German Adjective Endings – The things we don’t hear

Adjective endings are the bane of most German learners. This is true because as a learner you are expected to get them right, but when you go out into the street you never really hear them from native speakers. This is especially true in Switzerland, but generally from all speakers. Like in English the spoken language differs from the written language and certain words lose their endings. This is also why many speakers do no clearly say “der, die, das…” but merely a “de” sound. If you want to hear German spoken clearly, you best bet is to listen to newscasters because they read a script and have better pronunciation. Check out Deutsche Welle online for news and even the news read slower for German learners.

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  1. sue rowlinson · · Reply

    very good site

    1. Thank you for your positive feedback Sue.

  2. […] You can replace ersten with zweiten, dritten, and vierten as the Sundays come and go. Notice the adjective ending for masculine […]

  3. […] The most important thing is that you get the right “stem”. If we recall our discussion on adjective endings, we’ll remember that the endings change to show us the the number, gender and […]

  4. […] above that there are Adjective Ending in play with phrases like Stiller Freitag so it would change to am Stillen Freitag when we talk […]

  5. […] This is perhaps one of the easiest ways to increase your German vocabulary. Like in English there are prefixes and suffixes to express the negative form of many words. These are generally similar to the English. Also note that these words are adjectives and adverbs. […]

  6. […] therefore be in the accusative. Glückwünsch is masculine and the plural is Glückwünsche so the adjective endings on herzlich needs to change. It is difficult to translate into English and is often left out and […]

  7. […] we’ll get to the point I started with: the address or greeting. This is a case of genders and adjective endings. Women get an “-e” ending on the preceeding adjective and men an “-er” plurals also get an […]

  8. […] here that adverbs do not take endings (adjectives take endings). Therefore, you know that if you are asking this question, you are wondering which is the correct […]

  9. Re: adjective endings: “but when you go out into the street you never really hear them from native speakers. This is especially true in Switzerland, but generally from all speakers.” This is a highly dubious statement, you do indeed hear adjective endings, just because they differ in the various dialects does not mean that they are not employed systematically by the speakers of these dialects. So called “High German” speakers will always use endings for attributive adjectives.

    1. Of course this is slightly tongue-in-cheek. Of course most common phrases do feature clearly annunciated adjective endings, which is why it is always a good idea to learn set phrases. That said, in Switzerland, but in many other areas people tend to droll their endings as they speak quickly.

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