I was having a chat conversation with a German friend and was talking about where I'm from. I was describing the town I grew up in as "boring" and "American". This is what I literally wrote:

Die Stadt heißt _____ (langweiliger amerikanischer Ort)

I have a pretty good understanding of the German adjective declination system... As far as I'm aware there should never be two -er endings to describe one thing. So in the above case, only one of the adjectives should get the -er ending, right? I'm assuming that's the langweiliger word. In that case what ending should amerikanisch get?


It's perfectly fine to repeat adjectives ending with -er. That's correct German and doesn't sound strange at all:

Springfield ist ein langweiliger amerikanischer Ort.

Also, don't put a comma between the adjectives here. A comma is required if the adjectives are gleichrangig (of equal rank). But since "langweilig" is an attribute to describe a place of origin ("amerikanischer Ort"), a comma is not allowed.

Here is an example of an enumeration with a mandatory comma:

Homer ist ein großer, dicker Mann.

  • thanks for the reply. So when should adjective endings not be repeated? I remember learning a rule with the memory phrase: "There's only one MaRS" which is to highlight the fact that M, R and S shouldn't be repeated. Is this correct in any way, or just completely wrong all together?
    – TBR
    Apr 30 '17 at 7:46
  • @TBR, you were thinking of how articles influence adjectives.
    – Carsten S
    Apr 30 '17 at 9:51
  • @Carsten danke... so just to be clear... I can say "ein langweiliger amerikanischer Ort" but if I use "der" I should say... "der langweilige amerikanischer Ort"?
    – TBR
    Apr 30 '17 at 11:50
  • 1
    @TBR That would be "der langweilige amerikanische Ort".
    – Arminius
    Apr 30 '17 at 14:03
  • @Arminius thanks... so in what situation should I NOT use two -r endings?
    – TBR
    Apr 30 '17 at 15:47

It is possible to have more than one -er ending. What you really wrote is an enumeration (more than one adjective for only one substantive often is an enumeration), you could also write with a comma:

Die Stadt heißt _____ (langweiliger, amerikanischer Ort).

Gramatically you could even insert "und", because it is an enumeration with only two items and both adjectives are referring to "Ort". But nobody would say this (even the comma is unusual in most cases).

  • 1
    I would put it differently: Since putting an und there would not seem quite right, you would also not put a comme.
    – Carsten S
    Apr 29 '17 at 15:04
  • @CarstenS I have mentioned that, but that example should emphasize that it is an enumeration.
    – TeXnician
    Apr 29 '17 at 16:19
  • Well, it's not.
    – Carsten S
    Apr 29 '17 at 19:27
  • Well, whether it is depends on whether there is a comma.
    – user18544
    Apr 29 '17 at 23:15

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