German Adjectives


In this lesson you'll learn how to use adjectives in the German language. You'll also learn some useful German sentence templates that you can use with adjectives to increase your ability to describe people and objects in German.

A short conversation is included to help you improve your comprehension of the German language.

A list of very common German adjectives is included in this lesson, as well as online flashcards and a quiz to help you learn them.



Clothing Store


Anja braucht ein neues Hemd, also gehen sie und Hannah in ein Bekleidungsgeschäft.

Hannah: Dieses Hemd ist sehr schön.

Anja: Ja, aber es ist zu klein.

Hannah: Wie wäre es mit dieser Bluse.

Anja: Die Farbe gefällt mir nicht.

Hannah: Diese Hemden sind im Angebot, und sie sind sehr billig.

Anja: Ich mag das blaue und das rote Hemd.

Hannah: Ich glaube, ich möchte auch eins von diesen Hemden kaufen.

Anja: Welche Farbe magst du denn?

Hannah: Ich mag das weiße Hemd.

Anja: Lass uns sie kaufen.


Anja needs a new shirt, so she and Hannah walk into a clothing store.

Hannah: This t-shirt is very nice.

Anja: Yeah, but it's too small.

Hannah: How about this blouse.

Anja: I don't like the colour.

Hannah: These shirts are on sale, and they are very cheap.

Anja: I like the blue shirt and the red shirt.

Hannah: I think I want to buy one of these shirts too.

Anja: Which color do you like?

Hannah: I like the white shirt.

Anja: Let's go buy them.


Adjectives are words that are used to describe or provide extra information about a noun or pronoun. Some adjectives describe how much or how many of a noun there is, such as wenig, etwas, viel, and alle.

Adjectives in German are a bit more complicated than in English. Whereas in English there is only one form of an adjective, in German an adjectives has different forms depending on the gender of the noun it describes, and whether the noun is singular or plural.

As in English, adjectives in German either come before the noun they modify or after linking verbs like sein, fühlen, werden, and scheinen.

Although adjectives can be difficult to use correctly, you'll still be understood even if you mess up the grammatical endings. If you're just starting to learn German, it'll be more effective to memorize common phrases and word patterns than trying to be grammatically correct.

Unlike in English, when an adjective comes before a noun in German, it has different grammatical endings. To make matters more confusing, the endings depend on the gender of the noun it describes, whether it is the subject or object of a sentence, as well as the article, if any, that is used along with the noun. These forms are called the weak, mixed, and strong declension.

No Endings

When an adjective follows a linking verb such as sein, fühlen, werden, and scheinen, no grammatical endings are added to the adjective.


Das Buch ist neu. The book is new.
Der Film war sehr langweilig. The film was very boring.

Weak Declension

When the definite article (der, das, die) comes before the adjective, the weak declension is used. The following table shows the endings for the weak declension.

Masc Fem Neut Plural
Subject -e -e -e -en
Object -en -e -e -en
Ind. Object -en -en -en -en
Possessive -en -en -en -en


1) The plural form always ends in -en, even for nouns of different genders.

2) The subject case is also called the nominative case.

3) The direct object case is also called the accusitive case.

4) The indirect object is also called the dative case.

5) The possessive case is also called the genitive case.


Das neue Buch ist hier. The new book is here.
Die neuen Bücher sind hier. The new books are here.
Der alte Arzt ist sehr freundlich. The old doctor is very friendly.

Mixed Declension

The mixed declension is used when the words ein, kein, mein, etc, come before the adjective. The only difference from the weak declension is for the masculine singular subject case and neuter singular case.

The following table shows the endings for the mixed declension.

Masc Fem Neut Plural
Subject -er -e -es -en
Object -en -e -es -en
Ind. Object -en -en -en -en
Possessive -en -en -en -en


Ein neues Buch ist hier. A new book is here.
Es gibt keine neuen Bücher hier. There are no new books here.
Ein junger Arzt ist hier. A young doctor is here.
Ich habe eine rote Tasse. I have a red cup.
Ich habe ein rotes Auto. I have a red car.

Strong Declension

The strong declension is used when there is no article before the adjective. The following table shows the endings for the strong declension.

Masc Fem Neut Plural
Subject -er -e -es -e
Object -en -e -es -e
Ind. Object -em -er -em -en
Possessive -en -er -en -er


Neue Bücher sind hier. New books are here.
Frisches Obst schmeckt besser. Fresh fruit tastes better.
Das rote Hemd hat grüne Taschen. The red shirt has green pockets.

Sentence Templates

Here are some useful sentence templates that you can use with adjectives. Learning these along with some common German adjectives will greatly increase your ability to communicate in German. Practice combining these sentence templates with the adjectives included in this lesson to help you remember them.

I am [adjective]. Ich bin [adjective].
Are you [adjective]? Bist du [adjective]? (informal)
Sind Sie [adjective]? (formal)
She is [adjective]. Sie ist [adjective].
Is she [adjective]? Ist sie [adjective]?
They are not [adjective]. Sie sind nicht [adjective].
He is too [adjective]. Er ist zu [adjective].
It is quite [adjective]. Es ist ganz [adjective].
It is really [adjective]. Es ist wirklich [adjective].
It is very [adjective]. Es ist sehr [adjective].
It is so [adjective]. Es ist so [adjective].

German Vocabulary - Adjectives

The section contains a list of very common German adjectives. Online flashcards are included to help you learn these adjectives.

alt old
breit wide, broad
dick thick
dunkel dark
dünn thin
einfach simple
eng narrow
falsch wrong, false
glatt smooth
glücklich happy
groß big
gut good
hart hard
heiß hot
hell bright
hoch high, tall
interessant interesting
jung young
kalt cold
klein small, short (not tall)
kurz short (not long), brief
lang long
langsam slow
laut loud, noisy
leicht light (not heavy)
licht light (not dark)
müde tired
nass wet
nett nice
neu new
niedrig low
rau rough
recht right, correct
ruhig quiet
schlecht bad
schnell fast
schön beautiful
schwierig hard, difficult
traurig sad
trocken dry
weich soft
verärgert angry


Adjectives Flashcards

Here are some flashcards to help you learn the German adjectives included in this lesson.


For each question, write out the sentence using the German word for the adjective in parentheses.

Der Fluss ist sehr ___. (wide)

Warum ist er so ___? (sad)

Der Wind fühlt sich sehr ___ an. (cold)

Ich habe einen ___ Strand gefunden. (beautiful)

Ich lese ein ___ Buch. (interesting)

Das Haus ist sehr ___. (old)

Der Tisch ist zu ___. (small)

Es ist wirklich ___! (good)


Take this quiz to see how well you know the German adjectives introduced in this lesson.