Let's take the adjective "teuer" for example, the indefinite masculine form of it is "ein teurer" right? Why isn't it "ein teuerer"? Why was the "e" omitted?

Does the same go for the comparative form of the adjective "teuer"?

1 Answer 1


Only some adjectives ending in ‘-er’ behave the way you indicate, and they are irregular in that regard. Besides ‘teuer’, examples include ‘sauer’ and ‘(un)geheuer’. So, it would be ‘teuer’ – ‘teurer’ – ‘am teuersten’, and ‘sauer’ – ‘saurer’ – ‘am sauersten’. (Note that the ‘e’ is back in the superlative form.)

As far as I know, ‘teuerer’ and ‘sauerer’ are possible, but ‘teurer’ and ‘saurer’ are preferable. According to the Duden, ‘sauberer’ and ‘saubrer’ are equally fine.

All this said, the rule is that the ‘e’ is not omitted in adjectives ending in ‘-er’. Examples include ‘sicher’, ‘finster’, ‘koscher’, ‘heiter’, and ‘munter’.

As with all irregular words / forms, it’s always a bit difficult to say why all this is the case; but I believe it’s mostly phonetic. Roughly, after the ‘eu’ and ‘au’ in ‘teuer’ and ‘sauer’, the ‘rer’ sound is preferable to ‘erer’. I’m no expert on this, though: perhaps somebody else will be able to tell you this more precisely.

  • Vielen danke :) Commented Jul 14, 2017 at 8:05
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    The difference I notice is that the irregular adjectives have a vowel right before the er, so it's very likely that there are phonetic reasons. Also, I'm sure finstrer Wald has been used in poetry or fairy tales. Commented Jul 14, 2017 at 8:05
  • In some dialects the "e" is also omitted for the words ‘sicher’, ‘finster’, ‘heiter’ and ‘munter’. (I don't know about ‘koscher’.) Google found texts of Morgenstern (and Goethe?) omitting the "e" - however often an apostrophe is written then: "ein finst'rer", "ein munt'rer" ... Commented Jul 14, 2017 at 11:06
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    Te German Language generally tends to avoid "erer", when words are declined or adapted. Another good example is the "Zauberin", who would be called "Zaubererin", if you strictly appliedthe language rules.
    – ixolius
    Commented Jul 14, 2017 at 15:02

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