German AdjectivesAn Introduction To Adjectives

Let's learn how to describe things in German, using adjectives.

01.12.2023

In the previous lesson on colors, we started learning some helpful adjectives, such as: grün, blau, rot.

Der Apfel ist rot.

The apple is red.

Let's add to our vocabulary, with some other German adjectives, which will help us to describe the subjects or objects of our sentences, making them more meaningful.

The Five Senses

First, let's focus on the senses.

SenseDescriptions
tastelecker (tasty), süß (sweet), salzig (salty)
touchkalt (cold), heiß (hot), warm (warm)
soundlaut (loud), leise (quiet)
sightschön (beautiful), hässlich (ugly), hell (bright), dunkel (dark)
smellduftend (fragrant), stinkend (smelly), frisch (fresh)

Now let's try to build a few sentences using some of these adjectives:

The type of adjective being used in our sentences here is called a predicative adjective. This type of adjective comes after a verb, as in the sentence: "der Apfel ist lecker".

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To describe things we smell, it's also common to use the expression "das riecht nach...", which means "that smells like...". The sentence "Das riecht nach Rauch", for example, translates as "That smells like smoke". Likewise, we may also use the expression "Das schmeckt nach...", which means "that tastes like...". So, for example, "Das schmeckt nach Käse" means "that tastes like cheese".

Let's have a look at some more German adjectives.

Size, Shape + Weight

1. Describing Size

Die Maus ist klein.

The mouse is small.
big
small
thin
thick

2. Describing Shape

Der Fisch ist rund.

The fish is round.
round
flat
angular

3. Describing Weight

Der Elefant ist schwer.

The elephant is heavy.
heavy
light

Once again, try to build a few sentences using the Size, Shape + Weight adjectives we've just learned:

Emotions + Judgement

Describing Emotions

happy
sad
angry
bored
nervous
excited
calm
confused
happy

Describing Judgments

good
bad
innocent
guilty
evil
good

Try to build a few sentences using the Emotions + Judgement adjectives we've just learned:

Time

early
late
fast
slow

Try to build a few sentences using the Time adjectives we've just learned:

Well done! 🎉

You are starting to use adjectives in your sentences, other than the colors you've already learned!

Now, if you'd like to be more specific with your descriptions, there are a few words and phrases that can help us!

Modifying Adjectives

Sometimes, we may want to add or take away emphasis in our descriptions. Instead of simply saying that the day is cold, for example, you could say that the day is very cold, or too cold, or perhaps only a little cold.

Words like little or very modify the adjectives, to make their meaning more specific. Here is a list of such words and phrases that may come in handy:

not
very
a little
unbelievably
somewhat

Using what we've just learned, try out the exercise below:

  • 1. Das Getränk ist
    kalt.(too)
  • 2. Das Essen ist
    heiß genug.(not)
  • 3. Die Musik ist
    angenehm.(very)
  • 4. Seine Stimme ist
    nervig.(a little)

Well done! 🎉

You are now able to be more specific with your descriptions, in German!

Head over to the next lesson: Adjective Declension


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