While I was using Duolingo I came across the following phrase in the lesson called “Qualifiers”: “Du bist eine sehr gute Lehrerin!”. So, I know that “sehr” can be used as an adverb. However, do to the fact that in this sentence “sehr” is in between “eine” and “gute”; I think that it is being utilized as an attributive adjective. Hence, why is “sehr” not declined with an “e”, becoming “sehre”?

P.S. I wrote the declensional changes in bold and italic, to make them easier to spot.

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    This is a bad example because "sehr" is exclusively an adverb and the form *"sehre" does not exist. What would this sentence even mean: *"Die Lehrerin ist sehr."
    – Carsten S
    Commented Apr 15, 2021 at 14:41
  • If your user name is as Italian as it looks like: compare to "una professoressa veramente bene". sehr modifies an adjective, therefore it is an adverb. (But I only had one year of Italian in school...) Commented Apr 15, 2021 at 14:43
  • In Italian it would also be "sei una professoressa moltO brava", non "moltA".
    – DonHolgo
    Commented Apr 15, 2021 at 18:03

1 Answer 1


In your example there are combinations that work as sentence in German, and others does not.

Du bist eine sehr gute Lehrerin! (You are a very good teacher.)

Correct (shorter) sentences would be:

Du bist eine Lehrerin. (You are a teacher. You are one teacher.)

Du bist eine gute Lehrerin. (You are a good teacher.)

In both cases the words "eine" and "gute" describe the noun "die Lehrerin". Because of that, they will get an "e", because "Lehrerin" is female.

In difference "sehr" is not describing "die Lehrerin", but it will increase the effect of the following adjective("gute"), which is not a noun (and with this could not be female first hand).

So as rule of thumb, you could remind, that words describing nouns (-> adjectives) will be declined, but words increasing or decreasing the effect of adjectives will not.

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