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Adjectives I: Weak Endings and Predicate Adjectives


I. Role of Adjectives

Like in English, adjectives are used to give more information about a given noun including size, number, color, etc. These describing words take a variety of forms depending on their position in the sentence as well as the type of article accompanying the noun. Sometimes the adjective stays in its original form, and other times, the adjective changes in one of several ways.

II. Adjective as Predicate

When the goal of a sentence is to describe a noun, the adjective serves as the predicate of the sentence.

Das Wetter ist schön.
The weather is nice.

Dein Freund ist intelligent.
Your (boy)friend is intelligent.

Der Kuchen ist lecker!
The cake is delicious!

Die Musik ist schrecklich.
The music is awful.

As you can see, the noun is separated with the verb to be when the adjective is in the predicate position. In this position, the adjective has no change in form based on gender or number.

III. Weak Adjectives with Definite Articles

When an adjective is used in another context besides the predicate, it precedes the noun directly and takes either a “weak” or “strong” ending. Weak endings are always used when there is a definite article or a der-word present. These endings are shown in the table below:

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