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Help with German Adjective Inflections!

I got linked this https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_declension#Attributive_adjectives article to help me understand the adjectives, it is very helpful.

But reading about the strong inflection, it seems to me that it would rarely be used at all. The only places i can think of where it would be used is with plurals (Ich mag gelbe Rücke) or in short phrases such as "Deutsche Sprache".

Am I mistaken? Someone please help.

June 20, 2017



As you learn how 'der' changes for case and gender, you're going to learn the strong endings anyway. So it's not really something you have to study separately. As long as you know when to use them.

BTW: 'Günstige Finanzierung ist verfügbar' (Cheap financing is available) is an example of strong ending in the singular.


Here is my take on adjective deflections (excuse my poor terminology, but I'm trying to make this as simple as possible):

(Note 1: All adjectives decline with at least an -e. This will become obvious with the explanations)

(Note 2: I made words italic where there are exceptions as explained for each adjective group)

There are three groups of adjective declinations: Those with 1) "Der words" (weak), 2) "Ein words" (mixed) or 3) no words (strong) before them.

(The weak, mixed and strong terms refer to how much the adjectives change. A weak adjective is very simple and barely changes whereas a strong adjective changes in almost every case)


1) "Der word" adjectives (weak) are the easiest to figure out, because the gender is already given by the definite article (weak). It is always -en, except for the nominative singular which has -e and the female/neutral singular which as -e.

Here is the complete list of "Der word" adjective declinations:

N: der gute Kaffee, die gute Limonade, das gute Bier, die guten Getränke

A: den guten Kaffee, die gute Limonade , das gute Bier, die guten Getränke

D: dem guten Kaffee, der guten Limonade, dem guten Bier, den guten Getränken

G: des guten Kaffees, der guten Limonade, des guten Bieres, der guten Getränke (der)


2) "Ein word" adjectives (mixed) are the same as the "Der word" adjectives except that you cannot figure out when "ein" refers to male or neutral. In those cases, the endings become the same as the der (-er) / das (-es) or den (-en) / das (-es) ending.

The rest of the endings are all -en, except for the nominative and accusative singular female which has -e.

Here is the complete list of "Ein word" adjective declinations:

N: ein guter Kaffee (der), eine gute Limonade (die), ein gutes Bier (das), meine gute Getränke (die)

A: einen guten Kaffee (den), eine gute Limonade (die), ein gutes Bier (das), meine gute Getränke (die)

D: einem guten Kaffee (dem), einer guten Limonade (der), einem guten Bier (dem), meinen guten Getränken (den)

G: eines guten Kaffees (des), einer guten Limonade (der), eines guten Bieres (des), meiner guten Getränke (der)


3) "no word" adjectives (strong) have the most variance, but luckily there's a trick to them. If you already know the declination of der/die/das for all cases, you already know all the endings!

They have the exact same endings as the definite articles (der/die/das), except for the genitive singular male and neutral which has an -en ending.

Here is the complete list of "no word" adjective declinations:

N: guter Kaffee (der), gute Limonade (die), gutes Bier (das), gute Getränke (die)

A: guten Kaffee (den), gute Limonade (die), gutes Bier (das), gute Getränke (die)

D: gutem Kaffee (dem), guter Limonade (der), gutem Bier (dem), guten Getränken (den)

G: guten Kaffees (des), guter Limonade (der), guten Bieres (des), guter Getränke (der)


So, now you might also have picked up what the weak, mixed and strong terms mean. Weak means that the endings are barely affected by the definite articles (der/die/das) as they clearly provide the word's gender. Strong means that you have to use the definite articles to determine the adjective's declination (no article to give the word's gender). Mixed means a mix of both weak and strong eg. you can mostly figure out the declination without looking at the definite article (weak), but you have to use the definite article endings for the nominative/accusative male and neutral adjective endings (strong) since ein can either be male or neutral.

(Please let me know if I made a mistake as I did copy paste around a lot :) )


Some common examples of strong adjectives:


1) You have beautiful eyes! - Du hast/Sie haben schöne Augen!

2) I do not like to eat sweet things - Ich mag nicht, süße Sachen zu essen.

3) She likes to wear short skirts - Sie mag, kurze Röcke zu tragen.


1) I only drink good bier - Ich trinke nur gutes Bier.

2) She only eats hot bread - Sie isst nur heißes Brot.

3) He catches fresh fish everyday - Er fängt an jedem Tag frischen Fisch.

Usually strong adjectives are used for simple statements.


They are all using the plural form of the noun! I was curious if there are any examples in sentences not using the plural form... I guess you'd have to get creative for that haha


I came across one today.

Ich mag lokales Essen


That's odd. Maybe it is because Essen is both plural and singular. But then it would be lokale, not lokales. But then you'd think it needs an article... hm


No. It's because food is not countable. We don't say one food, two food.... Short hair, green grass, warm water would all behave the same.

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