"Die Zwiebel ist rot."

Translation:The onion is red.

July 14, 2017

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Why a feminine noun gets a masculine adjective?


There is no masculine article or ending in this sentence.

Predicative adjectives (basically: those after the verb "to be") have no ending at all.

So you would say der Apfel ist rot, die Banane ist rot, das Fleisch ist rot, die Tomaten sind rot -- no matter what gender or number is in front of the ist, the adjective has no ending at all.


noob question. so do all adjectives stay the same regardless of gender of noun? also why ist vs sind? is this the difference between plural and singular?


All adjectives stay in their basic form when in the predicative position, regardless of gender and number. But the verb form changes depending on the number.


For those confused by the grammar terms: The predicate is a supplemental word. It [almost always?] comes after the noun. So in this example, because the word "red" supplements (comes after) the noun "the onion," red's ending doesn't change. [If I'm wrong, please correct me.]


Not quite. The "predicate" is the verb. The supplemental words you correctly described are called "predicative complement", because they complement the predicate.


So hard to understand her pronunciations sometimes!


OK. So when do we use a sein verb and when do we use a haben verb for color?

Welche Farbe hat das Hemd? Die Zwiebel ist rot. Deine Jeans ist blau.


If you talk about the colour as a property of an object directly you use the construction
X ist rot" (form of "sein"), literally "X is red"
If you explicitly talk about the colour (not the object itself) it is
"X hat die Farbe rot" (form of "haben"), literally "X has the colour red".

Though the second sentence would be very unusual, if not wrong, in English, the construction should be comprehensible.

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