After alles, etwas, nichts, viel and wenig the adjective nouns are in neuter.

Er hat nichts Kluges gesagt, aber etwas klug gelöst. (He didn't say anything smart, but he solved something smart). Why is etwas klug in lower case?

Another example: Daran war nicht viel schön. vs Daran war nicht viel Schönes.

I need help to understand the difference here.

1 Answer 1


"etwas klug" is in lower case because "klug" is an adverb here, not an adjective. "He solved something in a smart way" would be a better translation.

With regard to your second example, the difference is less obvious. The first one would translate roughly as "Not much was beautiful about it." while the second one would translate roughly as "Not many parts of it were beautiful."

  • Welcome to German.SE. Do you think it would help to add to which verb "klug" is the adverb? Oct 14, 2021 at 11:43
  • "The was not much beauty in it " could also go as translation of the first one Oct 14, 2021 at 12:10
  • An adverb makes more sense here. In English you'd say "He cleverly solved something." You could solve a clever riddle perhaps, but I have a hard time seeing how that would fit the context.
    – RDBury
    Oct 14, 2021 at 15:50

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