Usually one would say

Hast du genug Geld?

But I was thinking, as Geld is neuter, then shouldn't one say

Hast du genuges Geld?

Can some one please explain what is wrong with my thinking?


In this sentence the word »genug« (enough) does not describe a property of »Geld« (money). You can test this when you try to use this word as an attribute in a nominal phrase that is used as subject in a sentences. This test works in German and also in English:

Falsch: Das genug(e) Geld ist grün.
Wrong: The enough money is green.

This will not do. This is neither correct German nor correct English.

The word »genug« (enough) is a supplement of the verb, which in your example is a form of »haben« (to have). This kind of usage is called "adverbial". You can use the verb plus genug/enough together with a simple subject (here: a personal pronoun) to build an absolutely correct sentence in German and also in English:

Richtig: Er hat genug.
Correct: He has enough.

In »das genug(e) Geld« we tried an attributive usage, but this lead to an error. In »er hat genug« we have an adverbial usage, and this times the sentence was correct.

Words that can be used adverbial but not attributive are called adverbs. Adverbs are different from adjectives. One of the most important differences is, that in German adjectives have to be declined according to their grammatical environment, while adverbs are indeclinable words. This means, that adverbs never will be declined. They never change the ending.

Since, as shown above, »genug« is not a adjective, but an adverb (exactly like its Englisch counterpart enough), it exists in only one form, which is »genug«. There is no »genuge« or »genuges« in German. It is always »genug«.

  • Thanks, it has been a long time since I used this approach to differentiate between adjectives and adverbs. This is a great tip. – K. Thakur Apr 3 '17 at 8:27
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    This is mostly wrong. In these sentences ("Er hat genug Geld." or "Er hat genug."), "genug" is not used as an adverb, but as an indefinite pronoun. English also uses the term 'uncountable quantifier pronoun' for this subset of indefinite pronouns. See Duden for a more thorough explanation: duden.de/rechtschreibung/genug_zureichend_hinlaenglich – jarnbjo Apr 3 '17 at 14:56
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    I agree with @jarnbjo: the analysis here is wrong. The sentences in the first block are not incorrect because they appear in attributive position, but because they occur together with a determiner (das*/*the) which occupies the slot that they would normally go into. Try leaving out the articles – et voilà: genug in attributive position doesn't cause any problem at all. The sentences don't make much sense, true (unless you're forging money and care about the color), but they are grammatical nonetheless. – Schmuddi Apr 3 '17 at 20:29
  • @Schmuddi: Muss es dann nicht "Das genügende Geld ist grün" (oder besseer: "ist im Umschlag") heißen? – user unknown Apr 4 '17 at 3:48
  • @userunknown: No: Genug Geld ist grün. Wir können mit dem Färben aufhören. Genug grüne Farbe wurde schon verbraucht. Try to remember the many meanings that genug and *genügend" have. – Schmuddi Apr 4 '17 at 6:44

Genug is an adverb in your example sentence. Adverbs in German do not take adjective endings.

Here's a similar example with the use of genug as an adverb from dict.cc:

Als ob ich nicht schon genug Probleme hätte. = As if I didn't have enough problems.

The difference between adverbs and adjectives can be nicely (nicely here is an adverb, BTW) illustrated through the following three examples from dict.cc:

schlecht bezahlte Arbeit {f} = badly paid job

schlecht erzogener Hund {m} = badly behaved dog

schlecht zugeschnittener Anzug {m} = badly cut suit

As you can see, schlecht, which is an adverb in the above expressions, does not have any endings. While adjectives that follow do have endings, as determined by the subsequent nouns.


Addendum to the answers here,

the adjective form of the genug is genügend. It can be translated as sufficient in English.

Some examples from internet with this adjective;

Ich war ohne Mittel, denn genügendes Geld bekam ich als Gefangener natürlich nicht in die Hände

Sofort wenn wir genügendes Geld haben fahren wir hin

There was a related question whether genug and genügend can be used interchangeably. It is also useful to read it to understand the differences.


After the discussion about the examples, which I used. I am giving the sources of the examples.

The first example is taken from Google Books.

The second example is taken from Berlinische Galerie.

However, with the help of the comments below, I understand that this kind of usage of the genügend is a little bit old-fashioned, even if it is grammatically correct.

  • 8
    All of your examples sound wrong to me. – Carsten S Apr 3 '17 at 9:28
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    In both sentences, I would accept "genügend Geld" and use "genug Geld" myself. "Genügendes" sounds wrong. – AnoE Apr 3 '17 at 11:42
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    @AdInfinitum, the author of at least the first book died 1906, the author of the second book in 1931. Even German changed in the last 100 years. :-) As I said - I would accept "genügend" as not too unusual (if a little oldfashioned), but never use it in that context myself, and "genügendes" is more or less out of the question. – AnoE Apr 3 '17 at 11:57
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    @AnoE I think also that this type of usage is old-fashioned. However, the OP is curious about why did not genug take ending and I would like to show the adjective version of the genug and with a link, which shows the usage of the genügend. Here, there is an interesting discussion whether genügend should take adjective ending or not :) – Ad Infinitum Apr 3 '17 at 12:09
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    I have found a discussion about this topic. Somebody explain the difference so --Genügende Beispiele finden Sie... Das sind Beispiele, die genügen, ausreichen oder den Anforderungen entsprechen. Genügend Beispiele finden Sie... Das sind Beispiele, die genug sind, in der Zahl aureichend, für den Zweck hinreichend Source: deutsch-als-fremdsprache.de/austausch/forum/read.php?4,70917 – Ad Infinitum Apr 3 '17 at 12:32

Taken from Duden it is not an adverb but in this case a pronoun. (Indefinitpronomen).

Some are some are not inflected. This is not.

The adjective 'genügend' would be treated as any adjective:

Es gab nicht genug Gründe.


Es gibt keine genügenden Gründe.

Note that it can also be used as a particle (Partikel):

Der Schrank ist groß genug


This question has been answered satisfyingly well. I would just like to broaden the perspective on the more common (ab)use of adverbs in similar cases in informal oral language.

Die Marmelade ist alle.

is a sentence you probably wouldn't find written anywhere, but you will hear quite often when sitting with a family at breakfast, "alle" meaning "finished" or "used to its end so that the jar is now empty". Now, it may happen that this gets turned into an adjective like in

"Gib mir mal die Marmelade!" - "Welche?" - "Die allene, bitte."

This is clearly wrong in terms of grammar and style, but it is relatively common in informal language in some regions. People usually find it too circumstantial to form a grammar-conform sentence as in

"Die, die alle ist, bitte."

Even more often you may hear:

"Die Tür ist kaputt" - "Welche denn?" - "Die zuene da."

where "zuene" is an adjectivized form of the adverbial "zu" as correctly used in

Die Tür ist zu.

and a well-formed but circumstantial sentence to answer the above question would be

"Die, die zu ist."

"Zuene" came about in analogy to "offene", as in

"Die offene Tür ist kaputt."

which is a completely well-formed sentence.

  • From your answer, can it be understood that Hast du genuges Geld? is used in informal language even if it is grammatically wrong? – Ad Infinitum Apr 3 '17 at 20:38
  • Die geschlossene Tür, ja wohl. Und wenn unbedingt, dann doch "die zue Tür", wie "das raue Wetter". Apropos: "Die verbrauchte Marmelade" ("... hat gut geschmeckt." - reichen kann man sie ja nicht mehr). – user unknown Apr 4 '17 at 3:53
  • Zuene?? Ecch. I can see that, when the only alternative is "geschlossene", one might be tempted to invent such a word, but pretty nasty nonetheless :) – see sharper Apr 4 '17 at 6:51

"Genug" does not modify "Geld."

Instead, it is an adverbial that works with "have. The sentence, ich habe genug geld really means:

I have enough of money.

protected by Wrzlprmft Apr 4 '17 at 7:16

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