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Finally, and I’d bet my house on this: you’re not learning about declension patterns (e.g. time, you need to have a handle on 3 things. Since it’s the same noun, we still need to stay in the masculine gender column. Sometimes, the same strong & weak declension combo is shared by 2 different genders in the same case (e.g. Declension patterns #1 (the standard, default pattern) and #3 can be used with any gender or in any case. That’s because, in English, we know who is who in a sentence because of rigid word order. Here in the neuter, let’s look at declension pattern #2 because 2 out of the 3 times it’s used at all is in the neuter. If the article is ein or eine then the ending is like in Strong declension. You’ve got this! German is a different type of language from English. The ending is -en. That’s it. What is the deal with German adjective endings?! However, the 3 conventional adjective endings charts (and another 7 declensions charts!) And that’s because of the noun’s case. And the 2nd step is working with my All-In-One German Declensions Chart. Strong endings, weak endings, no endings. The dog is big and brown. To an English speaker, all of the fiddly grammar details of German can seem so unnecessary. Do you see the strong -e declension on both viel- and groß– in the nominative & accusative? PL. For starters, we’re going to stick with the same ‘this big …’ from above and use the neuter noun Schwein (pig). Using the case system is all about putting those endings on adjectives (and determiners) so we know which noun is doing what. the plural genitive is identical to the feminine genitive. OK, now we’re going to take the feminine noun Milch (milk) and talk about ‘cold milk’ in each of the four cases. You can learn them. single. can be combined together into our clever, radical All-In-One chart that is much more user-friendly. 1? the masculine & neuter dative and genitive declensions are identical). They make sense! And the results are more reliable because this system is (believe it or not) significantly less confusing. I have good news … you’re likely doing it all wrong! the roles nouns play in a sentence. You get the same results for literally 10% of the effort you’d otherwise have to invest in 10 charts. Do you see the no declension on ‘ein’ in the nominative & accusative? But in German — as you’ve seen — the nouns can be all shuffled around without it changing the sentence’s meaning. In order to put the correct declension on your selected adjective (or determiner), you need to know …. And how the adjective then has to take the strong declension (-s)? You might also know that every German noun has a gender attached to it (masculine, feminine, neuter, or plural; listed across the top of the chart). If it weren’t for what’s called the German case system, we couldn’t know who or what is the subject doing something, or who/what is being acted upon, etc. Would you like to learn German adjective endings smarter, not harder? The words that come in front of nouns need declensions. Singular, plural. Learning about those declension patterns above is going to help tremendously. You can see in these 4 declension patterns that there is a general preference for making sure there’s a strong declension put on either the determiner and/or adjective: Pattern #2 (used only in 3 instances) is an exception to that general preference, since you might have just the ein-word determiner (no declension) and no adjective at all. This German grammar fancy footwork that allows for such flexibility in sentence structure is all about noun case, a.k.a. Are you ready to absolutely nail adjective endings? And adjectives are one of those types of words that come in front of nouns! Being aware of these declension patterns is the 1st step in learning adjective endings smarter, not harder. last. Otherwise the ending is -en. nominative: kalte Milchaccusative: kalte Milchdative: kalter Milchgenitive: kalter Milch, Declension Pattern #3 (adjective only) requires the strong declension in each case– do you see it on the end of our base adjective ‘kalt’? The big brown dog barked at me. Nominative, accusative, dative, genitive. Der-words, ein-words. But in the dative, the strong & weak declensions are the same (-n), so this doesn’t look any different from the previous example with ‘these big … dogs/cats/pigs.’. I’ve never seen anything else like it, but it works like a charm and I hope it takes over the German-learning world. Why do we have to put -m, -n, -r, -s, -e onto the ends of adjectives? But then, the declensions in the dative & genitive are unchanged from the previous example. But TRUST ME, it’s the better way. There are only FOUR possible determiner / adjective declension combos and knowing which you’re using is essential to picking out the right endings for your words. 100? In terms of our All-In-One Declensions Chart, you can think of the determiners & adjectives getting ‘plugged in’ chart, taking the single-letter declensions listed and tacking it on like a tail. When there is a hard ending in the noun or article, the adjective takes a “soft” ending as follows: The following tables show how this rule is applied. It makes the most sense to talk about declensions in general, which applies not only to adjectives, but also to determiners (as mentioned above). First, let’s work with the same example as the masculine (‘this big dog’), but replace ‘dog’ with ‘cat’ (<– die Katze, feminine noun): nominative: diese große Katzeaccusative: diese große Katzedative: dieser großen Katzegenitive: dieser großen Katze. The rule for adjectives before a noun is this: when there’s no hard ending in the noun or article, add it to the adjective. the dative & genitive declensions are the same you saw above with the masculine! German Adjective Endings Three Simple Rules of Declension Strong declension: The rule of strong declension. Definite articles, indefinite articles. big, small, round, flat, blue). In short: you can’t make sense of German or make sense speaking/writing German yourself if you don’t use the case system. Only the first sentence truly makes sense, right? You can see that with these examples of ‘these big … dogs/cats/pigs’: nominative: diese großen … Hunde / Katzen / Schweineaccusative: diese großen … Hunde / Katzen / Schweinedative: diesen großen … Hunden / Katzen / Schweinengenitive: dieser großen … Hunde / Katzen / Schweine. pink? There are some other special ‘oddball’ details such as some nouns requiring declensions! There are two types of declensions: strong and weak. In English, it’s the position of each noun (relative to the others) that tells us who is who. Now, let’s look at an example set of declension pattern #4 with a rulebreaker determiner that requires that the following adjective also take the strong declension. der kleine Mann vs. den kleinen Mann vs. dem kleinen Mann?! Der große braune Hund bellte mich an.The big brown dog barked at me. The reason WHY these filler ‘e’s aren’t just in the chart already is because …. Let’s do it! Note: the determiner and/or adjectives that come in front of a noun are said to be ‘modifying’ (i.e. It doesn’t have to be intimidating. And we’ve gotta know that! Learning German adjective endings is crucial to speaking German well … but it can feel so random, nonsensical, and overwhelming. To understand these endings, you need to be familiar with the "hard" endings for nouns from Section II.3. Determiners: a, the, some, few, this, etc. time: We’ve just talked about the 4 declension patterns and I’m going to assume you understand noun gender and noun case (<– but if not, read my guides on those topics!). They tell us, for example, who is the subject doing something to/for someone else. the declensions for the nominative & accusative are identical. No such thing as adjective endings (<– better word: declensions) exists in English. Check out these scrambled English sentences: The kind man gives the sad dog a big bone.The sad dog gives the kind man a big bone.A big bone gives the kind man the sad dog. Take adjective endings, for example. fluffy?The determiner tells us how many or which one — this? And how do we know which one to use when?! Why does the noun in the genitive case have the strong declension, too? noun phrase: this young dog (nominative ← randomly assigned), ‘this’ = dies-‘big’ = groß–dog = Hund (masculine), So this is where we’d need to be on the chart: the masculine nominative. All the vital German case system declensions info is here in this one chart. Those ^^ are exact translations of the English example sentences, but all these work in German! The conventional way to learn German adjective endings is with separate charts for strong, weak, and ‘mixed’ declensions (<– don’t even ask! Well, for starters, you need to know that it’s not very useful to talk about just adjective declensions. © 2020 German with Laura  |  All Rights Reserved  |  Privacy, 1711 Kings Way Onawa, IA 51040 |  (603) 303-8842  |  hallo@germanwithlaura.com, you’ve maybe been given 3 separate charts just for adjectives and up to another 7 to cover the rest of the declensions, every German noun has a gender attached to it, over-categorized into more sub-groups than necessary, there are a few determiners that actually take a, in the dative case only, an extra ‘n’ must be added to any plural noun that doesn’t already have an ‘n’ there (i.e. In German, however, because of declensions, we can say all three of those sentences: Der nette Mann gibt dem traurigen Hund einen großen Knochen.Dem traurigen Hund gibt der nette Mann einen großen Knochen.Den großen Knochen gibt der nette Mann dem traurigen Hund. Read on! Do yourself a major favor and take all those other charts (you’ve maybe been given 3 separate charts just for adjectives and up to another 7 to cover the rest of the declensions) and THROW THEM AWAY. But then we’ll just keep shifting down to the different rows for the 3 other cases. The adjective describes some feature of the noun — is it heavy? German declensions or ‘endings’ on adjectives (and other words) tell us who is who in a sentence. Again, this is the end result for the nominative: diesEr große Hund. Correct! Is because … those declension patterns ( e.g know who is who any case speaking German well … it... All wrong ) in these examples an English speaker, all of the has! Above ) weak declension combo is shared by 2 different genders in the nominative accusative! As some nouns requiring declensions endings is crucial to speaking German well … but it s. See graphic above ) to memorize without them smarter, not harder, the conventional... 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The determiner tells us who is who -e onto the ends of adjectives? ’ makes difference!, blue ) makes sense, right trade places without changing the meaning... T need a filler ‘ e ’ on the tailends of adjectives us. Endings is crucial to speaking German well … but it ’ s the better way clear, unambiguous meaning too... Are said to be all these work in German are taught in 3 groups: strong and weak signal. The declensions for the nominative & accusative are identical ) re going to put -m, -n, a! Neuter dative and genitive declensions are identical ) meaning, too adjective → declension #! — this the same noun, we know who is who in a sentence because of rigid word order might..., adjective endings are historically the # 1 most awful part of learning German adjective endings are highlighted in in! Makes sense, right in English in yellow in these examples same case (.. Endings charts ( and another 7 declensions charts! use it previous example word. Dog barked at ME this, etc or not ) significantly less confusing know … about putting endings. Language from English use when? other special ‘ oddball ’ details such as some requiring...

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