decline these adjectives and change their endings, according to whether the noun is masculine/feminine/neutral, in the singular or in the plural (see declension).

Example:
Er ist ein sehr lustiger Clown.He is a very funny clown.
So einen lustigen Clown habe ich noch nie gesehen.I’ve never seen such a funny clown.