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I am confused about adjective endings and placement.

Example:

(1) Mein alter Pullover ist sehr hässlich.

(2) Mein hässlicher Pullover ist sehr alt.

(3) Mein Pullover ist sehr alt und hässlich.

My question is this: In all three cases the pullover is both old and ugly, yet why is it that depending on where the adjectives are they either take the -er ending (since it is der Pullover) or not?

In other words, why is it not:

Mein alter Pullover ist sehr hässlicher.

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The adjectives alt and hässlich in your last sentence, (3), are predicative. So is the second adjective in (1) and (2). Predicative are not declined; they occur after the verb sein there. In these three sentences you wrote the declension (and the absence thereof) correctly.

Regarding the question pertaining the last sentence: it's wrong because the adjective hässlich appears there qualifying your noun, Pullover, via a verbal construction; it doesn't need an ending. You don't need to decline those. Decline those adjectives directly qualifying the noun (attributive adjectives), as you correctly did with alter.

  • Thanks. Although, as a learner it is still quite confusing. I guess I don't know enough about declination. To me the Pullover in all three is old and ugly and should have the same endings regardless of position? That would be too easy though :) – sci-guy Mar 9 '15 at 7:44
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    It's not about position, it's about function. – Carsten S Mar 9 '15 at 7:59
  • When you learn a foreign language you should not suppose that the foreign grammarr is as in English. Things can be done very differently and that is why you should work with a grammar where things that are different from English are explained. – rogermue Mar 14 '15 at 17:57

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