Can both, ergänzend and zusätzlich, when used as an adjective, be used before a noun ?

  • 1
    The first task is a better job for a search engine or a search in databases giving quotations for single words: ergänzend, zusätzlich
    – Takkat
    Feb 13, 2018 at 11:31
  • Yeah I want always to improve the post and get the best answer, but the problem that occurs sometimes that I don't know how to express the words perfectly since my native language is arabic Feb 13, 2018 at 11:41
  • 3
    This exactly is how this site works at its best. Most of the time when people ask you something in a comment they also give you a hint on how to make your post better.
    – Takkat
    Feb 13, 2018 at 11:43

3 Answers 3


"Ergänzende Kommentare und zusätzliche Informationen finden Sie im Anhang."

Though both are rather similar, they do not mean exactly the same. You can either use both if you

  • want to emphasize additions without repeating the same word
  • want to express that one item completes something (=ergänzend) and another, or even the same item, provides something in addition (=zusätzlich)

In German, there is no fundamental difference between adjectives and adverbs. However, there's a difference depending on whether an adjective/adverb is made from a verb or a noun.

Ergänzend is the present participle of the verb ergänzen. It plays all three roles nicely:

Die Frage ergänzend meldete sich noch jemand. (as a participle)

Wir machen ergänzend noch etwas anderes. (as an adverb)

Dies ist eine ergänzende Maßnahme. (as an adjective)

Zusätzlich is made from the noun der Zusatz, so it cannot be used as a participle:

Die Frage zusätzlich meldete sich noch jemand.

Wir machen zusätzlich noch etwas anderes. (as an adverb)

Dies ist eine zusätzliche Maßnahme. (as an adjective)


"Ergänzend" means "in completing". Zusätzlich means "in addition."

All completions are additions, but not all additions are completions. You can use "ergänzend" anywhere you use "zusätzlich" but the reverse is not true.

Also, "ergänzend" is derived from a verb, "ergänzen," which means that it can be used as a verb participle with a noun, as well as an adjective or adverb. "Zusätzlich" can only be used as an adjective or adverb.

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