I am confused about adjective endings and placement.


(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.


1 Answer 1


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, 2015 at 7:44
  • 4
    It's not about position, it's about function.
    – Carsten S
    Mar 9, 2015 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, 2015 at 17:57

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