in https://german.net/reading/gesund-leben/,
I see a sentence,

Ein gesunder Körper braucht ausreichend Bewegung.

Bewegung is female, so shouldn't it be

Ein gesunder Körper braucht ausreichende Bewegung.

? Is the text on the site wrong?

  • 1
    It's Deklination (following the noun gender, case and number), not Konjugation (following the person, tense and number).
    – Janka
    Commented Aug 4, 2018 at 12:54

2 Answers 2


Interesting case. The move test shows that the word «ausreichend» is an attribute of «Bewegung», not an adverbial phrase:

  1. Ein gesunder Körper braucht ausreichend Bewegung.

You can move the entire phrase to the Vorfeld:

  1. Ausreichend Bewegung braucht ein gesunder Körper.

The question test corroborates that they «ausreichend Bewegung» forms a single constituent:

  1. Was braucht ein gesunder Körper? – Ausreichend Bewegung.

The replacement test shows what the word ausreichend is – it is a quantifier (or quantifying particle) like «viel» or «wenig»:

  1. Ein gesunder Körper braucht viel/wenig/ausreichend Bewegung.
  • so you mean it's a quantifier like viel or wenig so that's why it doesn't change its form(no Deklination)? Hm.. that's another explanation. Can any arbitrary adjective/participle be used as quantifier? Could you direct me to the grammar page explaining this? I didn't study advanced grammar yet.
    – Chan Kim
    Commented Aug 5, 2018 at 14:38
  • 1
    Sure thing, e.g. Duden, Grammatik der deutschen Gegenwartssprache, hrsg. von der Dudenredaktion, 6., neu bearbeitete Aufl., Mannheim, Leipzig, Wien, Zürich: Dudenverl., 1998, S. 278 (§ 472). They are calling these words «[d]ie unbestimmten (indefiniten) Zahladjektive» […] «flexionslos gebraucht». Only very few adjectives can be used in such a way. Apart from viel, wenig, ausreichend, only genug, genügend come to my mind.
    – mach
    Commented Aug 5, 2018 at 19:17
  • but I don't see ausreichend in this table : nemcina.org/download/gh_47.pdf Are you sure ausreichend is one of them?
    – Chan Kim
    Commented Aug 6, 2018 at 1:57
  • 1
    Yes, I am sure. That list is not complete. So what? Not even the Duden grammer (a much better source) is complete.
    – mach
    Commented Aug 6, 2018 at 18:13
  • I see, I considered Janka's explanation again, but your answer seems more plausible to me now, (because ausreichend is before Bewegug, it looks like a qualifer).
    – Chan Kim
    Commented Aug 7, 2018 at 10:31

ausreichend is originally the present participle of ausreichen, but today often classified as a self-standing adjective.

German wants adjectives that are attributes of substantives to follow the flexing of these substantives. In all other cases, adjectives do not follow case, number and genus of the substantive. Your example sentence can be considered as one of these non-attributive usages.

What you observe here is what is called a Depiktiv, the ausreichend is in this case not a qualifier of the substantive, but rather the predicate and is thus not flexed (You could consider this an adverbial usage).

Note your second example is not wrong, it just has a slightly different meaning.

  • Ok I knew when it is in subject sein adjective form, it doesn't change form(predicate?) and understood that when the adjective is before the noun, they should follow the 'flexing' of the noun. But according to your explanation, sometimes it's not. Can you please give me a couple of those non-attribute adjective examples? as an elaboration? (in the answer) That would help many learners.
    – Chan Kim
    Commented Aug 4, 2018 at 13:07
  • 2
    Each German adjective can also be used as an adverb, simply by leaving out the adjective's case ending. The same is true for Partizip I, which acts as an adjective. The difference in meaning is simple: An adjective describes a noun while an adverb describes the predicate of the sentence. It's ausreichend brauchen vs ausreichende Bewegung.
    – Janka
    Commented Aug 4, 2018 at 13:11
  • @Janka wow that's a clear explanation. Vielen Dank!
    – Chan Kim
    Commented Aug 4, 2018 at 14:56
  • I am sorry, but this analysis is wrong, as can be shown by the move test (Umstellungsprobe). Since «ausreichend Bewegung» can be moved to the slot before the finite verb, it must constitute a single phrase (Satzglied). This means that «ausreichend» functions as an attribute of «Bewegung», and not as an adverbial. If it truly were an adverbial, this would not be possible.
    – mach
    Commented Aug 6, 2018 at 18:22

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