Adjective Endings Work Out – 1

Hello everyone,

spring is coming and that means it’s time to do some working out to get the body in a nice beach shape.  Wait, that’s not what people mean by beach body, is it?
Anyway, a beach body is nice, but of course we all want another thing even morererer… the perfect beach German.
And that’s why we’ll also do a little work out. And this time we’ll train something that MANY of you have neglected:

Adjective Endings

Yeah, you can sigh all you want. Deep inside you know it’s time. And you can do it. It’s gonna be tough but you got what it takes. Endings are beasts but they can’t best you.  You will prevail. You will stand tall. I can see the sparkle in your eye. That’s a winner right there. You’re a freaking Spartaaaaaaaaaaan.
Uhm…. sorry, I think I lost it for a second :).
But yeah… are you ready to end some adjectives?
Perfect!

How it works

We’ll use the same kind of work-out that we used a while back for the written past. I’ll give you a sentence in which the adjective ending(s) missing and you have to fill them in. You can either write it down but it’s actually better if you read the sentence out loud because getting used to the rhythm is actually a BIG deal for adjective endings. The solution is right next to the example in audio form. I’ll say the adjective with the proper ending first, and then the whole sentence in normal speed, so you don’t only work on your endings but also on your listening skills.

The examples are super messy. Hah… what a statement :).
But yeah, they’re super messy in so far as that they’re not grouped up in any way. Weak, strong and mixed declension, genders, the cases – they’re all mixed together.
Now you’re all freaking out because it sounds super difficult, but first of all, that’s how it is in real life, too. And second of all, it’s actually not that bad. Because you should get about 70% correct WITHOUT caring about what case you’re looking or what declension it is.

We’ve talked about this in detail in our mini series on adjective endings but I’ll give you the essence here real quick.

Step 1

Add an “e”. You ALWAYS have to do that. !!!! No thinking required!!!!
Adjectives always get at least an “e” and it’s a HUGE difference in rhythm. In English you say

  • one big cold beer
  • bam bam bam bam

In German, it is

  • ein großes kaltes Bier
  • bam babam babam bam

Get used to the German rhythm. It makes a HUUUUGE difference and the best thing about it is… it’ll get you 1/3 correct answers in this exercise (in real life a bit more).  1/3 correct without ANY THOUGHT? That’s a pretty sweet deal. If you want to read more on that, check out this article:

Step 2

Check out the article of the word. If it is weird, then add an “n” to the “e”. Weird articles are all those that are not “natural”. So all those ending in -en or –em or -es like keinem or seinen or den and also der for feminine words.
For the natural articles, add nothing.
Let’s do a couple of quick examples…

  1. der groß__ Mann
  2. der groß___ Frau

The first one is der Mann, that’s a natural article and so we won’t add “n” and get “große”. Correct. In the second one, we have Frau, which is feminine but the article is “der”. That’s a weird article for Frau so we’re gonna add “n”. Großen. And that’s correct. And if there’s no article… well.. then just give it a guess :).
For a more detailed look with some statistics to back up the system, check out this post:

This step should get you  70% to 75% correct answers. Enough to pass a test. And you still didn’t have to think about cases or weak or strong or all that crap. I think, that’s pretty neat. The only step that really needs some brain work is the last one.

Step 3

Check out, if the article marks the gender (and the case). If not, add the marker to the adjective. It can not be summed up in a nutshell. So if you feel ready for some nerdy stuff, you can read it here.

Even if you only understand half of it, that’s fine. remember – the first two steps are enough to pass a test.

Now, you might be like “Okay, okay Emanuel but there’s one problem… I don’t know the gender of stuff.”
Yes, gender gets in the way of these kinds of exercises. And that’s why we’ll take it out of the equation by color coding it :)

masculine –  feminine  –  neuter

Cool.
Now,  you will most likely make mistakes. Don’t get frustrated. Think about the mistake, and if you can’t figure out what you did wrong, then ask me. Let’s talk about it in the comments and clear it up.

And one quick fix: adjectives after (et)was ALWAYS get “es”. Was Schönes, was Großes, was Grünes – get used to that rhythm :).
And now, I’d say…

viel Spaß :)
(Of course you don’t have to do it all at once. Half of it at a time might be enough.)

The exercise

Apologies for the varying audio quality. My mic was very noisy and I had to do quite a bit of processing. I hope it’s bearable :).
Oh, I chose not to add a full translation but rather just the words that I think might be new.

***

1.Ich trinke das groß____ kalt____  Bier.

4.Thomas kann auf der neu___ hart___ Matratze von Maria nicht schlafen.

20. Wenn wir die letzt__ Bahn (train) kriegen wollen, müssen wir uns beeilen (hurry).

***

31. Thomas hat gesagt, dass Maria in dem grün___ Pullover fett aussieht.
34. Thomas schreibt mit der link___ Hand, aber er wirft mit der recht___ .
37. Der klein___ Bruder von Maria arbeitet jetzt in dem neu___ Biomarkt um die Ecke.
40. Es ist kein groß___ Fehler, wenn man eine Adjektivendung falsch macht.

***

Phew you made it. Awesome. How did you do? How many did you get right? Let me know in the comments. And let me know if you have any questions or things you’re struggling with. We’ll do a part two of this exercise, and part one is also to find the things that are unclear.
Oh and also … how are you liking this format? Is it okay? Is it too confusing? Looking forward to your feedback.
I hope you enjoyed it, as far as that’s possible with adjective endings.
Ich wünsche euch eine schön___ Woche und bis nächst___ Mal :).

for members :)

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Anonymous
Anonymous

Got two wrong. Failed to identify 29 as accusative and failed to clock the lack of an article in 33 requiring an “em” ending. I’ve been committing these endings to memory for the last two years and can get them quite easily in these sort of circumstances. In the quick fire of conversation however I probably get them at least 60% wrong – mainly because I’m not sure of the gender.

aoind
aoind

This was me by the way. Wasn’t logged in. Not to hide my shame or anything I should add.

dgluttrell
dgluttrell

Exactly the same. One ending mistake plus not identifying 29 as accusative. Great exercise thanks heaps!

Saeed
Saeed

40 von 40, richtig gut oder? :) Ich hatte viel Spaß dabei. Ich finde es echt nützlich, wenn man die Adjektive-Endungen regelmäßig übt. Danke sehr, und Alles Gute!

Paul E Ramoni Jr
Paul E Ramoni Jr

4 falsch, warum 18, 29 und 30 & 36 bitte?

Miell
Miell

Was or etwas (also nichts, viel, wenig) turns the adjective into a noun, hence ‘es’ at the end and capitalised: Im Westen nichts Neues. Hast du am Wochenende etwas Schönes gemacht? – Thank you for your great ideas re adjectival endings. Inspiring.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Got 29 and 33 wrong as well. Why is 29 in the accusative case again?

Thank you for the workout, almost broke a sweat :)

Adriano Marcato
Adriano Marcato

I would like one without the colors, since I gotta practice the genders too. Ich hätte das machen können aber… Ich bin so faul.

David
David

“Thomas bringt seinen alt___ Computer zum Recyclinghof” (#13) is in black (Neuter) & not blue (Masculine). Is that right?

billygoat
billygoat

Got three wrong — 19, 29, and 33. Your three-step rule worked like magic for me — I spent a couple months staring at grammar book declension tables and always got them wrong before. This feels like magic!!! :-D :-D

Anonymous
Anonymous

I had 6 wrong, but happy with it since up until just now when I read your explanations the adjective endings were a total mystery to me. Your explanations made it make so much sense! Now when I look at sentences, I can see most of the reasoning right away.

Suz
Suz

Only 3 wrong! 14, 29 and 33. Deine Tipps sind die Beste. Danke.

derSiegMann
derSiegMann

Great Blogpost like always! I have recently taken then “Unicorn” Membership – And been updating my German with the help of your posts! Adjektivendungen being the difficult part in German language they are – I suggest that you include a reference to the teaching aid from “nthuleen” -http://www.nthuleen.com/teach/grammar/adjektivendungenexpl.html

She has given a very logical way of filing in adjecktive endings – And that combined with your “method of teaching” could help learners like me :)

derSiegMann
derSiegMann

Using all the tips I have learned ( mostly from you, some from nthuleen, and some from the teacher in our Company’s language course) – I was able to answer 39 correct!

Meine Frage ist mit nummer 13. Das ist eine der best___ Ideen, die du je hattest. — Warum hast du hier “eine” und “der” benutzen? Indefinite und definite artikle in eine Satz? Am i missing something here?

Aditya Kannan

I’m Aditya Kannan, a high school german student, and I love these articles on German. and I just got a free membership for this website, and I’d like to thank every member for donating to this website. I’m grateful to all you nice people who’ve donated, and I will try to give back all I can, someday in the future. Thank you everybody + Emanuel, for the membership!

Rafaella
Rafaella

I am a brand new user, I am registered to many other German language blogs but yours is the only one I always click when there is new stuff! I loved the format of this post and the fact that the examples are in no particular order just makes it better, closer to reality. Your thumb-rules were the ones that I used for answering. I got a number of them wrong, but they were mostly right – I am trying to do as you said and get used to what sounds wrong and what sounds right to decide on an answer rather than memorizing stuff since I got that goldfish memory Hahah

Danke sehr! I love your blog

Mary Sova
Mary Sova

You truly have the best, most helpful and interesting content for German language learners. I got 40 right. (Former German teacher).

billkamm
billkamm

I must admit I was surprised, but the pronunciation of Koffein. I figured it would be pronounced “Koff-ein” and not “Koffe-in”.

Anonymous
Anonymous

This was great! I didn’t keep score, but I did better than I expected. Thank you!

Would it be possible to include written solutions to exercises like this? I, too, am in a noisy room and my English-speaking ears have trouble distinguishing between “-e” and “-er”.

Olga
Olga

Your website is great! The last sentence (the meaning of it) brought a smile to my face ;)

Brightstar
Brightstar

One of the best if not the best post of yours. This one was, for me, clearer than the previous ones on adjectives.
Great exercise BUT very easy b’cause you gave us the gender. Like one of your readers, I didn’t identify the accusative nor the missing articles.
Thank you very much for giving this half digested exercise, it gave me the pleasure of getting many correct answers those it was only an illusion.

Brightstar

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