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Suffixes in German Adjectives I

Changing Nouns Into German Adjectives

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Many German words can be converted into adjectives by adding suffixes. There are several options of suffixes that contribute to different meanings for adjectives. See below for ways that nouns can be changed into adjectives. See also Suffixes in German Adjectives II.

SuffixPossible MeaningExample
-haft to accentuate a specific trait Die Aufführung war sagenhaft./ The performance was marvelous
-los without Er ist schon seit Monaten arbeitslos./ He’s been unemployed for months.
-ig in a certain way Dieser Mann ist schläfrig./ This man is sleepy.
-isch of origin, belonging to; also added to some foreign words Ich bin italienisch; Der Junge ist autistisch/ I am italien; The boy is autistic.
lich a characteristic, in the manner of Ich finde das herrlich; Herzliche Grüβe/ I find that wonderful; Heartfelt Greetings.
-arm > lacking in seelenarm/ low, poor in spirit
-freiwithout arbeitsfrei / work-free
-leer withoutluftleer / air-free
-reich plenty vitaminreich/ vitamin-rich
-vollplentyeimervoll/ bucketfull
-festsomething stable, solid wasserfest/ watertight

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