When you want to use an adjective to describe a particular noun, the tables below will help you to work out the ending of the adjective, depending on the gender of the noun and the case you need to use.
|Nominative||ein alter||eine alte||ein altes||(keine) alten3|
|Accusative||einen alten||eine alte||ein altes||(keine) alten3|
|Dative||einem alten||einer alten||einem alten||(keinen) alten1, 3|
|Genitive||eines alten2||einer alten||eines alten2||(keiner) alten3|
|Nominative||der alte||die alte||das alte||die alten|
|Accusative||den alten||die alte||das alte||die alten|
|Dative||dem alten||der alten||dem alten||den alten1|
|Genitive||des alten2||der alten||des alten2||der alten|
1You will need to add an -n to the end of the noun in the dative plural, eg the plural Kinder (children) > den kleinen Kindern.
2In the genitive case, with masculine and neuter nouns, you will need to add -s or -es to the end of the word. One syllable words and words ending in -s end in -es, so Hund > des alten Hundes (of the old dog). With all other words just add -s, so Mädchen > des schönen Mädchens (of the beautiful girl). Remember that das Mädchen is neuter.
3kein/e/n is being used in this table to show the plural because you can say 'no shoes' – keine alten Schuhe – but not 'an old shoes'.
By using the tables above, you can work out which ending you need to add to different adjectives. Remember, you must consider:
Look at the following sentence:
In order to expand this sentence and describe your mother's sister as being small or little – klein – you must follow a specific process.
The correct way to say 'my mother has a little sister' is therefore:
Using the tables, work out the German for the following sentences:
The German word for 'car' is neuter and is the direct object of the sentence, so the accusative case is used.
The German word for 'T-shirt' is neuter and is the subject of the sentence, so the nominative case is used.
The neuter noun 'bed' belongs to the 'dog', which is a masculine noun in German. We must use the genitive case here to show the possession.
Leherin is feminine and the verb geben (to give) takes the dative case because you are giving the homework to the teacher. This makes it an indirect object.