Languages › German Learning Adjective and Color Endings in German Share Flipboard Email Print Caiaimage/Sam Edwards / Getty Images German Vocabulary History & Culture Pronunciation & Conversation Grammar By Hyde Flippo German Expert Hyde Flippo taught the German language for 28 years at high school and college levels and published several books on the German language and culture. our editorial process Hyde Flippo Updated February 03, 2019 German adjectives, like English ones, usually go in front of the noun they modify: "der gute Mann" (the good man), "das große Haus" (the big house/building), "die schöne Dame" (the pretty lady). Unlike English adjectives, a German adjective in front of a noun has to have an ending (-e in the examples above). Just what that ending will be depends on several factors, including gender (der, die, das) and case (nominative, accusative, dative). But most of the time the ending is an -e or an -en (in the plural). With ein-words, the ending varies according to the modified noun's gender (see below). Look at the following table for the adjective endings in the nominative (subject) case: With definite article (der, die, das) - Nominative case Masculineder Femininedie Neuterdas Pluraldie der neu Wagenthe new car die schön Stadtthe beautiful city das alt Autothe old car die neu Bücherthe new books With indefinite article (eine, kein, mein) - Nom. case Masculineein Feminineeine Neuterein Pluralkeine ein neu Wagena new car eine schön Stadta beautiful city ein alt Autoan old car keine neu Bücherno new books Note that with ein-words, since the article may not tell us the gender of the following noun, the adjective ending often does this instead (-es = das, -er = der; see above). As in English, a German adjective can also come after the verb (predicate adjective): "Das Haus ist groß." (The house is large.) In such cases, the adjective will have NO ending. Farben (Colors) The German words for colors usually function as adjectives and take the normal adjective endings (but see exceptions below). In certain situations, colors can also be nouns and are thus capitalized: "eine Bluse in Blau" (a blouse in blue); "das Blaue vom Himmel versprechen" (to promise heaven and earth, lit., "the blue of the heavens"). The chart below shows some of the more common colors with sample phrases. You'll learn that the colors in "feeling blue" or "seeing red" may not mean the same thing in German. A black eye in German is " blau" (blue). Farbe Color Color Phrases with Adjective Endings rot red der rote Wagen (the red car), der Wagen ist rot rosa pink die rosa Rosen (the pink roses)* blau blue ein blaues Auge (a black eye), er ist blau (he's drunk) hell-blau lightblue die hellblaue Bluse (the light blue blouse)** dunkel-blau darkblue die dunkelblaue Bluse (the dark blue blouse) grün green der grüne Hut (the green hat) gelb yellow die gelben Seiten (yellow pages), ein gelbes Auto weiß white das weiße Papier (the white paper) schwarz black der schwarze Koffer (the black suitcase) *Colors ending in -a (lila, rosa) do not take the normal adjective endings.**Light or dark colors are preceded by hell- (light) or dunkel- (dark), as in hellgrün (light green) or dunkelgrün (dark green). German Adjective Endings: Nominative, Accusative, and Dative Cases German Colors (Farben) English: German Color Chart Rules for Capitalization in German German Lesson: German Verbs With Prepositions 1 Learn How to Use Comparison Adjectives and Adverbs in German What Are the Four Noun Cases of German? Using German Participles as Adjectives and Adverbs How Do You Use Dative Prepositions in German? Learning the Concept of Give and Take in German Is There Action? Then There's Probably Accusative How to Say the Months, Dates, Seasons, and Days in German Clothing and Fashion in German - Phrases, Words, Sizes Do You Know When a German Word Is Masculine, Feminine, or Neuter? How to Put German Sentences in the Right Order What German Learners Need to Know About the Genitive Case How Do You Translate the World's Countries From English to German?