While trying to finally nail the adjective endings I stumbled upon this article suggesting a simplified way of learning it:


But either I do not understand their 2nd principle or the entire idea falls apart while dealing with an example like this:

Ich bin im rheinhessischen Dorf Wiesoppenheim aufgewachsen.

Okay, that's a dual preposition and dative. If I understand the article correctly dative results in an im (in dem) but then where does the en ending in rheinhessischen come from?

Can someone please clarify?

Edit: Also I don't see how this unified table in the article will work with plurals. For instance for this example (plural and nominative):

Die anderen Kinder sind bösartig.

It would suggest e ending while the correct one is en. Does it also fall back to the 2nd principle where Die takes a case ending e? Where does the en came from again?

  • 1
    Are you looking at the right table? The unified table is hidden behind a link that says Click here to download the table for FREE, which I can't actually click but which points here.
    – David Vogt
    Jan 5, 2019 at 9:28
  • Indeed I has been looking at this table. Ah, would if it were so simple.
    – user25077
    Jan 5, 2019 at 11:56
  • 1
    This question deals with adjective endings. I have just added what I believe to be the simplest exposition of the rules governing adjective endings.
    – David Vogt
    Jan 5, 2019 at 13:10
  • 1
    Thanks. It's a nightmare. I'm seriously thinking about not using adjectives at all. 😬
    – user25077
    Jan 5, 2019 at 18:45

2 Answers 2


Ich bin im rheinhessischen Dorf Wiesoppenheim aufgewachsen.

You already found out: im = in + dem. And I think you also know, that dem is a definite article, and the whole nominal group is in dative case. And the noun Dorf is neuter (das Dorf). So you have to look for:

  • definite article
  • neuter
  • dative case

So you need to consult table 1, line 3 column 2, and there you find: ∙en. So the attributive Adjective must be:


Die anderen Kinder sind bösartig.

Here we have:

  • definite article
  • plural
  • nominative case

This means: Table 1 (definite article), line 1 (nominative), Column 4 (plural), and there again you find: ∙en. So the attributive Adjective must be:


So, nothing wrong with those tables.

  • Thank you. I was hoping this table is a sort of all-in-one thing.
    – user25077
    Jan 5, 2019 at 11:59
  • @TimBezhashvyly: No, it is not. There are three tables, and they are different. Jan 6, 2019 at 8:22

Those tables are far too complicated. The single table that claims to simplify things is even worse.

If you understand the system behind adjective declension and learn a few simple rules you don't need to learn tables.

Here's how to work out the adjective ending:

  1. Definite article (der/die/das) and similar (dieser, solcher etc.)

    • plural -en
    • dative/genitive -en
    • masc-accusative -en

      die netten Kinder, dem alten Mann, des alten Mannes, den alten Mann

    • all the rest -e

      der junge Mann

  2. Indefinite article (ein/eine) and similar (kein, mein etc.)

    • where the definite article ending gets 'lost' (m/n-nominative, n-accusative) the adjective has to provide the missing definite article ending

      das rote Haus -> ein rotes Haus
      der alte Mann -> ein alter Mann

    • all the rest are the same as above

  3. No article

    • the adjective provides the missing definite article ending

      frisches Brot, warme Brötchen

    • exception: m/n-genitive take -en

      heißen Kaffees

Summary: you want to see a case ending. If the article doesn't provide it, the adjective does

  • Thank you for such a precise overview! "warme Brötchen" is because the noun is in plural: "die Brötchen" not in singular "das Brötchen"?
    – marco
    Jul 24, 2023 at 22:00

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