1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: German
  4. >
  5. klein/gross/groesser/kleiner …


klein/gross/groesser/kleiner (adj., before noun)

I'm struggling with how to modify klein, kleiner, gross, groesser (small, smaller, big, bigger) as an adj. before the noun. Also, what would that be called (adj. before the noun)?

Nominitive: for gross and klein since I don't think bigger or smaller can ever be nominative. Normal m. = er, n. = es, f. = e, pl. = e Accusative: Gross and klein follow nromal m. = en, n. = es, f. = e, pl. = e but groesser and kliener are confusing me Dative: I think, for all four, dative always ends in en but I've seen a plural accusative end in en too (Die Lehrer essen keine groesseren Eier).

Am I correct in the nom., dat., and partial that I described of accus. cases? If not, can someone help clear it up for me? If so, then can someone explain the details on accus. for groesser and kleiner?

September 6, 2012



An adjective before a noun is called an attributive adjective. I don't know why you think forms like "bigger" and "smaller" can't occur in the nominative (subject case) - they can, e.g. "Two boys were standing in a corner. The SMALLER boy looked shy."

The form an attributive adjective takes depends on several factors:

  1. article before the noun (der-words, ein-words, unpreceded)

  2. case of the noun

  3. number of the noun (i.e. singular or plural)

  4. gender of the noun (only relevant in the singular; the plural forms are identical for all genders)

For more information, read the chapters on adjectives here:



Thank you for the resource, I'm reading through it now.

Learn German in just 5 minutes a day. For free.