I don't understand why is it "hoher" in this sentence: "das ist ein hoher Berg" and why is it "hohe" in the sentence "der hohe Berg reichts in dem Himmel" or something like that... I thought it was always nominative... maybe it's because of the article... I still can't understand adjectives :@ sorry
Don't worry German adjectives are somewhat difficult.
In both sentences we have singular masculine noun (Berg) in nominative case. You guessed it correctly it is because of the article:
"Das ist ein hoher Berg" adjective is following an indefinite article (ein) => we use mixed inflection and add ending "-er". https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_declension#Mixed_inflection.5B6.5D
"Der hohe Berg reichts in dem Himmel." adjective is following a definite article (Der) => we use weak inflection and add ending "-e". https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_declension#Weak_inflection.5B6.5D.5B7.5D
So when you have determined the gender, number and case of the noun then you check if there is an article preceding the adjective and according to that you apply certain inflection.
It might look like it is very complicated but after you memorize when to use a certain inflection and differences between them it gets a lot easier. Also I suggest bookmarking these links and having them ready in separate tab while going through lessons :)
I try not to stress about them and still make mistakes but I think some of the rules are slowly sinking in the more I practise and when I make an error I think it through and read peoples ideas on here and have a look at the wiki german sites as suggested above. Good luck and don't forget the German people will still understand you if you make mistakes and you will improve with time ( I hope I do ;})
That is correct. Berg is not in the accusative.
After the verb sein, an object will remain in the nominative (I think in German grammar it is referred to as die Nominal Ergänzung, but check that with a native speaker).
So, for example
Das ist _
we ask, das ist was? Aha, das ist ein hoher Berg (Nominative)
If the verb was not sein, and was transitive, and we need to ask "was", we use the accusative:
er entdeckt was? Aha, er entdeckt einen hohen Berg (Accusative)
I find an easy way to remember it is The big 3 (der, die, das) get -e. Everything else gets the adjectivial ending appropriate for gender and case.
This makes sense if you think about it: you need to be able to tell the gender of the noun from looking at the sentence. The big 3 (der, die, das) tell you this directly. Ein is a bit more ambiguous, since it can stand for both masculine and neuter nouns in the nominative case. Hence, with ein, you need an additional signal in the sentence to tell you the gender — and it goes on the adjective.
How is one supposed to know whether the English translation of what is asked for is "That is a higher mountain." rather than "That is a high mountain."? It seems, presented with just the German, one could correctly use either "hoher" or "höherer". . . since the question provides no guidance on which translation is sought . . .
If you are referring to the fill-in-the-blank exercise, the options that I see as hoher, hoherer, höher.
The middle one is not höherer with umlaut but hoherer without. That's not a possible value for the blank because it's not a valid word -- it's supposed to be a distractor, a wrong version that looks as if it could be right if you don't look closely or carefully enough, I suppose.
the explanation here is one of the best I have come across for adjective endings: http://www.nthuleen.com/teach/grammar/adjektivendungenexpl.html
another one by a user named jess1camar1e is also quite good:
A few questions on adjective endings, so my teacher side is coming out! I have 3 rules for being able to add the correct ending when an adjective precedes the noun.
Big 3 get an -e (der, die, das) der alte Mann, das kleine Kind, die schöne Frau
Changin' gets -en (plural and case changes) den alten Mann (accusative), der schönen Frau (dative), die kleinen Kinder (plural)
No 'the'? Adjective takes over (no 'der' word or just an 'ein') Kaltes Wetter gefällt mir nicht (das Wetter). Ein guter Mann ist schwer zu finden (der Mann).
I think you can find the answer in some of the answers already given. But in a nutshell: the basic form of the adjective is "hoch" ("high"). Depending on case, gender and number of the noun defined, and also if it is preceded by a definite, indefinite or no article there are endings added to the (slightly changed) stem hoh- (you have to learn the whole table for weak, mixed and strong declension). "höher" is the basic form of the comparative ("higher"). But if you use it nogether with a noun, the very same endings as in the case of the positive are added.
Attributive adjectives (basically, ones before a noun) need an ending for gender/number/case in almost all cases.
Thus "That's a bigger mountain" would be Das ist ein höherer Berg -- you need not only the -er ending for the comparative (hoch : höher :: high : higher) but also another -er ending for masculine nominative singular, mixed inflection.
Das ist ein höher Berg simply means nothing at all. It is not a grammatically correct German sentence.
I believe hoch is a special case where the adjective loses the the C when used as an attributive adjective (as opposed to a predicative adjective.
hoch is the predicative form normally separated from the noun with sein - for example: der Berg ist hoch = the mountain is high
hoh- with its various endings is the attributive form that would immediately precede a noun: der hohe Berg = the high mountain
In this question, the indefinite article is used for a masculine noun in the nominative case, so hoh- gets the -er ending: ein hoher Berg = a high mountain
I continue to go back to wikipedia to confirm and refresh my understanding: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_adjectives#Weak_and_strong_inflection
"-er" is added because this is mixed inflection of an adjective (nominative case masculine gender)
For me it's just a matter of memorizing where they're used. I wish Duo had an option for strict spell checking because sometimes it does us a disservice by letting us pass a translation with just a warning about missing umlauts. Then in cases like this it really is critical to know the difference.