I'm sorry I can't formulate my question in German yet. I'm still doing my best to learn. So I'll ask in English anyway because I really need an answer.

I was reading this story (https://www.thegermanproject.com/stories/chicken-little) and this particular sentence got me thinking why ganz have no declension.

Er ist weder groß noch klein. Er ist weder dick noch dünn. Er ist weder schlau noch dumm. Henry Hühnchen ist ein ganz normales Huhn.

I know that adjectives with sein become predicative complements and the adjectives receive no declension. But why does normales have -es?

and right after that something again appeared.

An einem ganz normalen Morgen isst Henry Hühnchen in der Küche sein Frühstück. Er mag Toast mit Butter und Kaffee mit Sahne.

ganz is also without any declension and normales have (-es) but now there is no sein. So NOW I have no excuse (and no idea) either.

I looked into double adjectives. But it seems they all have to receive a declension. So what's going on here?

A little help here? Am I missing something? Is there a grammatical rule I am not aware of?


2 Answers 2


Attributive adjectives, i.e. those modifying a noun, are inflected.

Er hat ein ganzes Buch zu dem Thema geschrieben.
He wrote a whole book on the subject.

Adverbial adjectives, i.e. those modifying verbs or, as in this case, other adjectives, are not inflected.

Gestern ist ein ganz neues Buch zu dem Thema erschienen.
A completely new book on the subject was published yesterday.

When ganz is used adverbially, it can also express a restriction, a moderate degree.

Es war ein ganz angenehmer Tag.
It was a pretty (fairly, quite) nice day.

In your examples, ganz modifies normal, expressing that something is wholly normal. But ganz could also modify the noun and would then be inflected.

Er isst ein ganzes Huhn.
He eats a whole chicken.

Er lag den ganzen Morgen im Bett.
He lay in bed all morning.


Just look at how "ein ganz normaler Morgen" would be translated into English.

It is not a total normal morning but a totally normal morning.

Ganz here translates to totally, getting a -ly suffix because it is not an adjective but an adverb. Adverbs are uninflected in German.

  • 1
    Ganz is an adverb in this case, but it can also be an adjective: An einem ganz normalen Tag isst er ein ganzes Hühnchen. Apr 10, 2020 at 1:08
  • I've edited the answer to make this more clear.
    – RHa
    Apr 10, 2020 at 7:29

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