Adjective + noun agreement
Why should I say "ein Weißes Kleid" but "das Weiße Kleid"? The same with "Weiße" in Michael Hanneker's film title 'Das Weiße Band'. Isn't the adjective in attributive position in both cases?
- Yes, they are both attributive adjectives. However, the form an adjective takes depends not only on its position in a sentence, but also on the gender, case and number (i.e. singular/plural) of the noun it modifies, and on the article before that noun (definite, indefinite, no article).
- In your example, the difference lies in the article ("ein" = indefinite article vs. "das" = definite article). Thus, different forms of the adjective have to be used. I'm sorry that it's so complicated.
- See here for a more detailed explanation: http://coerll.utexas.edu/gg/gr/index.html?si=adj
- PS: Normally, adjectives like "weiß" are not capitalized.
This might be useful as well:- http://german.about.com/library/weekly/aa021599.htm
One note about the capitalisation of "Weiß". This is somewhat subtle, but actually it's the same as in English: singular or symbolic phrases that refer to one specific object are capitalised entirely (like "the Holy Grail" - > "der Heilige Graal").