Why is it "neue," not "neues" because "book" is neuter? "neue" is for weak declension here, but I don't see a "the" or "a/an." Does the "dieses" make it weak?
Would it be okay to think of it this way: The word "dieses" (with an 'S' at the end) does the work of showing the gender of "Buch" (das Buch), so that means that the article is relieved of the necessity of doing so?
This is exactly it! The only aim of any trickery with the article is to show gender.
No, there are instances where the article ending would also match the adjective ending. The only surefire way to learn this is to study and memorize German declension.
What Jon said is essentially correct. Adjectives after "der" words are weakly inclined because the article and noun tell you what you need to know. That's why the nominative ein is strongly inflected. The adjective ending tells you whether it's masculine or neuter.
For the handful of words that require weak inclination (viel, mehr, wenig...) they're all plural anyhow, so the reader/listener already knows to expect a plural noun.
can u explain a bit more... as per me .. both dieses and neues should be used.
our teacher told us that because the dieses already shows the gender of buch (das - with the s) then the adjective ending doesn't have to
This is an example of weak declension. The adjective ending is determined in part by the article/pronoun, but their endings wont necessarily match.
Because "neu" is preceded by demonstrative adjective (dieses) so 2 inflection
Some wonderful mnemonic devices I picked up in a different thread:
1) Big 3 (der, die, das) get an 'e' (nominative). Example: das neue Buch.
2) Plurals and changin' gets an "en": Accusative masculine, all plurals, and datives have their adjectives ending in '-en'. Example: die neuen Bücher.
3) No big 3? Article takes over. Example (combines 1 and 3): dieses neue Buch.
Forgive me if I screwed something up. I'm still getting them figured out myself. They've been a massive help though.
Easiest way to think about the inflection in this example (and any other adjective inflection) is as follows:
The GOAL/AIM/OBJECTIVE of adjective inflection (in my opinion) is for any speaker (native or non-native) to be able to work their way back from the noun itself to its underlying grammatical gender. For instance, I am learning German, like the rest of you. If, while reading, I come across a noun I have never seen before and therefore have absolutely no idea what it means, WOULD I STILL BE ABLE TO IDENTIFY ITS GENDER? If yes, the inflection has been done properly.
Beispiele (assume I did not know what 'das Buch' meant):
1) Ich habe das neue Buch gelesen ("I have read the new book"). Here, 'das' clearly marks the gender of 'Buch,' and therefore 'neu' only needs an -e ending (the so-called "weak inflection." You will notice this is the same concept that applies in this particular DL example. 'dieses' identifies the neutral gender of 'Buch,' therefore 'neu' does not need to, and thus only adds an -e.
2) Heute habe ich ein neues Buch gekauft ("Today I bought a new book"). Why is it 'neues' now? BECAUSE 'ein' FAILED TO IDENTIFY THE GENDER OF 'Buch.' I have no idea (refer back to above assumption) what 'Buch' means, so has 'ein' at least identified the gender for me? No. In my ignorance, 'Buch' could be masculine or neuter. Therefore, 'neu' has to inflect to show that 'Buch' is a neuter noun, thus 'neues.' You will notice the '-s' ending of 'neues' and 'das' both match.
Personally, I use this thought process for adjective inflection. I would recommend using the inflection tables first, but honestly, seeing examples is the best practice. You will cry yourself to sleep trying to memorize inflection tables. You are better off having epiphanies while actually working examples, and will thus retain it better.
@JonGudmundson was getting at this above, I simply provided the long-winded explanation.
Ich hoffe, meine Erklärung hilft euch :)
I mean that when you are to conjugate an adjective, (at least when they teach you that in Spain) there are three situations: after "artículo determinado" (der, die, das, die), "artículo indeterminado" (the rest) and "without article" Source in spanish: http://es.wikibooks.org/wiki/Alem%C3%A1n/Gram%C3%A1tica/Adjetivos
If we conjugate neu considering "dieses" the same as "das", it is neue, but if it is not the case it should be "neues", am I wrong?
I see. You meant "definite articles". Demonstrative pronouns are in the same group (weak inflection) as definite articles.
So, if I'm understanding this correctly, "neue" is declined with a weak inflection because it follows "dies-", but "dieses" is declined with a strong inflection?
In other words, not only do you have to keep in mind the number, grammatical gender and case for a given clause, but words WITHIN THE SAME CLAUSE can be declined differently? Is that an accurate statement?
No, "dies-" follows weak declension, along with the definite articles ("der" words). The grammatical case determines the article or demonstrative pronoun's declension, and the article or demonstrative pronoun's declension determines the adjective's declension.
Consult these tables: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_declension#Attributive_adjectives
Dieses is not declined, it simply has a dedicated form for each gender (dieser, dieses, diese, diese). You wouldn't say das is declined. Since it's in its original form, it clearly shows the gender of the book, so the article doesn't have to: hence the -e ending.
I don't recommend using this weak inflection thing, it's quite a brainless exercise to memorize endings. It's an artificial thing that's made up to help teaching children, and it's quite disconnected from the actual mechanics of the language.
Here is another good article. See the asterisk at the bottom of the table. https://deutsch.lingolia.com/en/grammar/adjectives/declension
Here's how i'm memorising it: "this" word adjective = weak declension = +en all cases except nominative singular and accusative neut and fem which are only +e. Rolls off the tongue!!