Frame description

In this frame, an Experiencer has emotions, either concerning some Content or a Topic, or caused by a Stimulus. Emotion, here, refers to a broad range of subjective experiences or reactions, including states of mental stimulation, like being interested.

The lexical units (LUs) in this frame vary according to whether the emotion involved is directly caused (by a Stimulus). For example, mögen (to like) is not associated with a direct cause, and occurs with Content, not with a Stimulus. The verb trösten (to comfort), however, does indicate that the emotion has a direct cause. With most LUs, a Topic can be substituted for Stimulus or Content, indicating a general area but leaving a range of possibilities.

In this frame, an Experiencer has emotions, either concerning some Content or a Topic, or caused by a Stimulus. Emotion, here, refers to a broad range of subjective experiences or reactions, including states of mental stimulation, like being interested.

The lexical units (LUs) in this frame vary according to whether the emotion involved is directly caused (by a Stimulus). For example, mögen (to like) is not associated with a direct cause, and occurs with Content, not with a Stimulus. The verb trösten (to comfort), however, does indicate that the emotion has a direct cause. With most LUs, a Topic can be substituted for Stimulus or Content, indicating a general area but leaving a range of possibilities.

Emotion by direct causation (Stimulus)Du ärgerst mich!You irritate me!
Emotion with no causation (Content)Ich mag dich.I like you.

Emotion about a general area (Topic)* 

Ich beneide dich.I envy you.

*This leaves multiple options for a specific Content/Stimulus. Here, for example, there is no way to tell whether the speaker envies your hair, your salary or your car.

The "Positive" and "Negative" subframe divisions below should be interpreted broadly as including emotions that make you feel good, and emotions that make you feel bad, respectively. Similarly, the "Like, Dislike, Interest" subframe is broad and includes expressions such as "I don't care".

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Details
Examples
Grammar Notes
Sentence Templates
Alternate Forms

Frame Elements

Frame Element descriptions (on hover):

The person who experiences the emotion or other internal state.

The Content is what the Experiencer has feelings about; it is what those feelings are directed towards or based upon.

The Topic is more general than the Content or Stimulus, and is the area the Experiencer has feelings about.

The phenomenon that provokes a particular emotion in the Experiencer.

Details
Examples
Grammar Notes
Sentence Templates
Alternate Forms
See All Information
ärgern verb irritate

Details:

This verb is used like its English equivalent. The Stimulus is the subject, and can be a person or something else, like someone's behavior.

When used with a reflexive pronoun, this verb changes its meaning from "to irritate" to "get/be irritated." The subject is then the Experiencer, and the preposition über (akk.) introduces the Stimulus.

For example: Ich ärgere mich über die Situation. (I'm getting irritated about the situation.)

Example Sentences:

  1. Mein Bruder ärgert mich.
  2. Es ärgert mich, dass mein Mitbewohner nie aufräumt.
  3. Ihr Singen ärgert mich so sehr!
  4. Ich ärgere mich über das Wetter.
  5. Stefan ärgert sich darüber, dass sein Zug spät kommt.
  1. My brother irritates me.
  2. It irritates me that my roommate never cleans up.
  3. Her singing irritates me so much!
  4. I am getting irritated about the weather.
  5. Stefan gets irritated about it, that his train comes late.

Grammar:

Making Adjectives from Verbs

In German (just as in English), the past participles of verbs (with the -ed ending in English) can be used as adjectives, known as "participial adjectives." Add an adjective ending when appropriate. Even a verb's present participle can be used as an adjective. This form of the verb is similar in meaning to English ing-forms, and is formed in German by adding a "d" (and an adjective ending, if necessary) to the infinitive form of the verb. Adjectives formed in this way apply to the type of frame element that would fill the subject role of the verb (e.g. überraschend applies to a Stimulus, and  ).

Example: enttäuschen, überraschen (normal use as verbs)

     Jens enttäuscht seine Mutter. (Jens disappoints his mother.)

     Das Ende der Geschichte überrascht Lena. (The end of the story surprises Lena.)

Adjectives from Past Participles: 

Example: enttäuschen (to disappoint) > enttäuscht

     Seine Mutter war enttäuscht, dass er bei der Prüfung durchgefallen ist. (His mother was disappointed that he failed the test.)

     Die enttäuschte Mutter weint. (The disappointed mother cries.)

The way frame elements are realized with the verb determine what the adjective can be used to describe. Details are given in the table below.

Subject of VerbDirect ObjectAdjective applies to:Examples
StimulusExperiencerExperienceraufgeregt (worked up), schockiert (shocked), enttäuscht (disappointed)
Experiencer

Content or Stimulus

Content or Stimulus

gefürchtet (feared), gehasst (hated), geliebt (loved)

*Note that this is not the same as passive voice, which also uses a past participle. See Grimm Grammar for infomation about passive.

Adjectives from Present Participles:

Example: überraschen > überraschend (surprising)

     Das Ende der Geschichte war überraschend. (The end of the story was surprising.)

     Das war ein überraschendes Ende. (That was a surprising ending.)

 

 

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. STIMULUS ärgert EXPERIENCER.
  2. EXPERIENCER ärgert sich.
  3. EXPERIENCER ärgert sich über STIMULUS.
  1. STIMULUS irritates EXPERIENCER.
  2. EXPERIENCER is irritated.
  3. EXPERIENCER is irritated about STIMULUS.

Details:

This verb is used like its English equivalent. The Stimulus is the subject, and can be a person or something else, like someone's behavior.

When used with a reflexive pronoun, this verb changes its meaning from "to irritate" to "get/be irritated." The subject is then the Experiencer, and the preposition über (akk.) introduces the Stimulus.

For example: Ich ärgere mich über die Situation. (I'm getting irritated about the situation.)

Alternate Forms:

sich ärgern (über)
aufregen verb upset

Details:

Sometimes translated as "to excite," this word has a more negative connotation, as in "to agitate." The Simulus appears as subject, and the Experiencer is the direct object.

The reflexive use of the verb aufregen can be translated as "get worked up" or "work oneself up." When used in this way, the Experiencer appears as the grammatical subject, and the Stimulus can be expressed with "über" (akk.).

For example: Er regt sich auf. (He's getting upset.)

Example Sentences:

  1. Die laute Musik regt die Nachbarn auf.
  2. Das mögliche Alkoholverbot hat die Leute aufgeregt.
  3. Reg dich nicht so auf!
  4. Alina regt sich über die neue Regeln auf.
  1. The loud music upsets the neighbors.
  2. The possible alcohol ban upset the people.
  3. Don't work yourself up so much!
  4. Alina works herself up about the new rules.

Grammar:

Verbs with Separable Prefixes

Some verbs have a prefix that moves around in the sentence, depending on what form the verb takes. In the infinitive form, the prefix is attached, like "ausgehen" (to go out). If the verb is conjugated (in present or simple past tense), the prefix appears at the end of the clause, as in "Ich gehe heute Abend aus." For more information about these verbs, see the examples for individual verbs or read these explanations from Grimm Grammar: present tense, conversational past tense (Perfekt).

Making Adjectives from Verbs

In German (just as in English), the past participles of verbs (with the -ed ending in English) can be used as adjectives, known as "participial adjectives." Add an adjective ending when appropriate. Even a verb's present participle can be used as an adjective. This form of the verb is similar in meaning to English ing-forms, and is formed in German by adding a "d" (and an adjective ending, if necessary) to the infinitive form of the verb. Adjectives formed in this way apply to the type of frame element that would fill the subject role of the verb (e.g. überraschend applies to a Stimulus, and  ).

Example: enttäuschen, überraschen (normal use as verbs)

     Jens enttäuscht seine Mutter. (Jens disappoints his mother.)

     Das Ende der Geschichte überrascht Lena. (The end of the story surprises Lena.)

Adjectives from Past Participles: 

Example: enttäuschen (to disappoint) > enttäuscht

     Seine Mutter war enttäuscht, dass er bei der Prüfung durchgefallen ist. (His mother was disappointed that he failed the test.)

     Die enttäuschte Mutter weint. (The disappointed mother cries.)

The way frame elements are realized with the verb determine what the adjective can be used to describe. Details are given in the table below.

Subject of VerbDirect ObjectAdjective applies to:Examples
StimulusExperiencerExperienceraufgeregt (worked up), schockiert (shocked), enttäuscht (disappointed)
Experiencer

Content or Stimulus

Content or Stimulus

gefürchtet (feared), gehasst (hated), geliebt (loved)

*Note that this is not the same as passive voice, which also uses a past participle. See Grimm Grammar for infomation about passive.

Adjectives from Present Participles:

Example: überraschen > überraschend (surprising)

     Das Ende der Geschichte war überraschend. (The end of the story was surprising.)

     Das war ein überraschendes Ende. (That was a surprising ending.)

 

 

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. STIMULUS regt EXPERIENCER auf.
  2. EXPERIENCER regt sich auf.
  3. EXPERIENCER regt sich über STIMULUS auf.
  1. STIMULUS upsets EXPERIENCER.
  2. EXPERIENCER works himself up.
  3. EXPERIENCER works himself up about STIMULUS.

Details:

Sometimes translated as "to excite," this word has a more negative connotation, as in "to agitate." The Simulus appears as subject, and the Experiencer is the direct object.

The reflexive use of the verb aufregen can be translated as "get worked up" or "work oneself up." When used in this way, the Experiencer appears as the grammatical subject, and the Stimulus can be expressed with "über" (akk.).

For example: Er regt sich auf. (He's getting upset.)

Alternate Forms:

er regt ... auf, hat aufgeregt, regte ... auf; sich aufregen (über)
beeindrucken verb impress

Details:

This verb is used like its English counterpart, but can prove difficult to pronounce. Say each prefix separately: "be-ein-drucken."

Example Sentences:

  1. Stella beeindruckt ihre Lehrer.
  2. Der Künstler beeindruckt sein Publikum.
  3. Die Aufführung hat mich tief beeindruckt.
  1. Stella impresses her teachers.
  2. The artist impresses his audience.
  3. The performance impressed me deeply.

Grammar:

Making Adjectives from Verbs

In German (just as in English), the past participles of verbs (with the -ed ending in English) can be used as adjectives, known as "participial adjectives." Add an adjective ending when appropriate. Even a verb's present participle can be used as an adjective. This form of the verb is similar in meaning to English ing-forms, and is formed in German by adding a "d" (and an adjective ending, if necessary) to the infinitive form of the verb. Adjectives formed in this way apply to the type of frame element that would fill the subject role of the verb (e.g. überraschend applies to a Stimulus, and  ).

Example: enttäuschen, überraschen (normal use as verbs)

     Jens enttäuscht seine Mutter. (Jens disappoints his mother.)

     Das Ende der Geschichte überrascht Lena. (The end of the story surprises Lena.)

Adjectives from Past Participles: 

Example: enttäuschen (to disappoint) > enttäuscht

     Seine Mutter war enttäuscht, dass er bei der Prüfung durchgefallen ist. (His mother was disappointed that he failed the test.)

     Die enttäuschte Mutter weint. (The disappointed mother cries.)

The way frame elements are realized with the verb determine what the adjective can be used to describe. Details are given in the table below.

Subject of VerbDirect ObjectAdjective applies to:Examples
StimulusExperiencerExperienceraufgeregt (worked up), schockiert (shocked), enttäuscht (disappointed)
Experiencer

Content or Stimulus

Content or Stimulus

gefürchtet (feared), gehasst (hated), geliebt (loved)

*Note that this is not the same as passive voice, which also uses a past participle. See Grimm Grammar for infomation about passive.

Adjectives from Present Participles:

Example: überraschen > überraschend (surprising)

     Das Ende der Geschichte war überraschend. (The end of the story was surprising.)

     Das war ein überraschendes Ende. (That was a surprising ending.)

 

 

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. STIMULUS beeindruckt EXPERIENCER.
  1. STIMULUS impresses EXPERIENCER.

Details:

This verb is used like its English counterpart, but can prove difficult to pronounce. Say each prefix separately: "be-ein-drucken."

begeistert adjective excited

Details:

This is the best German tanslation of the English adjective "excited," and is also used for "enthousiastic." The adjective describes the Experiencer, and the Stimulus (if present) is expressed using "von." This is known as a participial adjective because it comes from the past participle of the verb "begeistern" (to excite, to make enthousiastic).

It can also be used as an adverb (meaning excitedly or enthousiastically), and the opposite meaning can be conveyed by adding an un-prefix (unbegeistert - unenthousiastic).

Example Sentences:

  1. Die Fans sind von der Weltmeisterschaft begeistert.
  2. Jens war begeistert an seinem Geburtstag.
  3. Der begeisterte Lehrer lief ins Klassenzimmer.
  1. The fans are excited about the World Cup.
  2. Jens was excited on his birthday.
  3. The excited teacher ran into the classroom.

Grammar:

Adjectives in Action

There are two main ways to use adjectives in German that parallel the ways adjectives are used in English. These usages are illustrated in the table below.

Predicate AdjectivesAttributive Adjectives
1. Sara ist arbeitslos.2. Saras arbeitsloser Mann sucht einen Job.
Sara is unemployedSara's unemployed husband is looking for a job
3. Der Kunde wurde wütend.4. Der wütende Kunde verließ den Laden.
The customer became angry.The angry customer left the store.
5. Viele deutsche Wähler sind gut informiert6. Informierte Wähler sind wichtig für eine Demokratie.
Many German voters are well informed.Informed voters are important for a democracy.

Predicate adjectives are part of a sentence's predicate, the part that states something about the subject. When used in this way, as in examples (1), (3), and (5), the adjective typically follows a verb like sein ("to be") or werden ("to become"), and appears in its most basic form. Attributive adjectives directly attribute a quality to a noun by appearing before it in the sentence; no verb comes between the adjective and the noun it describes. In attributive uses, such as (2), (4), and (6), endings are added to the adjectives. At a minimum, an attributive adjective in German gets an "e" at the end, although there are several possibilities. Adjective endings are difficult to master, so if you are in your first few years of study, the take-away here is that attributive adjectives get endings (an "e" or more), and predicate adjectives do not. If you are further in your studies or just tenaciously curious, you can learn more about adjective endings here, here and here.

Comparisons using Adjectives

In the Alternate Forms tab, you can see the comparative (e.g. gut - besser, "good" - "better") and superlative (e.g. gut - am besten, "good" - "the best") forms of an adjective. German and English are similar in their uses of comparative; both languages add an "-er" ending to make comparative forms, for example: wütend, wütender ("angry, angrier"), informiert, informierter ("informed, more informed"), etc. The main difference is that English sometimes does not allow such an ending (e.g. *stupider, *informeder, *loster), but in German, the "-er" ending is always possible, and "more" does appear with an adjective to convey the comparative meaning. There are a few more rules for German comparatives and superlatives (including some irregular forms) that you can read about here.

 

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. EXPERIENCER ist begeistert.
  2. EXPERIENCER ist von STIMULUS begeistert.
  3. [ein begeistert- EXPERIENCER]
  1. EXPERIENCER is excited.
  2. EXPERIENCER ist about STIMULUS excited.
  3. [an excited EXPERIENCER]

Details:

This is the best German tanslation of the English adjective "excited," and is also used for "enthousiastic." The adjective describes the Experiencer, and the Stimulus (if present) is expressed using "von." This is known as a participial adjective because it comes from the past participle of the verb "begeistern" (to excite, to make enthousiastic).

It can also be used as an adverb (meaning excitedly or enthousiastically), and the opposite meaning can be conveyed by adding an un-prefix (unbegeistert - unenthousiastic).

beneiden (jdn. um etw.) verb envy

Details:

This verb typically takes the Topic as a direct object and Content as a prepositional phrase with "um." Although the Content often belongs to the Topic (the person who is envied), German speakers tend to avoid possessive pronouns or genitive in favor of expressing the Topic as the direct object.

It is also possible for the Content to appear as direct object, or for the Topic appear without the Content. In the latter case, the Topic is somewhat vague and indicates a range of possible Content.

Example Sentences:

  1. Ich beneide dich nicht.
  2. Frank beneidet andere um ihren Erfolg.
  3. Ella beneidet Frauen, die volle Lippen haben.
  4. Der Schüler beneidet das Testergebnis seiner Klassenkameradin.
  1. I don't envy you.
  2. Frank envies others for their success.
  3. Ella envies women who have full lips.
  4. The student envies the test score of his classmate.

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. EXPERIENCER beneidet TOPIC.
  2. EXPERIENCER beneidet TOPIC um CONTENT.
  3. EXPERIENCER beneidet CONTENT.
  1. EXPERIENCER envies TOPIC.
  2. EXPERIENCER envies TOPIC for CONTENT.
  3. EXPERIENCER envies CONTENT.

Details:

This verb typically takes the Topic as a direct object and Content as a prepositional phrase with "um." Although the Content often belongs to the Topic (the person who is envied), German speakers tend to avoid possessive pronouns or genitive in favor of expressing the Topic as the direct object.

It is also possible for the Content to appear as direct object, or for the Topic appear without the Content. In the latter case, the Topic is somewhat vague and indicates a range of possible Content.

bereuen verb regret

Details:

This verb is used much like its English counterpart, except when it comes to whole phrases that fill the role of Content. In English, a gerund is used (an ing-form), as in "I regret having so little free time." In German, a zu-construction (aka Infinitivsatz) is used: "Ich bereue, so wenig Freizeit zu haben."Basically, you just take the verb that would be the gerund in English, put it in infinitive form, and place it at the end of the sentence, preceded by "zu." For further details on zu-constructions, see this page from Grimm Grammar.

It is also possible to begin a clause with "dass" if you don't want to use a zu-construction.

Example Sentences:

  1. Ich bereue meine Faulheit im ersten Semester an der Uni.
  2. Viele Menschen bereuen, nicht viel Zeit mit der Familie verbringen zu können.
  3. Man soll nichts machen, was man später bereuen könnte.
  4. Herr Roth bereut, seinen Lottogewinn so schnell ausgegeben zu haben.
  5. Angelika bereut, dass sie nicht auf die Party gehen konnte.
  1. I regret my laziness in the first semester at the university.
  2. Many people regret not being able to spend a lot of time with their family.
  3. One should do nothing that one could later regret.
  4. Mister Roth regrets having spent his lottery winnings so fast.
  5. Angelika regrets that she couldn't go to the party.

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. EXPERIENCER bereut CONTENT.
  1. EXPERIENCER regrets CONTENT.

Details:

This verb is used much like its English counterpart, except when it comes to whole phrases that fill the role of Content. In English, a gerund is used (an ing-form), as in "I regret having so little free time." In German, a zu-construction (aka Infinitivsatz) is used: "Ich bereue, so wenig Freizeit zu haben."Basically, you just take the verb that would be the gerund in English, put it in infinitive form, and place it at the end of the sentence, preceded by "zu." For further details on zu-constructions, see this page from Grimm Grammar.

It is also possible to begin a clause with "dass" if you don't want to use a zu-construction.

das Interesse noun interest

Details:

There are many metaphorical usages of this noun, but when it evokes this frame, the Experiencer is a sentient being. It is most often realized with a Topic or Stimulus, in a prepositional phrase headed by "an" (dat.) or "für" (akk.). "Für" tends to be used for things like fields of study or genres (a Topic), while "an" tends to occur with more specific interests (a Stimulus), but this is not a rule; they are more or less interchangeable.

Example Sentences:

  1. Viele Jugendlichen haben kein Interesse für Politik.
  2. Die Weltmeisterschaft weckte mein Interesse an Fußball.
  3. Mias Interessen sind Philosophie und Musik.
  4. Mit 15 Jahren entwickelte Sophia ein Interesse für Mode und Literatur.
  5. Heinrich zeigt eine Interesse an dem Studium des Kosmos.
  6. Als ich einen Anatomiekurs belegte, entwickelte ich ein großes Interesse am menschlichen Körper.
  7. Ich sah mit großem Interesse als sie den Kuchen vorbereitete.
  1. Many young people have no interest for politics.
  2. The World Cup aroused my interest in soccer.
  3. Mia's interests are philosophy and music.
  4. At 15, Sophia developed an interest for fashion and literature.
  5. Heinrich shows an interest in the study of the cosmos.
  6. When I took an anatomy course, I developed a stong interest in the human body.
  7. I watched with great interest as she prepared the cake.

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. EXPERIENCER hat Interessen.
  2. EXPERIENCER hat ein Interesse an TOPIC/STIMULUS.
  3. EXPERIENCER hat ein Interesse für TOPIC/STIMULUS.
  1. EXPERIENCER has interests.
  2. EXPERIENCER has an interest in TOPIC/STIMULUS.
  3. EXPERIENCER has an interest for TOPIC/STIMULUS.

Details:

There are many metaphorical usages of this noun, but when it evokes this frame, the Experiencer is a sentient being. It is most often realized with a Topic or Stimulus, in a prepositional phrase headed by "an" (dat.) or "für" (akk.). "Für" tends to be used for things like fields of study or genres (a Topic), while "an" tends to occur with more specific interests (a Stimulus), but this is not a rule; they are more or less interchangeable.

Alternate Forms:

die Interessen (pl.)
das Mitleid noun sympathy

Details:

Lit. with-sorrow

Used like the English equivalent; the Stimulus can be realized following either "mit" (dat.) or "für" (akk.).

Example Sentences:

  1. Livia will kein Mitleid.
  2. Langsam erregte Tanja ihr Lehrers Mitleid.
  3. Nach dem Feuer geht es meinen Nachbarn gar nicht gut; ich habe Mitleid für ihre Lage.
  4. Trotz allem, was passierte, hatte Dario noch Mitleid mit dem Verbrecher.
  5. Manche Soldaten hatten ein bisschen Mitleid mit den Kriegsgefangenen.
  6. Polizisten empfinden kein Mitleid für Autofahrer, die nicht auf die Verkehrsregeln achten.
  1. Livia has no sympathy.
  2. Slowly, Tanja inspired her teacher's sympathy.
  3. After the fire, it's not going well at all for my neighbors; I have sympathy for their situation.
  4. Despite everything that happened, Dario still had sympathy for the criminal.
  5. Some soldiers had a little sympathy for the prisoners of war.
  6. Policemen feel no sympathy for drivers who don't pay attention to traffic regulations.

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. EXPERIENCER hat Mitleid.
  2. EXPERIENCER hat Mitleid mit STIMULUS.
  1. EXPERIENCER has sympathy.
  2. EXPERIENCER has sympathy for STIMULUS.

Details:

Lit. with-sorrow

Used like the English equivalent; the Stimulus can be realized following either "mit" (dat.) or "für" (akk.).

depressiv adjective depressed

Details:

As in English, this adjective can describe people or their moods.

Example Sentences:

  1. Manche Mütter werden depressiv nach der Geburt des Kindes.
  2. Im ersten Jahr seines Studiums war Fabio schwer depressiv.
  1. Some mothers become depressed after the birth of the child.
  2. In his first year of study, Fabio was severely depressed.

Grammar:

Adjectives in Action

There are two main ways to use adjectives in German that parallel the ways adjectives are used in English. These usages are illustrated in the table below.

Predicate AdjectivesAttributive Adjectives
1. Sara ist arbeitslos.2. Saras arbeitsloser Mann sucht einen Job.
Sara is unemployedSara's unemployed husband is looking for a job
3. Der Kunde wurde wütend.4. Der wütende Kunde verließ den Laden.
The customer became angry.The angry customer left the store.
5. Viele deutsche Wähler sind gut informiert6. Informierte Wähler sind wichtig für eine Demokratie.
Many German voters are well informed.Informed voters are important for a democracy.

Predicate adjectives are part of a sentence's predicate, the part that states something about the subject. When used in this way, as in examples (1), (3), and (5), the adjective typically follows a verb like sein ("to be") or werden ("to become"), and appears in its most basic form. Attributive adjectives directly attribute a quality to a noun by appearing before it in the sentence; no verb comes between the adjective and the noun it describes. In attributive uses, such as (2), (4), and (6), endings are added to the adjectives. At a minimum, an attributive adjective in German gets an "e" at the end, although there are several possibilities. Adjective endings are difficult to master, so if you are in your first few years of study, the take-away here is that attributive adjectives get endings (an "e" or more), and predicate adjectives do not. If you are further in your studies or just tenaciously curious, you can learn more about adjective endings here, here and here.

Comparisons using Adjectives

In the Alternate Forms tab, you can see the comparative (e.g. gut - besser, "good" - "better") and superlative (e.g. gut - am besten, "good" - "the best") forms of an adjective. German and English are similar in their uses of comparative; both languages add an "-er" ending to make comparative forms, for example: wütend, wütender ("angry, angrier"), informiert, informierter ("informed, more informed"), etc. The main difference is that English sometimes does not allow such an ending (e.g. *stupider, *informeder, *loster), but in German, the "-er" ending is always possible, and "more" does appear with an adjective to convey the comparative meaning. There are a few more rules for German comparatives and superlatives (including some irregular forms) that you can read about here.

 

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. EXPERIENCER ist depressiv.
  2. [ein depressiv- EXPERIENCER]
  1. EXPERIENCER is depressed.
  2. [a depressed EXPERIENCER]

Details:

As in English, this adjective can describe people or their moods.

der Hass noun hatred

Details:

Compound nouns are quite common with this word, for example: Selbsthass (self-hate), Fremdenhass (xenophobia), Rassenhass (racial hatred), Frauenhass (misogyny), Schwulenhass (homophobia), Islamhass (hatred of Islam), etc.

Example Sentences:

  1. In den USA gibt es keinen Hass auf die Russen.
  2. Liam ist von Hass erfüllt.
  3. Der Hass gegen Migranten ist ein großes Problem.
  4. Elena empfand einen blinden Hass gegen den Mann.
  1. In the USA there is no hatred for Russians.
  2. Liam is with hatred filled.
  3. Hatred of immigrants is a big problem.
  4. Elena felt a blind hatred for the man.

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. EXPERIENCER hat/empfindet/kriegt Hass.
  2. EXPERIENCER empfindet Hass gegen CONTENT.
  3. EXPERIENCER empfindet Hass auf CONTENT.
  1. EXPERIENCER has/feels/gets hatred.
  2. EXPERIENCER feels hatred for CONTENT.
  3. EXPERIENCER feels hatred for CONTENT.

Details:

Compound nouns are quite common with this word, for example: Selbsthass (self-hate), Fremdenhass (xenophobia), Rassenhass (racial hatred), Frauenhass (misogyny), Schwulenhass (homophobia), Islamhass (hatred of Islam), etc.

der Spaß noun fun

Details:

In English, "fun" can be a noun or an adjective, but this is not so in German. This means that "Spaß" cannot be used with the verb "sein," as in "That is fun." Instead, Germans say "That makes fun" or "Das macht Spaß." The Experiencer can be expressed in such a phrase using dative: "Das macht mir Spaß."

Note, however, that speakers of both languages are known to "have" fun!

Example Sentences:

  1. Samuel hat Spaß auf der Party.
  2. Fußball macht Spaß!
  3. Seine Arbeit macht ihm Spaß.
  4. Es macht keinen Spaß, allein zu sein.
  5. Die Freunde hatten alle viel Spaß auf dem Konzert.
  6. Ich bin nicht zum Spaß hier.
  1. Samuel has fun at the Party.
  2. Soccer makes fun!
  3. His work makes to him fun.
  4. It makes no fun, to be alone.
  5. The friends all had a lot of fun at the Concert.
  6. I am not here for fun.

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. EXPERIENCER hat Spaß.
  2. STIMULUS macht Spaß.
  3. STIMULUS macht EXPERIENCER Spaß.
  1. EXPERIENCER has fun.
  2. STIMULUS makes fun.
  3. STIMULUS makes (to) EXPERIENCER fun.

Details:

In English, "fun" can be a noun or an adjective, but this is not so in German. This means that "Spaß" cannot be used with the verb "sein," as in "That is fun." Instead, Germans say "That makes fun" or "Das macht Spaß." The Experiencer can be expressed in such a phrase using dative: "Das macht mir Spaß."

Note, however, that speakers of both languages are known to "have" fun!

die Angst noun fear

Details:

"Angst" is a very common way to refer to fear and being afraid. German speakers don't use adjectives like afraid or scared as often as English speakers. Below are some examples that show how German and English differ.

English phrase

German phraseLit. English translation
I am afraidIch habe AngstI have fear
I get scaredIch bekomme AngstI receive fear
He scares meEr macht mir AngstHe makes (for) me fear

To express the Stimulus, use "vor" (dat.); this is what the Experiencer is afraid "of." "Um" (akk.) can introduce the Topic, what the Experiencer is afraid "for."

Example Sentences:

  1. Das Kind hat Angst vor dem Monster unter seinem Bett.
  2. Tobias hat grosse Angst vor Katzen.
  3. Die Familien waren in Angst um ihre Leben.
  4. Der Angeklagte hatte Angst um seine Familie und wollte nichts sagen.
  5. Keine Angst!
  6. Das Licht ging aus und wir bekamen grosse Angst.
  7. Der Unbekannte machte Lorenz Angst.
  8. Du machst mir Angst!
  1. The child has fear of the monster under its bed.
  2. Tobias has a great fear of cats.
  3. The Families were in fear for their lives.
  4. The defendant had fear for his family and didn't want to say anything.
  5. No fear! [Don't be afraid]
  6. The light went out and we received great fear. [became very afraid]
  7. The stranger made Lorenz afraid.
  8. You are scaring me!

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. EXPERIENCER hat/bekommt Angst.
  2. EXPERIENCER hat Angst vor STIMULUS.
  3. EXPERIENCER hat Angst um TOPIC.
  4. STIMULUS macht EXPERIENCER Angst.
  1. EXPERIENCER has/gets fear.
  2. EXPERIENCER has fear of STIMULUS.
  3. EXPERIENCER has fear for TOPIC.
  4. STIMULUS makes (for) EXPERIENCER fear.

Details:

"Angst" is a very common way to refer to fear and being afraid. German speakers don't use adjectives like afraid or scared as often as English speakers. Below are some examples that show how German and English differ.

English phrase

German phraseLit. English translation
I am afraidIch habe AngstI have fear
I get scaredIch bekomme AngstI receive fear
He scares meEr macht mir AngstHe makes (for) me fear

To express the Stimulus, use "vor" (dat.); this is what the Experiencer is afraid "of." "Um" (akk.) can introduce the Topic, what the Experiencer is afraid "for."

Alternate Forms:

die Ängste (pl.)
die Freude noun pleasure

Details:

Used much like its English counterpart, this noun indicates enjoyment of some Content, expressed with "an" (dat.). The phrase "Freude haben an" is similar to English "take pleasure in."

Example Sentences:

  1. Freude an der Arbeit ist wichtig für eine hohe Lebensqualität.
  2. Timo hat Freude am Kochen.
  3. Wie findet man wieder Freude am Leben?
  4. Es ist immer eine Freude, mit Konstantin zu reden.
  5. Paulas Vater weckte ihre Freude am Lesen.
  6. Man kann leicht sehen, er macht Musik mit viel Freude.
  7. Die Freude an wissenschaftlicher Arbeit spielt keine Rolle in der Diskussion um Sinn und Unsinn des Promovierens.
  1. Pleasure in your work is important for a high quality of life.
  2. Timo takes pleasure in cooking.
  3. How does one find pleasure in life again?
  4. It is always a pleasure to talk to Konstantin.
  5. Paula's father awoke her pleasure for reading.
  6. One can easily see, he makes music with much pleasure.
  7. The pleasure in scientific work plays no role in the discussion of whether it makes sense to get a doctorate degree.

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. EXPERIENCER hat Freude.
  2. EXPERIENCER hat Freude an CONTENT.
  3. CONTENT ist eine Freude.
  4. EXPERIENCER macht etwas mit Freude.
  1. EXPERIENCER has pleasure.
  2. EXPERIENCER has pleasure in CONTENT.
  3. CONTENT is a pleasure.
  4. EXPERIENCER does something with pleasure.

Details:

Used much like its English counterpart, this noun indicates enjoyment of some Content, expressed with "an" (dat.). The phrase "Freude haben an" is similar to English "take pleasure in."

eifersüchtig adjective jealous

Details:

Used like its English equivalent. The Content/Topic is expressed in a phrase with "auf" (akk.).

Example Sentences:

  1. Du darfst nicht eifersüchtig sein.
  2. Leonies Freunde sind eifersüchtig auf ihren Erfolg.
  3. Selina beruhigt ihren eifersüchtigen Freund.
  4. Die Schuaspielerin war etwas eifersüchtig auf ihre eigenen Töchter.
  5. Eifersüchtiges Überwachen ist nicht gesund in einer Liebesbeziehung.
  1. You are not allowed to be jealous.
  2. Leonie's friends are jealous of her success.
  3. Selina reassures her jealous boyfriend.
  4. The actress was somewhat jealous of her own daughters.
  5. Jealous surveillance is not healthy in a love relationship.

Grammar:

Adjectives in Action

There are two main ways to use adjectives in German that parallel the ways adjectives are used in English. These usages are illustrated in the table below.

Predicate AdjectivesAttributive Adjectives
1. Sara ist arbeitslos.2. Saras arbeitsloser Mann sucht einen Job.
Sara is unemployedSara's unemployed husband is looking for a job
3. Der Kunde wurde wütend.4. Der wütende Kunde verließ den Laden.
The customer became angry.The angry customer left the store.
5. Viele deutsche Wähler sind gut informiert6. Informierte Wähler sind wichtig für eine Demokratie.
Many German voters are well informed.Informed voters are important for a democracy.

Predicate adjectives are part of a sentence's predicate, the part that states something about the subject. When used in this way, as in examples (1), (3), and (5), the adjective typically follows a verb like sein ("to be") or werden ("to become"), and appears in its most basic form. Attributive adjectives directly attribute a quality to a noun by appearing before it in the sentence; no verb comes between the adjective and the noun it describes. In attributive uses, such as (2), (4), and (6), endings are added to the adjectives. At a minimum, an attributive adjective in German gets an "e" at the end, although there are several possibilities. Adjective endings are difficult to master, so if you are in your first few years of study, the take-away here is that attributive adjectives get endings (an "e" or more), and predicate adjectives do not. If you are further in your studies or just tenaciously curious, you can learn more about adjective endings here, here and here.

Comparisons using Adjectives

In the Alternate Forms tab, you can see the comparative (e.g. gut - besser, "good" - "better") and superlative (e.g. gut - am besten, "good" - "the best") forms of an adjective. German and English are similar in their uses of comparative; both languages add an "-er" ending to make comparative forms, for example: wütend, wütender ("angry, angrier"), informiert, informierter ("informed, more informed"), etc. The main difference is that English sometimes does not allow such an ending (e.g. *stupider, *informeder, *loster), but in German, the "-er" ending is always possible, and "more" does appear with an adjective to convey the comparative meaning. There are a few more rules for German comparatives and superlatives (including some irregular forms) that you can read about here.

 

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. EXPERIENCER ist eifersüchtig.
  2. EXPERIENCER ist eifersüchtig auf CONTENT.
  3. EXPERIENCER ist eifersüchtig auf TOPIC.
  4. [ein eifersüchtig- EXPERIENCER]
  1. EXPERIENCER is jealous.
  2. EXPERIENCER is jealous of CONTENT.
  3. EXPERIENCER is jealous of TOPIC.
  4. [a jealous EXPERIENCER]

Details:

Used like its English equivalent. The Content/Topic is expressed in a phrase with "auf" (akk.).

einschüchtern verb intimidate

Details:

This verb is used like the English version. It often occurs with "sich lassen" (to allow oneself), forming phrases like "Ich lasse mich nicht einschüchtern" ("I do not allow myself to be intimidated"). For more information about how to use this construction, see the last section on this page in Grimm Grammar.

Example Sentences:

  1. Er will uns nur einschüchtern.
  2. Die Regierung schüchtert Journalisten ein.
  3. Der Innenminister appelliert an die Bürger, sich nicht einschüchtern zu lassen.
  4. Menschen, die andere einschüchtern oder bedrohen, gehören nicht an dieser Universität. 
  1. He only wants to intimidate us.
  2. The government intimidates Journalists.
  3. The minister of the interior calls on the citizens, not to let themselves be intimidated.
  4. People who others intimidate or threaten, don't belong at this university.

Grammar:

Verbs with Separable Prefixes

Some verbs have a prefix that moves around in the sentence, depending on what form the verb takes. In the infinitive form, the prefix is attached, like "ausgehen" (to go out). If the verb is conjugated (in present or simple past tense), the prefix appears at the end of the clause, as in "Ich gehe heute Abend aus." For more information about these verbs, see the examples for individual verbs or read these explanations from Grimm Grammar: present tense, conversational past tense (Perfekt).

Making Adjectives from Verbs

In German (just as in English), the past participles of verbs (with the -ed ending in English) can be used as adjectives, known as "participial adjectives." Add an adjective ending when appropriate. Even a verb's present participle can be used as an adjective. This form of the verb is similar in meaning to English ing-forms, and is formed in German by adding a "d" (and an adjective ending, if necessary) to the infinitive form of the verb. Adjectives formed in this way apply to the type of frame element that would fill the subject role of the verb (e.g. überraschend applies to a Stimulus, and  ).

Example: enttäuschen, überraschen (normal use as verbs)

     Jens enttäuscht seine Mutter. (Jens disappoints his mother.)

     Das Ende der Geschichte überrascht Lena. (The end of the story surprises Lena.)

Adjectives from Past Participles: 

Example: enttäuschen (to disappoint) > enttäuscht

     Seine Mutter war enttäuscht, dass er bei der Prüfung durchgefallen ist. (His mother was disappointed that he failed the test.)

     Die enttäuschte Mutter weint. (The disappointed mother cries.)

The way frame elements are realized with the verb determine what the adjective can be used to describe. Details are given in the table below.

Subject of VerbDirect ObjectAdjective applies to:Examples
StimulusExperiencerExperienceraufgeregt (worked up), schockiert (shocked), enttäuscht (disappointed)
Experiencer

Content or Stimulus

Content or Stimulus

gefürchtet (feared), gehasst (hated), geliebt (loved)

*Note that this is not the same as passive voice, which also uses a past participle. See Grimm Grammar for infomation about passive.

Adjectives from Present Participles:

Example: überraschen > überraschend (surprising)

     Das Ende der Geschichte war überraschend. (The end of the story was surprising.)

     Das war ein überraschendes Ende. (That was a surprising ending.)

 

 

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. STIMULUS schüchtert EXPERIENCER ein.
  1. STIMULUS intimidates EXPERIENCER.

Details:

This verb is used like the English version. It often occurs with "sich lassen" (to allow oneself), forming phrases like "Ich lasse mich nicht einschüchtern" ("I do not allow myself to be intimidated"). For more information about how to use this construction, see the last section on this page in Grimm Grammar.

Alternate Forms:

er schüchtert ... ein, hat eingeschüchtert, schüchterte ... ein
entsetzt adjective horrified

Details:

Used like its English counterpart.

Example Sentences:

  1. Die Demonstranten sind entsetzt über das Ausmaß an Gewalt gegen Frauen und Kinder.
  2. Als ich mitgeteilt wurde, war ich entsetzt und schockiert.
  1. The demonstraters are horrified about the extent of violence against women and children.
  2. When I was informed, I was horrified and shocked.

Grammar:

Adjectives in Action

There are two main ways to use adjectives in German that parallel the ways adjectives are used in English. These usages are illustrated in the table below.

Predicate AdjectivesAttributive Adjectives
1. Sara ist arbeitslos.2. Saras arbeitsloser Mann sucht einen Job.
Sara is unemployedSara's unemployed husband is looking for a job
3. Der Kunde wurde wütend.4. Der wütende Kunde verließ den Laden.
The customer became angry.The angry customer left the store.
5. Viele deutsche Wähler sind gut informiert6. Informierte Wähler sind wichtig für eine Demokratie.
Many German voters are well informed.Informed voters are important for a democracy.

Predicate adjectives are part of a sentence's predicate, the part that states something about the subject. When used in this way, as in examples (1), (3), and (5), the adjective typically follows a verb like sein ("to be") or werden ("to become"), and appears in its most basic form. Attributive adjectives directly attribute a quality to a noun by appearing before it in the sentence; no verb comes between the adjective and the noun it describes. In attributive uses, such as (2), (4), and (6), endings are added to the adjectives. At a minimum, an attributive adjective in German gets an "e" at the end, although there are several possibilities. Adjective endings are difficult to master, so if you are in your first few years of study, the take-away here is that attributive adjectives get endings (an "e" or more), and predicate adjectives do not. If you are further in your studies or just tenaciously curious, you can learn more about adjective endings here, here and here.

Comparisons using Adjectives

In the Alternate Forms tab, you can see the comparative (e.g. gut - besser, "good" - "better") and superlative (e.g. gut - am besten, "good" - "the best") forms of an adjective. German and English are similar in their uses of comparative; both languages add an "-er" ending to make comparative forms, for example: wütend, wütender ("angry, angrier"), informiert, informierter ("informed, more informed"), etc. The main difference is that English sometimes does not allow such an ending (e.g. *stupider, *informeder, *loster), but in German, the "-er" ending is always possible, and "more" does appear with an adjective to convey the comparative meaning. There are a few more rules for German comparatives and superlatives (including some irregular forms) that you can read about here.

 

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. EXPERIENCER ist/wird entsetzt.
  2. EXPERIENCER ist entsetzt über STIMULUS.
  3. [ein entsetzt- EXPERIENCER]
  1. EXPERIENCER is/becomes horrified.
  2. EXPERIENCER is horrified about STIMULUS.
  3. [a horrified EXPERIENCER]

Details:

Used like its English counterpart.

enttäuschen verb disappoint

Example Sentences:

  1. Das Match enttäuschte die Fans.
  2. Anton enttäuscht seine Mutter, indem er schlechte Noten bekommt.
  1. The match disappointed the fans.
  2. Anton disappoints his mother, in that he gets bad grades.

Grammar:

Making Adjectives from Verbs

In German (just as in English), the past participles of verbs (with the -ed ending in English) can be used as adjectives, known as "participial adjectives." Add an adjective ending when appropriate. Even a verb's present participle can be used as an adjective. This form of the verb is similar in meaning to English ing-forms, and is formed in German by adding a "d" (and an adjective ending, if necessary) to the infinitive form of the verb. Adjectives formed in this way apply to the type of frame element that would fill the subject role of the verb (e.g. überraschend applies to a Stimulus, and  ).

Example: enttäuschen, überraschen (normal use as verbs)

     Jens enttäuscht seine Mutter. (Jens disappoints his mother.)

     Das Ende der Geschichte überrascht Lena. (The end of the story surprises Lena.)

Adjectives from Past Participles: 

Example: enttäuschen (to disappoint) > enttäuscht

     Seine Mutter war enttäuscht, dass er bei der Prüfung durchgefallen ist. (His mother was disappointed that he failed the test.)

     Die enttäuschte Mutter weint. (The disappointed mother cries.)

The way frame elements are realized with the verb determine what the adjective can be used to describe. Details are given in the table below.

Subject of VerbDirect ObjectAdjective applies to:Examples
StimulusExperiencerExperienceraufgeregt (worked up), schockiert (shocked), enttäuscht (disappointed)
Experiencer

Content or Stimulus

Content or Stimulus

gefürchtet (feared), gehasst (hated), geliebt (loved)

*Note that this is not the same as passive voice, which also uses a past participle. See Grimm Grammar for infomation about passive.

Adjectives from Present Participles:

Example: überraschen > überraschend (surprising)

     Das Ende der Geschichte war überraschend. (The end of the story was surprising.)

     Das war ein überraschendes Ende. (That was a surprising ending.)

 

 

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. STIMULUS enttäuscht EXPERIENCER.
  1. STIMULUS disappoints EXPERIENCER.
froh adjective happy

Details:

Although glücklich is used about as often as froh, this adjective is more common when it comes to holiday wishes:

Frohes neues Jahr!Happy New Year!
Frohe Weihnachten!Happy Christmas!
Frohe Ostern!Happy Easter!

 Use "über" (akk.) to introduce what you are happy "about" (the Stimulus). In southern Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, "um" (akk.) might be used. The Stimulus can also appear in a clause with "dass" or a zu-construction (Infinitivsatz).

Example Sentences:

  1. Meine Verwandten sind frohe Menschen.
  2. Ich bin froh, dass es endlich Sommer ist.
  3. Manuel ist ein bisschen nervös, aber doch froh über den Termin.
  4. Pascal war froh, endlich wieder zu Hause zu sein.
  1. My relatives are happy people.
  2. I am happy that it is finally summer.
  3. Manuel is a little nervous, but indeed happy about the appointment.
  4. Pascal was happy, finally again at home to be.

Grammar:

Adjectives in Action

There are two main ways to use adjectives in German that parallel the ways adjectives are used in English. These usages are illustrated in the table below.

Predicate AdjectivesAttributive Adjectives
1. Sara ist arbeitslos.2. Saras arbeitsloser Mann sucht einen Job.
Sara is unemployedSara's unemployed husband is looking for a job
3. Der Kunde wurde wütend.4. Der wütende Kunde verließ den Laden.
The customer became angry.The angry customer left the store.
5. Viele deutsche Wähler sind gut informiert6. Informierte Wähler sind wichtig für eine Demokratie.
Many German voters are well informed.Informed voters are important for a democracy.

Predicate adjectives are part of a sentence's predicate, the part that states something about the subject. When used in this way, as in examples (1), (3), and (5), the adjective typically follows a verb like sein ("to be") or werden ("to become"), and appears in its most basic form. Attributive adjectives directly attribute a quality to a noun by appearing before it in the sentence; no verb comes between the adjective and the noun it describes. In attributive uses, such as (2), (4), and (6), endings are added to the adjectives. At a minimum, an attributive adjective in German gets an "e" at the end, although there are several possibilities. Adjective endings are difficult to master, so if you are in your first few years of study, the take-away here is that attributive adjectives get endings (an "e" or more), and predicate adjectives do not. If you are further in your studies or just tenaciously curious, you can learn more about adjective endings here, here and here.

Comparisons using Adjectives

In the Alternate Forms tab, you can see the comparative (e.g. gut - besser, "good" - "better") and superlative (e.g. gut - am besten, "good" - "the best") forms of an adjective. German and English are similar in their uses of comparative; both languages add an "-er" ending to make comparative forms, for example: wütend, wütender ("angry, angrier"), informiert, informierter ("informed, more informed"), etc. The main difference is that English sometimes does not allow such an ending (e.g. *stupider, *informeder, *loster), but in German, the "-er" ending is always possible, and "more" does appear with an adjective to convey the comparative meaning. There are a few more rules for German comparatives and superlatives (including some irregular forms) that you can read about here.

 

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. EXPERIENCER ist froh.
  2. EXPERIENCER ist froh über STIMULUS.
  1. EXPERIENCER is happy.
  2. EXPERIENCER is happy about STIMULUS.

Details:

Although glücklich is used about as often as froh, this adjective is more common when it comes to holiday wishes:

Frohes neues Jahr!Happy New Year!
Frohe Weihnachten!Happy Christmas!
Frohe Ostern!Happy Easter!

 Use "über" (akk.) to introduce what you are happy "about" (the Stimulus). In southern Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, "um" (akk.) might be used. The Stimulus can also appear in a clause with "dass" or a zu-construction (Infinitivsatz).

fürchten verb fear

Details:

to fear

Sometimes translated as "to dread." See also "die Angst" ("fear").

Example Sentences:

  1. Der Zeuge fürchtet um sein Leben.
  2. Melina fürchtete, ihren Pass zu verlieren.
  3. Die Eltern fürchten um ihr Geld.
  4. Die Veranstalter fürchten eine Verwässerung der Standards.
  5. Sie braucht sich nicht mehr vor dem Sterben zu fürchten.
  1. The witness fears for his life.
  2. Melina fears losing her passport.
  3. The parents fear for their money.
  4. The organizers fear a watering-down of the standards.
  5. She needs no more to fear death.

Grammar:

Making Adjectives from Verbs

In German (just as in English), the past participles of verbs (with the -ed ending in English) can be used as adjectives, known as "participial adjectives." Add an adjective ending when appropriate. Even a verb's present participle can be used as an adjective. This form of the verb is similar in meaning to English ing-forms, and is formed in German by adding a "d" (and an adjective ending, if necessary) to the infinitive form of the verb. Adjectives formed in this way apply to the type of frame element that would fill the subject role of the verb (e.g. überraschend applies to a Stimulus, and  ).

Example: enttäuschen, überraschen (normal use as verbs)

     Jens enttäuscht seine Mutter. (Jens disappoints his mother.)

     Das Ende der Geschichte überrascht Lena. (The end of the story surprises Lena.)

Adjectives from Past Participles: 

Example: enttäuschen (to disappoint) > enttäuscht

     Seine Mutter war enttäuscht, dass er bei der Prüfung durchgefallen ist. (His mother was disappointed that he failed the test.)

     Die enttäuschte Mutter weint. (The disappointed mother cries.)

The way frame elements are realized with the verb determine what the adjective can be used to describe. Details are given in the table below.

Subject of VerbDirect ObjectAdjective applies to:Examples
StimulusExperiencerExperienceraufgeregt (worked up), schockiert (shocked), enttäuscht (disappointed)
Experiencer

Content or Stimulus

Content or Stimulus

gefürchtet (feared), gehasst (hated), geliebt (loved)

*Note that this is not the same as passive voice, which also uses a past participle. See Grimm Grammar for infomation about passive.

Adjectives from Present Participles:

Example: überraschen > überraschend (surprising)

     Das Ende der Geschichte war überraschend. (The end of the story was surprising.)

     Das war ein überraschendes Ende. (That was a surprising ending.)

 

 

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. EXPERIENCER fürchtet STIMULUS.
  2. EXPERIENCER fürchtet um TOPIC.
  3. EXPERIENCER fürchtet sich vor STIMULUS
  1. EXPERIENCER fears STIMULUS.
  2. EXPERIENCER fears for TOPIC.
  3. EXPERIENCER fears STIMULUS.

Details:

to fear

Sometimes translated as "to dread." See also "die Angst" ("fear").

gefallen (dat.) verb like, please

Details:

This verb conveys the same meaning as English "like," but in a seemingly backward way - the thing that is liked takes the subject role in the sentence! It is even considered a Stimulus. The dative case is used for the Experiencer. So, if I like a book, I would say "Das Buch gefällt mir." It may help to think of the English verb "please," as in "The book pleases me." What someone likes "about" something (a Topic) is expressed using "an."

This is a so-called dative verb because it does not take an accusative object.

Example Sentences:

  1. Die neuen Schuhe gefallen ihr.
  2. Dieser Film gefällt mir sehr gut.
  3. Was gefällt euch an der Universität von Texas?
  4. Mir gefällt er gar nicht!
  1. The new shoes please her.
  2. This movie pleases me very well.
  3. What pleases you about the University of Texas?
  4. I don't like him at all!

Grammar:

Dative Verbs

Some German verbs use the dative case with their objects, instead of accusative (e.g. helfen, danken, gefallen, gehören, schmecken, passen). Sometimes these dative objects are expressed with "to" phrases in English (e.g. Es gehört mir - It belongs to me). People often fill this syntactic role, so it will come in handy to review the personal pronouns in dative.

Personal Pronouns in Dative
 Sing.Pl.
1st pers.miruns
2nd pers.direuch

3rd pers. masc.

fem.

neut.

ihm

ihr

ihm

ihnen
Formal 2nd pers.Ihnen

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. STIMULUS gefällt EXPERIENCER.
  2. STIMULUS gefällt EXPERIENCER an TOPIC.
  1. STIMULUS pleases EXPERIENCER.
  2. STIMULUS pleases EXPERIENCER about TOPIC.

Details:

This verb conveys the same meaning as English "like," but in a seemingly backward way - the thing that is liked takes the subject role in the sentence! It is even considered a Stimulus. The dative case is used for the Experiencer. So, if I like a book, I would say "Das Buch gefällt mir." It may help to think of the English verb "please," as in "The book pleases me." What someone likes "about" something (a Topic) is expressed using "an."

This is a so-called dative verb because it does not take an accusative object.

Alternate Forms:

es gefällt, hat gefallen, gefiel
genießen verb enjoy

Details:

Used like its English counterpart. Beware of its irregular past tense forms.

Example Sentences:

  1. Moritz genießt das Konzert.
  2. Alina und Fabian genoßen ihren Urlaub in Spanien.
  1. Moritz enjoys the concert.
  2. Alina and Fabian enjoyed their vacation in Spain.

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. EXPERIENCER genießt STIMULUS.
  1. EXPERIENCER enjoys STIMULUS.

Details:

Used like its English counterpart. Beware of its irregular past tense forms.

Alternate Forms:

er genießt, hat genossen, genoss
gern adverb gladly

Details:

This adverb is used along with a verb to indicate that its subject likes the activity. Sometimes it is written "gerne."

Example Sentences:

  1. Jens und Kent schwimmen gern.
  2. Michelle spielt gern Computerspiele.
  3. Frank isst gern Wurst und Kartoffelsalat.
  4. Ich gehe gern ins Kino.
  5. Was machst du gern in deiner Freizeit?
  1. Jens and Kent swim gladly.
  2. Michelle plays gladly computer games.
  3. Frank eats gladly sausage and potato salad.
  4. I go gladly to the movies.
  5. What do you do gladly in your free time?

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. EXPERIENCER verb-t gern.
  1. EXPERIENCER verb-s gladly.

Details:

This adverb is used along with a verb to indicate that its subject likes the activity. Sometimes it is written "gerne."

Alternate Forms:

gerne
gern haben multi-word expression like

Details:

Lit. to have gladly

This is one of a number of ways to say that you like something in German (see also gefallen and mögen). It is used with nouns only (to say you like doing something, you can leave out "haben" and use gern with that verb; see the entry for gern in this frame).

A more intense variation on this expression is "etwas zum Fressen gern haben," which means something like "to love something to pieces." If you've looked at the Eating and Drinking frame, you know that fressen is used for animals eating; the expression makes more sense if you imagine a mother telling her child "I want to eat you all up!" 

Example Sentences:

  1. Er hat mich gern.
  2. Gerhard hatte den Hund recht gern.
  3. Ich habe ihn zum Fressen gern!
  1. He likes me.
  2. Gerhard really liked the dog.
  3. I love him to pieces!

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. EXPERIENCER hat CONTENT gern.
  1. EXPERIENCER has CONTENT gladly.

Details:

Lit. to have gladly

This is one of a number of ways to say that you like something in German (see also gefallen and mögen). It is used with nouns only (to say you like doing something, you can leave out "haben" and use gern with that verb; see the entry for gern in this frame).

A more intense variation on this expression is "etwas zum Fressen gern haben," which means something like "to love something to pieces." If you've looked at the Eating and Drinking frame, you know that fressen is used for animals eating; the expression makes more sense if you imagine a mother telling her child "I want to eat you all up!" 

Alternate Forms:

gerne
glücklich adjective happy

Details:

This word is polysemous. That is, it has multiple senses. It means both  "lucky" and "happy," and can even be used in the "content" sense of "happy." Of course, the "lucky" meaning doesn't evoke this frame.

The Stimulus can be expressed in a prepositional phrase using "über," in a dependent clause with "dass" (that), or with a zu-construction (Infinitivsatz).

Topic can be introduced with "über" or "mit," and "mit" can also be used for Content (this happens when the term is used like "zufrieden," "content").

"Glücklich" can be used as an adjective (happily), and adding an un-prefix turns this adjective into its opposite (unhappy). 

Example Sentences:

  1. Zoe ist glücklich mit ihrem Leben.
  2. Elisabeth war glücklich, dass so viele Gäste auf die Party kamen.
  3. Levi ist glücklich über seinen neuen Job.
  4. Im Moment ist er nicht glücklich mit seiner Familie.
  5. Sie ist glücklich über die gute Aufnahme ihres Buchs.
  1. Zoe is happy with her life.
  2. Elisabeth war happythat so many guests to the party came.
  3. Levi is happy about his new Job.
  4. At the moment he is not happy with his family.
  5. She is happy about the good reception of her book.

Grammar:

Adjectives in Action

There are two main ways to use adjectives in German that parallel the ways adjectives are used in English. These usages are illustrated in the table below.

Predicate AdjectivesAttributive Adjectives
1. Sara ist arbeitslos.2. Saras arbeitsloser Mann sucht einen Job.
Sara is unemployedSara's unemployed husband is looking for a job
3. Der Kunde wurde wütend.4. Der wütende Kunde verließ den Laden.
The customer became angry.The angry customer left the store.
5. Viele deutsche Wähler sind gut informiert6. Informierte Wähler sind wichtig für eine Demokratie.
Many German voters are well informed.Informed voters are important for a democracy.

Predicate adjectives are part of a sentence's predicate, the part that states something about the subject. When used in this way, as in examples (1), (3), and (5), the adjective typically follows a verb like sein ("to be") or werden ("to become"), and appears in its most basic form. Attributive adjectives directly attribute a quality to a noun by appearing before it in the sentence; no verb comes between the adjective and the noun it describes. In attributive uses, such as (2), (4), and (6), endings are added to the adjectives. At a minimum, an attributive adjective in German gets an "e" at the end, although there are several possibilities. Adjective endings are difficult to master, so if you are in your first few years of study, the take-away here is that attributive adjectives get endings (an "e" or more), and predicate adjectives do not. If you are further in your studies or just tenaciously curious, you can learn more about adjective endings here, here and here.

Comparisons using Adjectives

In the Alternate Forms tab, you can see the comparative (e.g. gut - besser, "good" - "better") and superlative (e.g. gut - am besten, "good" - "the best") forms of an adjective. German and English are similar in their uses of comparative; both languages add an "-er" ending to make comparative forms, for example: wütend, wütender ("angry, angrier"), informiert, informierter ("informed, more informed"), etc. The main difference is that English sometimes does not allow such an ending (e.g. *stupider, *informeder, *loster), but in German, the "-er" ending is always possible, and "more" does appear with an adjective to convey the comparative meaning. There are a few more rules for German comparatives and superlatives (including some irregular forms) that you can read about here.

 

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. EXPERIENCER ist glücklich.
  2. EXPERIENCER ist glücklich mit CONTENT.
  3. EXPERIENCER ist glücklich mit TOPIC.
  4. EXPERIENCER ist glücklich über STIMULUS.
  5. EXPERIENCER ist glücklich über TOPIC.
  6. [ein glücklich- EXPERIENCER]
  1. EXPERIENCER is happy.
  2. EXPERIENCER is happy with CONTENT.
  3. EXPERIENCER is happy with TOPIC.
  4. EXPERIENCER is happy about STIMULUS.
  5. EXPERIENCER is happy about TOPIC.
  6. [a happy EXPERIENCER]

Details:

This word is polysemous. That is, it has multiple senses. It means both  "lucky" and "happy," and can even be used in the "content" sense of "happy." Of course, the "lucky" meaning doesn't evoke this frame.

The Stimulus can be expressed in a prepositional phrase using "über," in a dependent clause with "dass" (that), or with a zu-construction (Infinitivsatz).

Topic can be introduced with "über" or "mit," and "mit" can also be used for Content (this happens when the term is used like "zufrieden," "content").

"Glücklich" can be used as an adjective (happily), and adding an un-prefix turns this adjective into its opposite (unhappy). 

hassen verb hate

Details:

Used like the English term.

Example Sentences:

  1. Stephanie hasst diesen Film.
  2. Mein bester Freund hasst mich jetzt.
  3. Ich hasse es wie die Pest!
  1. Stephanie hates this Film.
  2. My best friend hates me now.
  3. I hate it like the plague!

Grammar:

Making Adjectives from Verbs

In German (just as in English), the past participles of verbs (with the -ed ending in English) can be used as adjectives, known as "participial adjectives." Add an adjective ending when appropriate. Even a verb's present participle can be used as an adjective. This form of the verb is similar in meaning to English ing-forms, and is formed in German by adding a "d" (and an adjective ending, if necessary) to the infinitive form of the verb. Adjectives formed in this way apply to the type of frame element that would fill the subject role of the verb (e.g. überraschend applies to a Stimulus, and  ).

Example: enttäuschen, überraschen (normal use as verbs)

     Jens enttäuscht seine Mutter. (Jens disappoints his mother.)

     Das Ende der Geschichte überrascht Lena. (The end of the story surprises Lena.)

Adjectives from Past Participles: 

Example: enttäuschen (to disappoint) > enttäuscht

     Seine Mutter war enttäuscht, dass er bei der Prüfung durchgefallen ist. (His mother was disappointed that he failed the test.)

     Die enttäuschte Mutter weint. (The disappointed mother cries.)

The way frame elements are realized with the verb determine what the adjective can be used to describe. Details are given in the table below.

Subject of VerbDirect ObjectAdjective applies to:Examples
StimulusExperiencerExperienceraufgeregt (worked up), schockiert (shocked), enttäuscht (disappointed)
Experiencer

Content or Stimulus

Content or Stimulus

gefürchtet (feared), gehasst (hated), geliebt (loved)

*Note that this is not the same as passive voice, which also uses a past participle. See Grimm Grammar for infomation about passive.

Adjectives from Present Participles:

Example: überraschen > überraschend (surprising)

     Das Ende der Geschichte war überraschend. (The end of the story was surprising.)

     Das war ein überraschendes Ende. (That was a surprising ending.)

 

 

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. EXPERIENCER hasst CONTENT.
  1. EXPERIENCER hates CONTENT.

Details:

Used like the English term.

interessieren verb interest (be interested in)

Details:

Used like English counterpart, but there is a reflexive form that means "to be interested in" ("sich interessieren für").

*This concept is an exception to the pattern identified in the grammar note: for "interesting," use "interessant" (nicht "interessierend"). "Interessiert" is still appropriate, and its opposite can be formed by adding un- ("uninteressiert").

Example Sentences:

  1. Philosophie interessiert Sara.
  2. Es interessiert ihn, dass Deutsch und Englisch so ähnlich sind.
  3. Felix interessiert sich für Linguistik.
  4. Als sie jung waren, interessierten sich Lily und Mila für Puppen und Pferde.
  1. Philosophy interests Sara.
  2. It interests him, that German and English are so similar.
  3. Felix is interested in linguistics.
  4. When they were young, Lily and Mila were interested in dolls and horses.

Grammar:

Making Adjectives from Verbs

In German (just as in English), the past participles of verbs (with the -ed ending in English) can be used as adjectives, known as "participial adjectives." Add an adjective ending when appropriate. Even a verb's present participle can be used as an adjective. This form of the verb is similar in meaning to English ing-forms, and is formed in German by adding a "d" (and an adjective ending, if necessary) to the infinitive form of the verb. Adjectives formed in this way apply to the type of frame element that would fill the subject role of the verb (e.g. überraschend applies to a Stimulus, and  ).

Example: enttäuschen, überraschen (normal use as verbs)

     Jens enttäuscht seine Mutter. (Jens disappoints his mother.)

     Das Ende der Geschichte überrascht Lena. (The end of the story surprises Lena.)

Adjectives from Past Participles: 

Example: enttäuschen (to disappoint) > enttäuscht

     Seine Mutter war enttäuscht, dass er bei der Prüfung durchgefallen ist. (His mother was disappointed that he failed the test.)

     Die enttäuschte Mutter weint. (The disappointed mother cries.)

The way frame elements are realized with the verb determine what the adjective can be used to describe. Details are given in the table below.

Subject of VerbDirect ObjectAdjective applies to:Examples
StimulusExperiencerExperienceraufgeregt (worked up), schockiert (shocked), enttäuscht (disappointed)
Experiencer

Content or Stimulus

Content or Stimulus

gefürchtet (feared), gehasst (hated), geliebt (loved)

*Note that this is not the same as passive voice, which also uses a past participle. See Grimm Grammar for infomation about passive.

Adjectives from Present Participles:

Example: überraschen > überraschend (surprising)

     Das Ende der Geschichte war überraschend. (The end of the story was surprising.)

     Das war ein überraschendes Ende. (That was a surprising ending.)

 

 

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. STIMULUS interessiert EXPERIENCER.
  2. EXPERIENCER interessiert sich für STIMULUS.
  1. STIMULUS interests EXPERIENCER.
  2. EXPERIENCER is interested in STIMULUS.

Details:

Used like English counterpart, but there is a reflexive form that means "to be interested in" ("sich interessieren für").

*This concept is an exception to the pattern identified in the grammar note: for "interesting," use "interessant" (nicht "interessierend"). "Interessiert" is still appropriate, and its opposite can be formed by adding un- ("uninteressiert").

Alternate Forms:

sich interessieren für
jdm. auf die Nerven gehen multi-word expression get on s.o.'s nerves

Details:

Used like its English equivalent, but the Experiencer appears in dative rather than as a possessive.

Example Sentences:

  1. Dieses Lied geht mir auf die Nerven.
  2. Adrian geht ihr auf die Nerven.
  3. Wenn mir ein Journalist auf die Nerven geht, kann ich sofort reagieren.
  4. Er will den Leuten nicht auf die Nerven gehen.
  1. This song gets on my nerves.
  2. Adrian gets on her nerves.
  3. If a journalist gets on  my nerves, I can immediately react.
  4. He doesn't want to get  on the people's nerves.

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. STIMULUS geht EXPERIENCER auf die Nerven.
  1. STIMULUS gets EXPERIENCER on the nerves.

Details:

Used like its English equivalent, but the Experiencer appears in dative rather than as a possessive.

jdm. egal sein multi-word expression be all the same

Details:

to be all the same (to someone)

"Es ist mir egal" literally means "it is equal to me" but is best translated as "I don't care." Use this expression with a different Experiencer by changing the dative "mir." If no dative object is included, e.g. "es ist egal," then the meaning is general: "it doesn't matter."

The subject of the sentence is the Content. When used with "es" ("it") as the subject, you can elaborate on the Content by adding a dependent clause that typically begins with a question word or a preposition, as in examples 2 and 4.

Example Sentences:

  1. Das ist mir egal.
  2. Es war ihnen egal, ob die Reise etwas länger war.
  3. Das weiß Patrick, aber es ist ihm egal.
  4. Es ist mir letztlich auch egal, aus welchen Quellen sich das gespeist hat.
  1. It is all the same to me. (I don't care; It doesn't matter to me)
  2. It didn't matter to them, if the trip was a bit longer.
  3. Patrick knows that, but he doesn't care.
  4. I don't care what sources it was supplied from.

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. CONTENT ist EXPERIENCER egal.
  2. Es ist EXPERIENCER egal, CONTENT.
  1. CONTENT is to EXPERIENCER all the same.
  2. It is all the same to EXPERIENCER, CONTENT.

Details:

to be all the same (to someone)

"Es ist mir egal" literally means "it is equal to me" but is best translated as "I don't care." Use this expression with a different Experiencer by changing the dative "mir." If no dative object is included, e.g. "es ist egal," then the meaning is general: "it doesn't matter."

The subject of the sentence is the Content. When used with "es" ("it") as the subject, you can elaborate on the Content by adding a dependent clause that typically begins with a question word or a preposition, as in examples 2 and 4.

jdm. wurst sein multi-word expression be all the same

Details:

Literally "to be sausage to s.o.", this expression means "I don't care" or "it's all the same to me." It's a bit stonger than "es ist mir egal."

Example Sentences:

  1. Es ist mir wurst!
  2. Es war ihm ziemlich wurst, ob er mitkommen konnte.
  1. It is all the same to me! (I don't care!)
  2. It was prettymuch all the same to him, whether he was able to come along.

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. CONTENT ist EXPERIENCER Wurst.
  1. CONTENT is EXPERIENCER sausage.

Details:

Literally "to be sausage to s.o.", this expression means "I don't care" or "it's all the same to me." It's a bit stonger than "es ist mir egal."

lieben verb love

Details:

For the most part, "lieben" is used like English "love" - it's stronger than liking, and it can apply to things like songs, a job, girlfriends/boyfriends, etc. Here's the difference in usage: in English, it is common to say that one loves one's friends, and to tell them so. In German, however, there is a different expression for this: "lieb haben," as in "ich habe dich lieb" ("I like you very much").

So while "lieben" can apply to things, when it is used for relationships between people, it indicates a very stong feeling. Thus, directly telling someone "ich liebe dich" is typically reserved for significant others or immediate family (e.g. parents/children).

Example Sentences:

  1. Alexander liebt seine Freundin.
  2. Ich liebe meinen Beruf.
  3. Als Teenager in den 90er Jahren liebte sie Kurt Cobain.
  4. Er liebt nur mich.
  1. Alexander loves his girlfriend.
  2. I love my career.
  3. As a teenager in the 90s, she loved Kurt Cobain.
  4. He loves only me.

Grammar:

Making Adjectives from Verbs

In German (just as in English), the past participles of verbs (with the -ed ending in English) can be used as adjectives, known as "participial adjectives." Add an adjective ending when appropriate. Even a verb's present participle can be used as an adjective. This form of the verb is similar in meaning to English ing-forms, and is formed in German by adding a "d" (and an adjective ending, if necessary) to the infinitive form of the verb. Adjectives formed in this way apply to the type of frame element that would fill the subject role of the verb (e.g. überraschend applies to a Stimulus, and  ).

Example: enttäuschen, überraschen (normal use as verbs)

     Jens enttäuscht seine Mutter. (Jens disappoints his mother.)

     Das Ende der Geschichte überrascht Lena. (The end of the story surprises Lena.)

Adjectives from Past Participles: 

Example: enttäuschen (to disappoint) > enttäuscht

     Seine Mutter war enttäuscht, dass er bei der Prüfung durchgefallen ist. (His mother was disappointed that he failed the test.)

     Die enttäuschte Mutter weint. (The disappointed mother cries.)

The way frame elements are realized with the verb determine what the adjective can be used to describe. Details are given in the table below.

Subject of VerbDirect ObjectAdjective applies to:Examples
StimulusExperiencerExperienceraufgeregt (worked up), schockiert (shocked), enttäuscht (disappointed)
Experiencer

Content or Stimulus

Content or Stimulus

gefürchtet (feared), gehasst (hated), geliebt (loved)

*Note that this is not the same as passive voice, which also uses a past participle. See Grimm Grammar for infomation about passive.

Adjectives from Present Participles:

Example: überraschen > überraschend (surprising)

     Das Ende der Geschichte war überraschend. (The end of the story was surprising.)

     Das war ein überraschendes Ende. (That was a surprising ending.)

 

 

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. EXPERIENCER liebt CONTENT.
  1. EXPERIENCER loves CONTENT.

Details:

For the most part, "lieben" is used like English "love" - it's stronger than liking, and it can apply to things like songs, a job, girlfriends/boyfriends, etc. Here's the difference in usage: in English, it is common to say that one loves one's friends, and to tell them so. In German, however, there is a different expression for this: "lieb haben," as in "ich habe dich lieb" ("I like you very much").

So while "lieben" can apply to things, when it is used for relationships between people, it indicates a very stong feeling. Thus, directly telling someone "ich liebe dich" is typically reserved for significant others or immediate family (e.g. parents/children).

mögen verb like

Details:

This verb is used like English "like," but it's not the only way to express this notion (see gefallen, gern, and gern haben). Its forms are irregular, so they are given below. The subject of this verb is the Experiencer, and the Content can either be the direct object or a verb denoting an activity. When used with another verb, that verb is placed at the end of the clause in its infinitive form.

ich magwir mögen
du magstihr mögt

er/sie/es mag

sie mögen
Sie mögen

Example Sentences:

  1. Lea mag Tiere.
  2. Markus mochte das Geschenk von seiner Freundin.
  3. Kim und Angela mögen Rockmusik.
  4. Cliff mag zeichnen.
  1. Lea likes animals.
  2. Markus liked the present from his girlfriend.
  3. Kim and Angela like rock music.
  4. Cliff likes to draw.

Grammar:

What's "modal" about this verb?

The small class of words known as "modal verbs" is made up of verbs that do not denote an action (as is normally the case, e.g. tanzen - to dance), but rather the way something else is experienced - that is, they express modality. So, you can indicate someone's relation to an action using modal verbs: "Sie mag tanzen," (She likes to dance) or "Sie muss tanzen" (She must dance).

Modals exist in English too, and they are most often used with another verb. When this happens in German, that other verb appears at the end of the clause in its infinitive form. Modals are not typically used in the Perfekt tense, so you only have to worry about knowing the simple past (Imperfekt) form. For more information, see the examples for particular verbs or these topics in Grimm Grammar: Modals in present tenseModals in past tense (Imperfekt).

ModalverbModal verb
mögenlike
wollenwant
sollenshould / be supposed to
müssenmust / have to
dürfenmay / be allowed to
könnencan / be able to

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. EXPERIENCER mag CONTENT.
  1. EXPERIENCER likes CONTENT.

Details:

This verb is used like English "like," but it's not the only way to express this notion (see gefallen, gern, and gern haben). Its forms are irregular, so they are given below. The subject of this verb is the Experiencer, and the Content can either be the direct object or a verb denoting an activity. When used with another verb, that verb is placed at the end of the clause in its infinitive form.

ich magwir mögen
du magstihr mögt

er/sie/es mag

sie mögen
Sie mögen

Alternate Forms:

er mag, hat gemocht, mochte
neidisch adjective envious

Details:

Used like its English counterpart. To express the Topic a person is envious "of," use "auf" (akk.). This is typically another person.

Example Sentences:

  1. Lukas ist neidisch auf seinen besten Freund.
  2. Karin ist neidisch auf Lena, weil sie ein neues Auto hat.
  3. Der neidische Kollege wusste, dass Sabine mehr Geld verdiente als er.
  1. Lukas is envious of his best friend.
  2. Karin is envious of Lena, because she has a new car.
  3. The envious colleague knew that Sabine earned more money than he.

Grammar:

Adjectives in Action

There are two main ways to use adjectives in German that parallel the ways adjectives are used in English. These usages are illustrated in the table below.

Predicate AdjectivesAttributive Adjectives
1. Sara ist arbeitslos.2. Saras arbeitsloser Mann sucht einen Job.
Sara is unemployedSara's unemployed husband is looking for a job
3. Der Kunde wurde wütend.4. Der wütende Kunde verließ den Laden.
The customer became angry.The angry customer left the store.
5. Viele deutsche Wähler sind gut informiert6. Informierte Wähler sind wichtig für eine Demokratie.
Many German voters are well informed.Informed voters are important for a democracy.

Predicate adjectives are part of a sentence's predicate, the part that states something about the subject. When used in this way, as in examples (1), (3), and (5), the adjective typically follows a verb like sein ("to be") or werden ("to become"), and appears in its most basic form. Attributive adjectives directly attribute a quality to a noun by appearing before it in the sentence; no verb comes between the adjective and the noun it describes. In attributive uses, such as (2), (4), and (6), endings are added to the adjectives. At a minimum, an attributive adjective in German gets an "e" at the end, although there are several possibilities. Adjective endings are difficult to master, so if you are in your first few years of study, the take-away here is that attributive adjectives get endings (an "e" or more), and predicate adjectives do not. If you are further in your studies or just tenaciously curious, you can learn more about adjective endings here, here and here.

Comparisons using Adjectives

In the Alternate Forms tab, you can see the comparative (e.g. gut - besser, "good" - "better") and superlative (e.g. gut - am besten, "good" - "the best") forms of an adjective. German and English are similar in their uses of comparative; both languages add an "-er" ending to make comparative forms, for example: wütend, wütender ("angry, angrier"), informiert, informierter ("informed, more informed"), etc. The main difference is that English sometimes does not allow such an ending (e.g. *stupider, *informeder, *loster), but in German, the "-er" ending is always possible, and "more" does appear with an adjective to convey the comparative meaning. There are a few more rules for German comparatives and superlatives (including some irregular forms) that you can read about here.

 

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. EXPERIENCER ist neidisch.
  2. EXPERIENCER ist neidisch auf TOPIC.
  3. [ein neidisch- EXPERIENCER]
  1. EXPERIENCER is envious.
  2. EXPERIENCER is envious of TOPIC.
  3. [an envious EXPERIENCER]

Details:

Used like its English counterpart. To express the Topic a person is envious "of," use "auf" (akk.). This is typically another person.

nervös adjective nervous

Details:

Used like the English equivalent. Can also function as an adverb. Stimulus is typically expressed with "wegen" (gen.), "because of."

Example Sentences:

  1. Die Studenten sind alle nervös wegen des großen Examens.
  2. Hannah war ziemlich nervös vor der Prüfung.
  3. Daniel macht mich nervös, wenn er mich so anstarrt.
  1. The students are all nervous because of the big exam.
  2. Hannah was pretty nervous before the test.
  3. Daniel makes me nervous, when he stares at me like that.

Grammar:

Adjectives in Action

There are two main ways to use adjectives in German that parallel the ways adjectives are used in English. These usages are illustrated in the table below.

Predicate AdjectivesAttributive Adjectives
1. Sara ist arbeitslos.2. Saras arbeitsloser Mann sucht einen Job.
Sara is unemployedSara's unemployed husband is looking for a job
3. Der Kunde wurde wütend.4. Der wütende Kunde verließ den Laden.
The customer became angry.The angry customer left the store.
5. Viele deutsche Wähler sind gut informiert6. Informierte Wähler sind wichtig für eine Demokratie.
Many German voters are well informed.Informed voters are important for a democracy.

Predicate adjectives are part of a sentence's predicate, the part that states something about the subject. When used in this way, as in examples (1), (3), and (5), the adjective typically follows a verb like sein ("to be") or werden ("to become"), and appears in its most basic form. Attributive adjectives directly attribute a quality to a noun by appearing before it in the sentence; no verb comes between the adjective and the noun it describes. In attributive uses, such as (2), (4), and (6), endings are added to the adjectives. At a minimum, an attributive adjective in German gets an "e" at the end, although there are several possibilities. Adjective endings are difficult to master, so if you are in your first few years of study, the take-away here is that attributive adjectives get endings (an "e" or more), and predicate adjectives do not. If you are further in your studies or just tenaciously curious, you can learn more about adjective endings here, here and here.

Comparisons using Adjectives

In the Alternate Forms tab, you can see the comparative (e.g. gut - besser, "good" - "better") and superlative (e.g. gut - am besten, "good" - "the best") forms of an adjective. German and English are similar in their uses of comparative; both languages add an "-er" ending to make comparative forms, for example: wütend, wütender ("angry, angrier"), informiert, informierter ("informed, more informed"), etc. The main difference is that English sometimes does not allow such an ending (e.g. *stupider, *informeder, *loster), but in German, the "-er" ending is always possible, and "more" does appear with an adjective to convey the comparative meaning. There are a few more rules for German comparatives and superlatives (including some irregular forms) that you can read about here.

 

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. EXPERIENCER ist nervös.
  2. EXPERIENCER ist nervös wegen STIMULUS.
  3. [ein nervös- EXPERIENCER]
  1. EXPERIENCER is nervous.
  2. EXPERIENCER is nervous because of STIMULUS.
  3. [a nervous EXPERIENCER]

Details:

Used like the English equivalent. Can also function as an adverb. Stimulus is typically expressed with "wegen" (gen.), "because of."

schockieren verb shock

Details:

Used like it's English equivalent.

Example Sentences:

  1. Der Skandal schockiert die Nation.
  2. Die Nachricht schockierte die Bürger.
  1. The scandal shocks the nation.
  2. The news shocked the citizens.

Grammar:

Making Adjectives from Verbs

In German (just as in English), the past participles of verbs (with the -ed ending in English) can be used as adjectives, known as "participial adjectives." Add an adjective ending when appropriate. Even a verb's present participle can be used as an adjective. This form of the verb is similar in meaning to English ing-forms, and is formed in German by adding a "d" (and an adjective ending, if necessary) to the infinitive form of the verb. Adjectives formed in this way apply to the type of frame element that would fill the subject role of the verb (e.g. überraschend applies to a Stimulus, and  ).

Example: enttäuschen, überraschen (normal use as verbs)

     Jens enttäuscht seine Mutter. (Jens disappoints his mother.)

     Das Ende der Geschichte überrascht Lena. (The end of the story surprises Lena.)

Adjectives from Past Participles: 

Example: enttäuschen (to disappoint) > enttäuscht

     Seine Mutter war enttäuscht, dass er bei der Prüfung durchgefallen ist. (His mother was disappointed that he failed the test.)

     Die enttäuschte Mutter weint. (The disappointed mother cries.)

The way frame elements are realized with the verb determine what the adjective can be used to describe. Details are given in the table below.

Subject of VerbDirect ObjectAdjective applies to:Examples
StimulusExperiencerExperienceraufgeregt (worked up), schockiert (shocked), enttäuscht (disappointed)
Experiencer

Content or Stimulus

Content or Stimulus

gefürchtet (feared), gehasst (hated), geliebt (loved)

*Note that this is not the same as passive voice, which also uses a past participle. See Grimm Grammar for infomation about passive.

Adjectives from Present Participles:

Example: überraschen > überraschend (surprising)

     Das Ende der Geschichte war überraschend. (The end of the story was surprising.)

     Das war ein überraschendes Ende. (That was a surprising ending.)

 

 

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. STIMULUS schockiert EXPERIENCER.
  1. STIMULUS shocks EXPERIENCER.

Details:

Used like it's English equivalent.

sich (akk.) schämen verb feel ashamed

Details:

The subject of this reflexive verb is the Experiencer, and the Stimulus appears in genetive. The preposition "wegen" can also indicate the Stimulus (gen. is the accepted case, but this is sometimes seen with dat.).

Ashamedness is often associated with the presence of a particular person or people; use the preposition "vor" (dat.) to say "in front of." If a person feels ashamed for another, "für" (akk.) is used, and this functions as Topic. A zu-construction (Infinitivsatz) can also be used to convey a Topic or Stimulus.

Example Sentences:

  1. Leon schämte sich wegen seines schlechten Verhaltens.
  2. Peter schämt sich für seinen Freund.
  3. Ich schäme mich oft vor meinem Therapeuten.
  4. Schämst du dich nicht?
  5. Er schämt sich, Schweizer zu sein, wegen des Erfolgs der Volksinitiative gegen Masseneinwanderung.
  1. Leon felt ashamed because of his bad behavior.
  2. Peter feels ashamed for his friend.
  3. I often feel ashamed in front of my therapist.
  4. Don't you feel ashamed?
  5. He feels ashamed to be swiss because of the success of the people's initiative against mass immigration.

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. EXPERIENCER schämt sich.
  2. EXPERIENCER schämt sich STIMULUS.
  3. EXPERIENCER schämt sich wegen STIMULUS.
  1. EXPERIENCER feels ashamed.
  2. EXPERIENCER feels ashamed of STIMULUS.
  3. EXPERIENCER feels ashamed because of STIMULUS.

Details:

The subject of this reflexive verb is the Experiencer, and the Stimulus appears in genetive. The preposition "wegen" can also indicate the Stimulus (gen. is the accepted case, but this is sometimes seen with dat.).

Ashamedness is often associated with the presence of a particular person or people; use the preposition "vor" (dat.) to say "in front of." If a person feels ashamed for another, "für" (akk.) is used, and this functions as Topic. A zu-construction (Infinitivsatz) can also be used to convey a Topic or Stimulus.

sich (dat.) Sorgen machen (um) multi-word expression worry

Details:

to worry (about), lit. to make (for) oneself worries

The Experiencer expresses concern for a Topic or Content. Since what one worries about hasn't actually happened, it cannot be a Stimulus.

Example Sentences:

  1. Jasmin macht sich Sorgen um die Zukunft.
  2. Stefans Mutter macht sich Sorgen um seine Gesundheit.
  3. Claudia macht sich Sorgendass sie die Prüfung nicht bestehen wird.
  1. Jasmin worries about the future.
  2. Stefan's mother worries about his health.
  3. Claudia worries that she won't pass the test.

Grammar:

Reflexive Verbs and Pronouns

Verbs that are used reflexively often carry a reciprocal meaning or the meaning that the subject is performing the action of the verb on themself, although some abstract verbs are used reflexively without such meanings. In any case, the reflexive pronouns and word order are the same. As a general rule, the reflexive pronoun should appear just after the subject, although the V2 rule trumps this one, so in a basic sentence, you will find: subject, verb, reflexive (e.g. Er verliebt sich in Melanie, "He is falling in love with Melanie"). For further examples, consult the Examples sections of reflexive verbs. Click here for further explanation.

NominativAkkusativDativ
ichmichmir
dudichdir
er/sie/essichsich
wirunsuns
ihreucheuch
sie/Siesichsich

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. EXPERIENCER macht sich Sorgen.
  2. EXPERIENCER macht sich Sorgen um TOPIC.
  3. EXPERIENCER macht sich Sorgen, dass CONTENT.
  1. EXPERIENCER worries.
  2. EXPERIENCER worries about TOPIC.
  3. EXPERIENCER worries that CONTENT.

Details:

to worry (about), lit. to make (for) oneself worries

The Experiencer expresses concern for a Topic or Content. Since what one worries about hasn't actually happened, it cannot be a Stimulus.

traurig adjective sad

Details:

Just as with English "sad," "traurig" can be used to describe a variety of things that are not people, as in "ein trauriges Buch," "ein trauriger Tag," etc. When it is applied to an Experiencer, the preposition "über" expresses what someone is sad "about" (the Stimulus).

Example Sentences:

  1. Steffi ist immer traurig.
  2. Martin wurde traurig über den Tod seines Hundes.
  3. Es macht mich traurig, dass ich in den Ferien nicht nach Hause fahren kann.
  1. Steffi is always sad.
  2. Martin became sad about the death of his dog.
  3. It makes me sad that I can't go home during vacation.

Grammar:

Adjectives in Action

There are two main ways to use adjectives in German that parallel the ways adjectives are used in English. These usages are illustrated in the table below.

Predicate AdjectivesAttributive Adjectives
1. Sara ist arbeitslos.2. Saras arbeitsloser Mann sucht einen Job.
Sara is unemployedSara's unemployed husband is looking for a job
3. Der Kunde wurde wütend.4. Der wütende Kunde verließ den Laden.
The customer became angry.The angry customer left the store.
5. Viele deutsche Wähler sind gut informiert6. Informierte Wähler sind wichtig für eine Demokratie.
Many German voters are well informed.Informed voters are important for a democracy.

Predicate adjectives are part of a sentence's predicate, the part that states something about the subject. When used in this way, as in examples (1), (3), and (5), the adjective typically follows a verb like sein ("to be") or werden ("to become"), and appears in its most basic form. Attributive adjectives directly attribute a quality to a noun by appearing before it in the sentence; no verb comes between the adjective and the noun it describes. In attributive uses, such as (2), (4), and (6), endings are added to the adjectives. At a minimum, an attributive adjective in German gets an "e" at the end, although there are several possibilities. Adjective endings are difficult to master, so if you are in your first few years of study, the take-away here is that attributive adjectives get endings (an "e" or more), and predicate adjectives do not. If you are further in your studies or just tenaciously curious, you can learn more about adjective endings here, here and here.

Comparisons using Adjectives

In the Alternate Forms tab, you can see the comparative (e.g. gut - besser, "good" - "better") and superlative (e.g. gut - am besten, "good" - "the best") forms of an adjective. German and English are similar in their uses of comparative; both languages add an "-er" ending to make comparative forms, for example: wütend, wütender ("angry, angrier"), informiert, informierter ("informed, more informed"), etc. The main difference is that English sometimes does not allow such an ending (e.g. *stupider, *informeder, *loster), but in German, the "-er" ending is always possible, and "more" does appear with an adjective to convey the comparative meaning. There are a few more rules for German comparatives and superlatives (including some irregular forms) that you can read about here.

 

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. EXPERIENCER ist traurig.
  2. EXPERIENCER ist traurig über STIMULUS.
  3. [ein traurig- EXPERIENCER]
  1. EXPERIENCER is sad.
  2. EXPERIENCER is sad about STIMULUS.
  3. [a sad EXPERIENCER]

Details:

Just as with English "sad," "traurig" can be used to describe a variety of things that are not people, as in "ein trauriges Buch," "ein trauriger Tag," etc. When it is applied to an Experiencer, the preposition "über" expresses what someone is sad "about" (the Stimulus).

trösten verb comfort

Details:

Used like its English counterpart. The Stimulus (subject) can act intentionally or not; this role can but need not be filled by a person.

When used reflexively (with sich), this verb indicates that the Experiencer seeks comfort (causing it indirectly), and the Stimulus remains the direct cause of the feeling. In such cases, the Stimulus is introduced by the preposition "mit" (with).

Example Sentences:

  1. Selinas Freund tröstet sie.
  2. Der Schnuller tröstet das Baby.
  3. Manchmal tröstet man sich nach einer Trennung mit einem neuen Geliebten.
  4. Florian tröstete sich mit dem Gedanken, dass es nicht unbedingt perfekt sein musste.
  1. Selinas boyfriend comforts her.
  2. The pacifier comforts the baby.
  3. Sometimes one comforts oneself after a separation with a new lover.
  4. Florian comforted himself with the thought that it didn't necessarily have to be perfect.

Grammar:

Making Adjectives from Verbs

In German (just as in English), the past participles of verbs (with the -ed ending in English) can be used as adjectives, known as "participial adjectives." Add an adjective ending when appropriate. Even a verb's present participle can be used as an adjective. This form of the verb is similar in meaning to English ing-forms, and is formed in German by adding a "d" (and an adjective ending, if necessary) to the infinitive form of the verb. Adjectives formed in this way apply to the type of frame element that would fill the subject role of the verb (e.g. überraschend applies to a Stimulus, and  ).

Example: enttäuschen, überraschen (normal use as verbs)

     Jens enttäuscht seine Mutter. (Jens disappoints his mother.)

     Das Ende der Geschichte überrascht Lena. (The end of the story surprises Lena.)

Adjectives from Past Participles: 

Example: enttäuschen (to disappoint) > enttäuscht

     Seine Mutter war enttäuscht, dass er bei der Prüfung durchgefallen ist. (His mother was disappointed that he failed the test.)

     Die enttäuschte Mutter weint. (The disappointed mother cries.)

The way frame elements are realized with the verb determine what the adjective can be used to describe. Details are given in the table below.

Subject of VerbDirect ObjectAdjective applies to:Examples
StimulusExperiencerExperienceraufgeregt (worked up), schockiert (shocked), enttäuscht (disappointed)
Experiencer

Content or Stimulus

Content or Stimulus

gefürchtet (feared), gehasst (hated), geliebt (loved)

*Note that this is not the same as passive voice, which also uses a past participle. See Grimm Grammar for infomation about passive.

Adjectives from Present Participles:

Example: überraschen > überraschend (surprising)

     Das Ende der Geschichte war überraschend. (The end of the story was surprising.)

     Das war ein überraschendes Ende. (That was a surprising ending.)

 

 

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. STIMULUS tröstet EXPERIENCER.
  1. STIMULUS comforts EXPERIENCER.

Details:

Used like its English counterpart. The Stimulus (subject) can act intentionally or not; this role can but need not be filled by a person.

When used reflexively (with sich), this verb indicates that the Experiencer seeks comfort (causing it indirectly), and the Stimulus remains the direct cause of the feeling. In such cases, the Stimulus is introduced by the preposition "mit" (with).

überraschen verb surprise

Details:

Used like its English equivalent.

Example Sentences:

  1. Du überraschst mich!
  2. Levi überrascht seine Mutter mit einem schönen Geschenk.
  3. Das Ergebnis des Experiments überraschte den Physiker.
  1. You surprise me!
  2. Levi surprises his mother with a beautiful gift.
  3. The results of the experiment surprised the physicist.

Grammar:

Making Adjectives from Verbs

In German (just as in English), the past participles of verbs (with the -ed ending in English) can be used as adjectives, known as "participial adjectives." Add an adjective ending when appropriate. Even a verb's present participle can be used as an adjective. This form of the verb is similar in meaning to English ing-forms, and is formed in German by adding a "d" (and an adjective ending, if necessary) to the infinitive form of the verb. Adjectives formed in this way apply to the type of frame element that would fill the subject role of the verb (e.g. überraschend applies to a Stimulus, and  ).

Example: enttäuschen, überraschen (normal use as verbs)

     Jens enttäuscht seine Mutter. (Jens disappoints his mother.)

     Das Ende der Geschichte überrascht Lena. (The end of the story surprises Lena.)

Adjectives from Past Participles: 

Example: enttäuschen (to disappoint) > enttäuscht

     Seine Mutter war enttäuscht, dass er bei der Prüfung durchgefallen ist. (His mother was disappointed that he failed the test.)

     Die enttäuschte Mutter weint. (The disappointed mother cries.)

The way frame elements are realized with the verb determine what the adjective can be used to describe. Details are given in the table below.

Subject of VerbDirect ObjectAdjective applies to:Examples
StimulusExperiencerExperienceraufgeregt (worked up), schockiert (shocked), enttäuscht (disappointed)
Experiencer

Content or Stimulus

Content or Stimulus

gefürchtet (feared), gehasst (hated), geliebt (loved)

*Note that this is not the same as passive voice, which also uses a past participle. See Grimm Grammar for infomation about passive.

Adjectives from Present Participles:

Example: überraschen > überraschend (surprising)

     Das Ende der Geschichte war überraschend. (The end of the story was surprising.)

     Das war ein überraschendes Ende. (That was a surprising ending.)

 

 

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. STIMULUS überrascht EXPERIENCER.
  1. STIMULUS surprises EXPERIENCER.

Details:

Used like its English equivalent.

vermissen verb miss

Details:

Used like its English equivalent.

Example Sentences:

  1. Nena vermisst ihre Familie und Freunde.
  2. Ich vermisse dich.
  3. Klaus vermisste Texas, während er in Österreich war.
  1. Nena misses her family and friends.
  2. I miss you.
  3. Klaus missed Texas, while he was in Austria.

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. EXPERIENCER vermisst CONTENT.
  1. EXPERIENCER misses CONTENT.

Details:

Used like its English equivalent.

verzweifelt adjective desparate

Details:

This is a paricipial adjective derived from the intransitive verb "verzweifeln (an)" (to despair [of], to give up [on]). It conveys the meaning that someone (an Experiencer) is desparate, hopeless, defeated. It can also be used as an adverb (desparately).

This adjective also frequently describes a situation (eine Situation) or an attempt (ein Versuch) that is desparate from the point of view of an Experiencer.

Example Sentences:

  1. Leon hat keine Hoffnung mehr; er ist verzweifelt.
  2. Nachdem ich beim Test durchgefallen bin, war ich total verzweifelt.
  3. Der verzweifelte Mann wollte vom Fester springen, aber die Polizei brachte ihn von seinem Vorhaben ab.
  1. Leon has no hope anymore; he is desparate.
  2. After I failed the test, I was totally desparate.
  3. The desparate man wanted to jump from the window, but the police talked him out of his plan.

Grammar:

Adjectives in Action

There are two main ways to use adjectives in German that parallel the ways adjectives are used in English. These usages are illustrated in the table below.

Predicate AdjectivesAttributive Adjectives
1. Sara ist arbeitslos.2. Saras arbeitsloser Mann sucht einen Job.
Sara is unemployedSara's unemployed husband is looking for a job
3. Der Kunde wurde wütend.4. Der wütende Kunde verließ den Laden.
The customer became angry.The angry customer left the store.
5. Viele deutsche Wähler sind gut informiert6. Informierte Wähler sind wichtig für eine Demokratie.
Many German voters are well informed.Informed voters are important for a democracy.

Predicate adjectives are part of a sentence's predicate, the part that states something about the subject. When used in this way, as in examples (1), (3), and (5), the adjective typically follows a verb like sein ("to be") or werden ("to become"), and appears in its most basic form. Attributive adjectives directly attribute a quality to a noun by appearing before it in the sentence; no verb comes between the adjective and the noun it describes. In attributive uses, such as (2), (4), and (6), endings are added to the adjectives. At a minimum, an attributive adjective in German gets an "e" at the end, although there are several possibilities. Adjective endings are difficult to master, so if you are in your first few years of study, the take-away here is that attributive adjectives get endings (an "e" or more), and predicate adjectives do not. If you are further in your studies or just tenaciously curious, you can learn more about adjective endings here, here and here.

Comparisons using Adjectives

In the Alternate Forms tab, you can see the comparative (e.g. gut - besser, "good" - "better") and superlative (e.g. gut - am besten, "good" - "the best") forms of an adjective. German and English are similar in their uses of comparative; both languages add an "-er" ending to make comparative forms, for example: wütend, wütender ("angry, angrier"), informiert, informierter ("informed, more informed"), etc. The main difference is that English sometimes does not allow such an ending (e.g. *stupider, *informeder, *loster), but in German, the "-er" ending is always possible, and "more" does appear with an adjective to convey the comparative meaning. There are a few more rules for German comparatives and superlatives (including some irregular forms) that you can read about here.

 

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. EXPERIENCER ist verzweifelt.
  2. [ein verzweifelt- EXPERIENCER]
  1. EXPERIENCER is desparate.
  2. [a desparate EXPERIENCER]

Details:

This is a paricipial adjective derived from the intransitive verb "verzweifeln (an)" (to despair [of], to give up [on]). It conveys the meaning that someone (an Experiencer) is desparate, hopeless, defeated. It can also be used as an adverb (desparately).

This adjective also frequently describes a situation (eine Situation) or an attempt (ein Versuch) that is desparate from the point of view of an Experiencer.

wütend adjective angry

Details:

This word is used like its English counterpart, but can also be used as an adverb (angrily). To indicate what one is angry "at" (the Stimulus), the preposition "auf" (akk.) is used. "Über" (akk.) is the equivalent of "about," and can express the Stimulus or Topic.

Example Sentences:

  1. Nina ist wütend auf Jana.
  2. Meine Mutter macht mich wütend.
  3. Verkäufer sind wütend über den Boykott.
  4. Die Jugendlichen werden wütend über Ungerechtigkeit.
  5. Leon versuchte, die wütende Frau zu beruhigen.
  1. Nina is angry at Jana.
  2. My mother makes me angry.
  3. Sellers are angry about the boycott.
  4. The young people get angry about injustice.
  5. Leon tried to calm the angry woman.

Grammar:

Adjectives in Action

There are two main ways to use adjectives in German that parallel the ways adjectives are used in English. These usages are illustrated in the table below.

Predicate AdjectivesAttributive Adjectives
1. Sara ist arbeitslos.2. Saras arbeitsloser Mann sucht einen Job.
Sara is unemployedSara's unemployed husband is looking for a job
3. Der Kunde wurde wütend.4. Der wütende Kunde verließ den Laden.
The customer became angry.The angry customer left the store.
5. Viele deutsche Wähler sind gut informiert6. Informierte Wähler sind wichtig für eine Demokratie.
Many German voters are well informed.Informed voters are important for a democracy.

Predicate adjectives are part of a sentence's predicate, the part that states something about the subject. When used in this way, as in examples (1), (3), and (5), the adjective typically follows a verb like sein ("to be") or werden ("to become"), and appears in its most basic form. Attributive adjectives directly attribute a quality to a noun by appearing before it in the sentence; no verb comes between the adjective and the noun it describes. In attributive uses, such as (2), (4), and (6), endings are added to the adjectives. At a minimum, an attributive adjective in German gets an "e" at the end, although there are several possibilities. Adjective endings are difficult to master, so if you are in your first few years of study, the take-away here is that attributive adjectives get endings (an "e" or more), and predicate adjectives do not. If you are further in your studies or just tenaciously curious, you can learn more about adjective endings here, here and here.

Comparisons using Adjectives

In the Alternate Forms tab, you can see the comparative (e.g. gut - besser, "good" - "better") and superlative (e.g. gut - am besten, "good" - "the best") forms of an adjective. German and English are similar in their uses of comparative; both languages add an "-er" ending to make comparative forms, for example: wütend, wütender ("angry, angrier"), informiert, informierter ("informed, more informed"), etc. The main difference is that English sometimes does not allow such an ending (e.g. *stupider, *informeder, *loster), but in German, the "-er" ending is always possible, and "more" does appear with an adjective to convey the comparative meaning. There are a few more rules for German comparatives and superlatives (including some irregular forms) that you can read about here.

 

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. EXPERIENCER ist wütend.
  2. EXPERIENCER ist wütend auf STIMULUS.
  3. EXPERIENCER ist wütend über STIMULUS.
  4. EXPERIENCER ist wütend über TOPIC.
  5. [ein wütend- EXPERIENCER]
  1. EXPERIENCER is angry.
  2. EXPERIENCER is angry at STIMULUS.
  3. EXPERIENCER is angry about STIMULUS.
  4. EXPERIENCER is angry about TOPIC.
  5. [an angry EXPERIENCER]

Details:

This word is used like its English counterpart, but can also be used as an adverb (angrily). To indicate what one is angry "at" (the Stimulus), the preposition "auf" (akk.) is used. "Über" (akk.) is the equivalent of "about," and can express the Stimulus or Topic.

zufrieden adjective content, satisfied

Details:

Used like its English counterpart: the Experiencer typically appears as the subject of "sein" and the Content is expressed in a prepositional phrase headed by "mit" (dat. - with). This word can also be used as an adverb, for example, "Sie lächelt zufrieden" (She smiles contentedly).

This word can combine with the prefix un- to convey an opposite meaning: "unzufrieden" (discontent, dissatisfied).

Example Sentences:

  1. Ich bin fröhlich und zufrieden.
  2. Lukas ist mit seinem neuen Auto sehr zufrieden.
  3. Tim ist ein zufriedener Mensch.
  4. Mit ihrem Leben als Studentin ist Alina hoch zufrieden.
  1. I am happy and content.
  2. Lukas is with his new car very satisfied.
  3. Tim is a content person.
  4. With her life as a student, Alina is highly satisfied.

Grammar:

Adjectives in Action

There are two main ways to use adjectives in German that parallel the ways adjectives are used in English. These usages are illustrated in the table below.

Predicate AdjectivesAttributive Adjectives
1. Sara ist arbeitslos.2. Saras arbeitsloser Mann sucht einen Job.
Sara is unemployedSara's unemployed husband is looking for a job
3. Der Kunde wurde wütend.4. Der wütende Kunde verließ den Laden.
The customer became angry.The angry customer left the store.
5. Viele deutsche Wähler sind gut informiert6. Informierte Wähler sind wichtig für eine Demokratie.
Many German voters are well informed.Informed voters are important for a democracy.

Predicate adjectives are part of a sentence's predicate, the part that states something about the subject. When used in this way, as in examples (1), (3), and (5), the adjective typically follows a verb like sein ("to be") or werden ("to become"), and appears in its most basic form. Attributive adjectives directly attribute a quality to a noun by appearing before it in the sentence; no verb comes between the adjective and the noun it describes. In attributive uses, such as (2), (4), and (6), endings are added to the adjectives. At a minimum, an attributive adjective in German gets an "e" at the end, although there are several possibilities. Adjective endings are difficult to master, so if you are in your first few years of study, the take-away here is that attributive adjectives get endings (an "e" or more), and predicate adjectives do not. If you are further in your studies or just tenaciously curious, you can learn more about adjective endings here, here and here.

Comparisons using Adjectives

In the Alternate Forms tab, you can see the comparative (e.g. gut - besser, "good" - "better") and superlative (e.g. gut - am besten, "good" - "the best") forms of an adjective. German and English are similar in their uses of comparative; both languages add an "-er" ending to make comparative forms, for example: wütend, wütender ("angry, angrier"), informiert, informierter ("informed, more informed"), etc. The main difference is that English sometimes does not allow such an ending (e.g. *stupider, *informeder, *loster), but in German, the "-er" ending is always possible, and "more" does appear with an adjective to convey the comparative meaning. There are a few more rules for German comparatives and superlatives (including some irregular forms) that you can read about here.

 

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. EXPERIENCER ist zufrieden.
  2. EXPERIENCER ist mit CONTENT zufrieden.
  3. [ein zufrieden- EXPERIENCER]
  1. EXPERIENCER is content.
  2. EXPERIENCER is with CONTENT content.
  3. [a content EXPERIENCER]

Details:

Used like its English counterpart: the Experiencer typically appears as the subject of "sein" and the Content is expressed in a prepositional phrase headed by "mit" (dat. - with). This word can also be used as an adverb, for example, "Sie lächelt zufrieden" (She smiles contentedly).

This word can combine with the prefix un- to convey an opposite meaning: "unzufrieden" (discontent, dissatisfied).

Details
Examples
Grammar Notes
Sentence Templates
Alternate Forms
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beeindrucken verb impress

Details:

This verb is used like its English counterpart, but can prove difficult to pronounce. Say each prefix separately: "be-ein-drucken."

Example Sentences:

  1. Stella beeindruckt ihre Lehrer.
  2. Der Künstler beeindruckt sein Publikum.
  3. Die Aufführung hat mich tief beeindruckt.
  1. Stella impresses her teachers.
  2. The artist impresses his audience.
  3. The performance impressed me deeply.

Grammar:

Making Adjectives from Verbs

In German (just as in English), the past participles of verbs (with the -ed ending in English) can be used as adjectives, known as "participial adjectives." Add an adjective ending when appropriate. Even a verb's present participle can be used as an adjective. This form of the verb is similar in meaning to English ing-forms, and is formed in German by adding a "d" (and an adjective ending, if necessary) to the infinitive form of the verb. Adjectives formed in this way apply to the type of frame element that would fill the subject role of the verb (e.g. überraschend applies to a Stimulus, and  ).

Example: enttäuschen, überraschen (normal use as verbs)

     Jens enttäuscht seine Mutter. (Jens disappoints his mother.)

     Das Ende der Geschichte überrascht Lena. (The end of the story surprises Lena.)

Adjectives from Past Participles: 

Example: enttäuschen (to disappoint) > enttäuscht

     Seine Mutter war enttäuscht, dass er bei der Prüfung durchgefallen ist. (His mother was disappointed that he failed the test.)

     Die enttäuschte Mutter weint. (The disappointed mother cries.)

The way frame elements are realized with the verb determine what the adjective can be used to describe. Details are given in the table below.

Subject of VerbDirect ObjectAdjective applies to:Examples
StimulusExperiencerExperienceraufgeregt (worked up), schockiert (shocked), enttäuscht (disappointed)
Experiencer

Content or Stimulus

Content or Stimulus

gefürchtet (feared), gehasst (hated), geliebt (loved)

*Note that this is not the same as passive voice, which also uses a past participle. See Grimm Grammar for infomation about passive.

Adjectives from Present Participles:

Example: überraschen > überraschend (surprising)

     Das Ende der Geschichte war überraschend. (The end of the story was surprising.)

     Das war ein überraschendes Ende. (That was a surprising ending.)

 

 

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. STIMULUS beeindruckt EXPERIENCER.
  1. STIMULUS impresses EXPERIENCER.

Details:

This verb is used like its English counterpart, but can prove difficult to pronounce. Say each prefix separately: "be-ein-drucken."

begeistert adjective excited

Details:

This is the best German tanslation of the English adjective "excited," and is also used for "enthousiastic." The adjective describes the Experiencer, and the Stimulus (if present) is expressed using "von." This is known as a participial adjective because it comes from the past participle of the verb "begeistern" (to excite, to make enthousiastic).

It can also be used as an adverb (meaning excitedly or enthousiastically), and the opposite meaning can be conveyed by adding an un-prefix (unbegeistert - unenthousiastic).

Example Sentences:

  1. Die Fans sind von der Weltmeisterschaft begeistert.
  2. Jens war begeistert an seinem Geburtstag.
  3. Der begeisterte Lehrer lief ins Klassenzimmer.
  1. The fans are excited about the World Cup.
  2. Jens was excited on his birthday.
  3. The excited teacher ran into the classroom.

Grammar:

Adjectives in Action

There are two main ways to use adjectives in German that parallel the ways adjectives are used in English. These usages are illustrated in the table below.

Predicate AdjectivesAttributive Adjectives
1. Sara ist arbeitslos.2. Saras arbeitsloser Mann sucht einen Job.
Sara is unemployedSara's unemployed husband is looking for a job
3. Der Kunde wurde wütend.4. Der wütende Kunde verließ den Laden.
The customer became angry.The angry customer left the store.
5. Viele deutsche Wähler sind gut informiert6. Informierte Wähler sind wichtig für eine Demokratie.
Many German voters are well informed.Informed voters are important for a democracy.

Predicate adjectives are part of a sentence's predicate, the part that states something about the subject. When used in this way, as in examples (1), (3), and (5), the adjective typically follows a verb like sein ("to be") or werden ("to become"), and appears in its most basic form. Attributive adjectives directly attribute a quality to a noun by appearing before it in the sentence; no verb comes between the adjective and the noun it describes. In attributive uses, such as (2), (4), and (6), endings are added to the adjectives. At a minimum, an attributive adjective in German gets an "e" at the end, although there are several possibilities. Adjective endings are difficult to master, so if you are in your first few years of study, the take-away here is that attributive adjectives get endings (an "e" or more), and predicate adjectives do not. If you are further in your studies or just tenaciously curious, you can learn more about adjective endings here, here and here.

Comparisons using Adjectives

In the Alternate Forms tab, you can see the comparative (e.g. gut - besser, "good" - "better") and superlative (e.g. gut - am besten, "good" - "the best") forms of an adjective. German and English are similar in their uses of comparative; both languages add an "-er" ending to make comparative forms, for example: wütend, wütender ("angry, angrier"), informiert, informierter ("informed, more informed"), etc. The main difference is that English sometimes does not allow such an ending (e.g. *stupider, *informeder, *loster), but in German, the "-er" ending is always possible, and "more" does appear with an adjective to convey the comparative meaning. There are a few more rules for German comparatives and superlatives (including some irregular forms) that you can read about here.

 

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. EXPERIENCER ist begeistert.
  2. EXPERIENCER ist von STIMULUS begeistert.
  3. [ein begeistert- EXPERIENCER]
  1. EXPERIENCER is excited.
  2. EXPERIENCER ist about STIMULUS excited.
  3. [an excited EXPERIENCER]

Details:

This is the best German tanslation of the English adjective "excited," and is also used for "enthousiastic." The adjective describes the Experiencer, and the Stimulus (if present) is expressed using "von." This is known as a participial adjective because it comes from the past participle of the verb "begeistern" (to excite, to make enthousiastic).

It can also be used as an adverb (meaning excitedly or enthousiastically), and the opposite meaning can be conveyed by adding an un-prefix (unbegeistert - unenthousiastic).

der Spaß noun fun

Details:

In English, "fun" can be a noun or an adjective, but this is not so in German. This means that "Spaß" cannot be used with the verb "sein," as in "That is fun." Instead, Germans say "That makes fun" or "Das macht Spaß." The Experiencer can be expressed in such a phrase using dative: "Das macht mir Spaß."

Note, however, that speakers of both languages are known to "have" fun!

Example Sentences:

  1. Samuel hat Spaß auf der Party.
  2. Fußball macht Spaß!
  3. Seine Arbeit macht ihm Spaß.
  4. Es macht keinen Spaß, allein zu sein.
  5. Die Freunde hatten alle viel Spaß auf dem Konzert.
  6. Ich bin nicht zum Spaß hier.
  1. Samuel has fun at the Party.
  2. Soccer makes fun!
  3. His work makes to him fun.
  4. It makes no fun, to be alone.
  5. The friends all had a lot of fun at the Concert.
  6. I am not here for fun.

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. EXPERIENCER hat Spaß.
  2. STIMULUS macht Spaß.
  3. STIMULUS macht EXPERIENCER Spaß.
  1. EXPERIENCER has fun.
  2. STIMULUS makes fun.
  3. STIMULUS makes (to) EXPERIENCER fun.

Details:

In English, "fun" can be a noun or an adjective, but this is not so in German. This means that "Spaß" cannot be used with the verb "sein," as in "That is fun." Instead, Germans say "That makes fun" or "Das macht Spaß." The Experiencer can be expressed in such a phrase using dative: "Das macht mir Spaß."

Note, however, that speakers of both languages are known to "have" fun!

die Freude noun pleasure

Details:

Used much like its English counterpart, this noun indicates enjoyment of some Content, expressed with "an" (dat.). The phrase "Freude haben an" is similar to English "take pleasure in."

Example Sentences:

  1. Freude an der Arbeit ist wichtig für eine hohe Lebensqualität.
  2. Timo hat Freude am Kochen.
  3. Wie findet man wieder Freude am Leben?
  4. Es ist immer eine Freude, mit Konstantin zu reden.
  5. Paulas Vater weckte ihre Freude am Lesen.
  6. Man kann leicht sehen, er macht Musik mit viel Freude.
  7. Die Freude an wissenschaftlicher Arbeit spielt keine Rolle in der Diskussion um Sinn und Unsinn des Promovierens.
  1. Pleasure in your work is important for a high quality of life.
  2. Timo takes pleasure in cooking.
  3. How does one find pleasure in life again?
  4. It is always a pleasure to talk to Konstantin.
  5. Paula's father awoke her pleasure for reading.
  6. One can easily see, he makes music with much pleasure.
  7. The pleasure in scientific work plays no role in the discussion of whether it makes sense to get a doctorate degree.

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. EXPERIENCER hat Freude.
  2. EXPERIENCER hat Freude an CONTENT.
  3. CONTENT ist eine Freude.
  4. EXPERIENCER macht etwas mit Freude.
  1. EXPERIENCER has pleasure.
  2. EXPERIENCER has pleasure in CONTENT.
  3. CONTENT is a pleasure.
  4. EXPERIENCER does something with pleasure.

Details:

Used much like its English counterpart, this noun indicates enjoyment of some Content, expressed with "an" (dat.). The phrase "Freude haben an" is similar to English "take pleasure in."

froh adjective happy

Details:

Although glücklich is used about as often as froh, this adjective is more common when it comes to holiday wishes:

Frohes neues Jahr!Happy New Year!
Frohe Weihnachten!Happy Christmas!
Frohe Ostern!Happy Easter!

 Use "über" (akk.) to introduce what you are happy "about" (the Stimulus). In southern Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, "um" (akk.) might be used. The Stimulus can also appear in a clause with "dass" or a zu-construction (Infinitivsatz).

Example Sentences:

  1. Meine Verwandten sind frohe Menschen.
  2. Ich bin froh, dass es endlich Sommer ist.
  3. Manuel ist ein bisschen nervös, aber doch froh über den Termin.
  4. Pascal war froh, endlich wieder zu Hause zu sein.
  1. My relatives are happy people.
  2. I am happy that it is finally summer.
  3. Manuel is a little nervous, but indeed happy about the appointment.
  4. Pascal was happy, finally again at home to be.

Grammar:

Adjectives in Action

There are two main ways to use adjectives in German that parallel the ways adjectives are used in English. These usages are illustrated in the table below.

Predicate AdjectivesAttributive Adjectives
1. Sara ist arbeitslos.2. Saras arbeitsloser Mann sucht einen Job.
Sara is unemployedSara's unemployed husband is looking for a job
3. Der Kunde wurde wütend.4. Der wütende Kunde verließ den Laden.
The customer became angry.The angry customer left the store.
5. Viele deutsche Wähler sind gut informiert6. Informierte Wähler sind wichtig für eine Demokratie.
Many German voters are well informed.Informed voters are important for a democracy.

Predicate adjectives are part of a sentence's predicate, the part that states something about the subject. When used in this way, as in examples (1), (3), and (5), the adjective typically follows a verb like sein ("to be") or werden ("to become"), and appears in its most basic form. Attributive adjectives directly attribute a quality to a noun by appearing before it in the sentence; no verb comes between the adjective and the noun it describes. In attributive uses, such as (2), (4), and (6), endings are added to the adjectives. At a minimum, an attributive adjective in German gets an "e" at the end, although there are several possibilities. Adjective endings are difficult to master, so if you are in your first few years of study, the take-away here is that attributive adjectives get endings (an "e" or more), and predicate adjectives do not. If you are further in your studies or just tenaciously curious, you can learn more about adjective endings here, here and here.

Comparisons using Adjectives

In the Alternate Forms tab, you can see the comparative (e.g. gut - besser, "good" - "better") and superlative (e.g. gut - am besten, "good" - "the best") forms of an adjective. German and English are similar in their uses of comparative; both languages add an "-er" ending to make comparative forms, for example: wütend, wütender ("angry, angrier"), informiert, informierter ("informed, more informed"), etc. The main difference is that English sometimes does not allow such an ending (e.g. *stupider, *informeder, *loster), but in German, the "-er" ending is always possible, and "more" does appear with an adjective to convey the comparative meaning. There are a few more rules for German comparatives and superlatives (including some irregular forms) that you can read about here.

 

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. EXPERIENCER ist froh.
  2. EXPERIENCER ist froh über STIMULUS.
  1. EXPERIENCER is happy.
  2. EXPERIENCER is happy about STIMULUS.

Details:

Although glücklich is used about as often as froh, this adjective is more common when it comes to holiday wishes:

Frohes neues Jahr!Happy New Year!
Frohe Weihnachten!Happy Christmas!
Frohe Ostern!Happy Easter!

 Use "über" (akk.) to introduce what you are happy "about" (the Stimulus). In southern Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, "um" (akk.) might be used. The Stimulus can also appear in a clause with "dass" or a zu-construction (Infinitivsatz).

genießen verb enjoy

Details:

Used like its English counterpart. Beware of its irregular past tense forms.

Example Sentences:

  1. Moritz genießt das Konzert.
  2. Alina und Fabian genoßen ihren Urlaub in Spanien.
  1. Moritz enjoys the concert.
  2. Alina and Fabian enjoyed their vacation in Spain.

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. EXPERIENCER genießt STIMULUS.
  1. EXPERIENCER enjoys STIMULUS.

Details:

Used like its English counterpart. Beware of its irregular past tense forms.

Alternate Forms:

er genießt, hat genossen, genoss
glücklich adjective happy

Details:

This word is polysemous. That is, it has multiple senses. It means both  "lucky" and "happy," and can even be used in the "content" sense of "happy." Of course, the "lucky" meaning doesn't evoke this frame.

The Stimulus can be expressed in a prepositional phrase using "über," in a dependent clause with "dass" (that), or with a zu-construction (Infinitivsatz).

Topic can be introduced with "über" or "mit," and "mit" can also be used for Content (this happens when the term is used like "zufrieden," "content").

"Glücklich" can be used as an adjective (happily), and adding an un-prefix turns this adjective into its opposite (unhappy). 

Example Sentences:

  1. Zoe ist glücklich mit ihrem Leben.
  2. Elisabeth war glücklich, dass so viele Gäste auf die Party kamen.
  3. Levi ist glücklich über seinen neuen Job.
  4. Im Moment ist er nicht glücklich mit seiner Familie.
  5. Sie ist glücklich über die gute Aufnahme ihres Buchs.
  1. Zoe is happy with her life.
  2. Elisabeth war happythat so many guests to the party came.
  3. Levi is happy about his new Job.
  4. At the moment he is not happy with his family.
  5. She is happy about the good reception of her book.

Grammar:

Adjectives in Action

There are two main ways to use adjectives in German that parallel the ways adjectives are used in English. These usages are illustrated in the table below.

Predicate AdjectivesAttributive Adjectives
1. Sara ist arbeitslos.2. Saras arbeitsloser Mann sucht einen Job.
Sara is unemployedSara's unemployed husband is looking for a job
3. Der Kunde wurde wütend.4. Der wütende Kunde verließ den Laden.
The customer became angry.The angry customer left the store.
5. Viele deutsche Wähler sind gut informiert6. Informierte Wähler sind wichtig für eine Demokratie.
Many German voters are well informed.Informed voters are important for a democracy.

Predicate adjectives are part of a sentence's predicate, the part that states something about the subject. When used in this way, as in examples (1), (3), and (5), the adjective typically follows a verb like sein ("to be") or werden ("to become"), and appears in its most basic form. Attributive adjectives directly attribute a quality to a noun by appearing before it in the sentence; no verb comes between the adjective and the noun it describes. In attributive uses, such as (2), (4), and (6), endings are added to the adjectives. At a minimum, an attributive adjective in German gets an "e" at the end, although there are several possibilities. Adjective endings are difficult to master, so if you are in your first few years of study, the take-away here is that attributive adjectives get endings (an "e" or more), and predicate adjectives do not. If you are further in your studies or just tenaciously curious, you can learn more about adjective endings here, here and here.

Comparisons using Adjectives

In the Alternate Forms tab, you can see the comparative (e.g. gut - besser, "good" - "better") and superlative (e.g. gut - am besten, "good" - "the best") forms of an adjective. German and English are similar in their uses of comparative; both languages add an "-er" ending to make comparative forms, for example: wütend, wütender ("angry, angrier"), informiert, informierter ("informed, more informed"), etc. The main difference is that English sometimes does not allow such an ending (e.g. *stupider, *informeder, *loster), but in German, the "-er" ending is always possible, and "more" does appear with an adjective to convey the comparative meaning. There are a few more rules for German comparatives and superlatives (including some irregular forms) that you can read about here.

 

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. EXPERIENCER ist glücklich.
  2. EXPERIENCER ist glücklich mit CONTENT.
  3. EXPERIENCER ist glücklich mit TOPIC.
  4. EXPERIENCER ist glücklich über STIMULUS.
  5. EXPERIENCER ist glücklich über TOPIC.
  6. [ein glücklich- EXPERIENCER]
  1. EXPERIENCER is happy.
  2. EXPERIENCER is happy with CONTENT.
  3. EXPERIENCER is happy with TOPIC.
  4. EXPERIENCER is happy about STIMULUS.
  5. EXPERIENCER is happy about TOPIC.
  6. [a happy EXPERIENCER]

Details:

This word is polysemous. That is, it has multiple senses. It means both  "lucky" and "happy," and can even be used in the "content" sense of "happy." Of course, the "lucky" meaning doesn't evoke this frame.

The Stimulus can be expressed in a prepositional phrase using "über," in a dependent clause with "dass" (that), or with a zu-construction (Infinitivsatz).

Topic can be introduced with "über" or "mit," and "mit" can also be used for Content (this happens when the term is used like "zufrieden," "content").

"Glücklich" can be used as an adjective (happily), and adding an un-prefix turns this adjective into its opposite (unhappy). 

trösten verb comfort

Details:

Used like its English counterpart. The Stimulus (subject) can act intentionally or not; this role can but need not be filled by a person.

When used reflexively (with sich), this verb indicates that the Experiencer seeks comfort (causing it indirectly), and the Stimulus remains the direct cause of the feeling. In such cases, the Stimulus is introduced by the preposition "mit" (with).

Example Sentences:

  1. Selinas Freund tröstet sie.
  2. Der Schnuller tröstet das Baby.
  3. Manchmal tröstet man sich nach einer Trennung mit einem neuen Geliebten.
  4. Florian tröstete sich mit dem Gedanken, dass es nicht unbedingt perfekt sein musste.
  1. Selinas boyfriend comforts her.
  2. The pacifier comforts the baby.
  3. Sometimes one comforts oneself after a separation with a new lover.
  4. Florian comforted himself with the thought that it didn't necessarily have to be perfect.

Grammar:

Making Adjectives from Verbs

In German (just as in English), the past participles of verbs (with the -ed ending in English) can be used as adjectives, known as "participial adjectives." Add an adjective ending when appropriate. Even a verb's present participle can be used as an adjective. This form of the verb is similar in meaning to English ing-forms, and is formed in German by adding a "d" (and an adjective ending, if necessary) to the infinitive form of the verb. Adjectives formed in this way apply to the type of frame element that would fill the subject role of the verb (e.g. überraschend applies to a Stimulus, and  ).

Example: enttäuschen, überraschen (normal use as verbs)

     Jens enttäuscht seine Mutter. (Jens disappoints his mother.)

     Das Ende der Geschichte überrascht Lena. (The end of the story surprises Lena.)

Adjectives from Past Participles: 

Example: enttäuschen (to disappoint) > enttäuscht

     Seine Mutter war enttäuscht, dass er bei der Prüfung durchgefallen ist. (His mother was disappointed that he failed the test.)

     Die enttäuschte Mutter weint. (The disappointed mother cries.)

The way frame elements are realized with the verb determine what the adjective can be used to describe. Details are given in the table below.

Subject of VerbDirect ObjectAdjective applies to:Examples
StimulusExperiencerExperienceraufgeregt (worked up), schockiert (shocked), enttäuscht (disappointed)
Experiencer

Content or Stimulus

Content or Stimulus

gefürchtet (feared), gehasst (hated), geliebt (loved)

*Note that this is not the same as passive voice, which also uses a past participle. See Grimm Grammar for infomation about passive.

Adjectives from Present Participles:

Example: überraschen > überraschend (surprising)

     Das Ende der Geschichte war überraschend. (The end of the story was surprising.)

     Das war ein überraschendes Ende. (That was a surprising ending.)

 

 

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. STIMULUS tröstet EXPERIENCER.
  1. STIMULUS comforts EXPERIENCER.

Details:

Used like its English counterpart. The Stimulus (subject) can act intentionally or not; this role can but need not be filled by a person.

When used reflexively (with sich), this verb indicates that the Experiencer seeks comfort (causing it indirectly), and the Stimulus remains the direct cause of the feeling. In such cases, the Stimulus is introduced by the preposition "mit" (with).

zufrieden adjective content, satisfied

Details:

Used like its English counterpart: the Experiencer typically appears as the subject of "sein" and the Content is expressed in a prepositional phrase headed by "mit" (dat. - with). This word can also be used as an adverb, for example, "Sie lächelt zufrieden" (She smiles contentedly).

This word can combine with the prefix un- to convey an opposite meaning: "unzufrieden" (discontent, dissatisfied).

Example Sentences:

  1. Ich bin fröhlich und zufrieden.
  2. Lukas ist mit seinem neuen Auto sehr zufrieden.
  3. Tim ist ein zufriedener Mensch.
  4. Mit ihrem Leben als Studentin ist Alina hoch zufrieden.
  1. I am happy and content.
  2. Lukas is with his new car very satisfied.
  3. Tim is a content person.
  4. With her life as a student, Alina is highly satisfied.

Grammar:

Adjectives in Action

There are two main ways to use adjectives in German that parallel the ways adjectives are used in English. These usages are illustrated in the table below.

Predicate AdjectivesAttributive Adjectives
1. Sara ist arbeitslos.2. Saras arbeitsloser Mann sucht einen Job.
Sara is unemployedSara's unemployed husband is looking for a job
3. Der Kunde wurde wütend.4. Der wütende Kunde verließ den Laden.
The customer became angry.The angry customer left the store.
5. Viele deutsche Wähler sind gut informiert6. Informierte Wähler sind wichtig für eine Demokratie.
Many German voters are well informed.Informed voters are important for a democracy.

Predicate adjectives are part of a sentence's predicate, the part that states something about the subject. When used in this way, as in examples (1), (3), and (5), the adjective typically follows a verb like sein ("to be") or werden ("to become"), and appears in its most basic form. Attributive adjectives directly attribute a quality to a noun by appearing before it in the sentence; no verb comes between the adjective and the noun it describes. In attributive uses, such as (2), (4), and (6), endings are added to the adjectives. At a minimum, an attributive adjective in German gets an "e" at the end, although there are several possibilities. Adjective endings are difficult to master, so if you are in your first few years of study, the take-away here is that attributive adjectives get endings (an "e" or more), and predicate adjectives do not. If you are further in your studies or just tenaciously curious, you can learn more about adjective endings here, here and here.

Comparisons using Adjectives

In the Alternate Forms tab, you can see the comparative (e.g. gut - besser, "good" - "better") and superlative (e.g. gut - am besten, "good" - "the best") forms of an adjective. German and English are similar in their uses of comparative; both languages add an "-er" ending to make comparative forms, for example: wütend, wütender ("angry, angrier"), informiert, informierter ("informed, more informed"), etc. The main difference is that English sometimes does not allow such an ending (e.g. *stupider, *informeder, *loster), but in German, the "-er" ending is always possible, and "more" does appear with an adjective to convey the comparative meaning. There are a few more rules for German comparatives and superlatives (including some irregular forms) that you can read about here.

 

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. EXPERIENCER ist zufrieden.
  2. EXPERIENCER ist mit CONTENT zufrieden.
  3. [ein zufrieden- EXPERIENCER]
  1. EXPERIENCER is content.
  2. EXPERIENCER is with CONTENT content.
  3. [a content EXPERIENCER]

Details:

Used like its English counterpart: the Experiencer typically appears as the subject of "sein" and the Content is expressed in a prepositional phrase headed by "mit" (dat. - with). This word can also be used as an adverb, for example, "Sie lächelt zufrieden" (She smiles contentedly).

This word can combine with the prefix un- to convey an opposite meaning: "unzufrieden" (discontent, dissatisfied).

Details
Examples
Grammar Notes
Sentence Templates
Alternate Forms
See All Information
ärgern verb irritate

Details:

This verb is used like its English equivalent. The Stimulus is the subject, and can be a person or something else, like someone's behavior.

When used with a reflexive pronoun, this verb changes its meaning from "to irritate" to "get/be irritated." The subject is then the Experiencer, and the preposition über (akk.) introduces the Stimulus.

For example: Ich ärgere mich über die Situation. (I'm getting irritated about the situation.)

Example Sentences:

  1. Mein Bruder ärgert mich.
  2. Es ärgert mich, dass mein Mitbewohner nie aufräumt.
  3. Ihr Singen ärgert mich so sehr!
  4. Ich ärgere mich über das Wetter.
  5. Stefan ärgert sich darüber, dass sein Zug spät kommt.
  1. My brother irritates me.
  2. It irritates me that my roommate never cleans up.
  3. Her singing irritates me so much!
  4. I am getting irritated about the weather.
  5. Stefan gets irritated about it, that his train comes late.

Grammar:

Making Adjectives from Verbs

In German (just as in English), the past participles of verbs (with the -ed ending in English) can be used as adjectives, known as "participial adjectives." Add an adjective ending when appropriate. Even a verb's present participle can be used as an adjective. This form of the verb is similar in meaning to English ing-forms, and is formed in German by adding a "d" (and an adjective ending, if necessary) to the infinitive form of the verb. Adjectives formed in this way apply to the type of frame element that would fill the subject role of the verb (e.g. überraschend applies to a Stimulus, and  ).

Example: enttäuschen, überraschen (normal use as verbs)

     Jens enttäuscht seine Mutter. (Jens disappoints his mother.)

     Das Ende der Geschichte überrascht Lena. (The end of the story surprises Lena.)

Adjectives from Past Participles: 

Example: enttäuschen (to disappoint) > enttäuscht

     Seine Mutter war enttäuscht, dass er bei der Prüfung durchgefallen ist. (His mother was disappointed that he failed the test.)

     Die enttäuschte Mutter weint. (The disappointed mother cries.)

The way frame elements are realized with the verb determine what the adjective can be used to describe. Details are given in the table below.

Subject of VerbDirect ObjectAdjective applies to:Examples
StimulusExperiencerExperienceraufgeregt (worked up), schockiert (shocked), enttäuscht (disappointed)
Experiencer

Content or Stimulus

Content or Stimulus

gefürchtet (feared), gehasst (hated), geliebt (loved)

*Note that this is not the same as passive voice, which also uses a past participle. See Grimm Grammar for infomation about passive.

Adjectives from Present Participles:

Example: überraschen > überraschend (surprising)

     Das Ende der Geschichte war überraschend. (The end of the story was surprising.)

     Das war ein überraschendes Ende. (That was a surprising ending.)

 

 

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. STIMULUS ärgert EXPERIENCER.
  2. EXPERIENCER ärgert sich.
  3. EXPERIENCER ärgert sich über STIMULUS.
  1. STIMULUS irritates EXPERIENCER.
  2. EXPERIENCER is irritated.
  3. EXPERIENCER is irritated about STIMULUS.

Details:

This verb is used like its English equivalent. The Stimulus is the subject, and can be a person or something else, like someone's behavior.

When used with a reflexive pronoun, this verb changes its meaning from "to irritate" to "get/be irritated." The subject is then the Experiencer, and the preposition über (akk.) introduces the Stimulus.

For example: Ich ärgere mich über die Situation. (I'm getting irritated about the situation.)

Alternate Forms:

sich ärgern (über)
aufregen verb upset

Details:

Sometimes translated as "to excite," this word has a more negative connotation, as in "to agitate." The Simulus appears as subject, and the Experiencer is the direct object.

The reflexive use of the verb aufregen can be translated as "get worked up" or "work oneself up." When used in this way, the Experiencer appears as the grammatical subject, and the Stimulus can be expressed with "über" (akk.).

For example: Er regt sich auf. (He's getting upset.)

Example Sentences:

  1. Die laute Musik regt die Nachbarn auf.
  2. Das mögliche Alkoholverbot hat die Leute aufgeregt.
  3. Reg dich nicht so auf!
  4. Alina regt sich über die neue Regeln auf.
  1. The loud music upsets the neighbors.
  2. The possible alcohol ban upset the people.
  3. Don't work yourself up so much!
  4. Alina works herself up about the new rules.

Grammar:

Verbs with Separable Prefixes

Some verbs have a prefix that moves around in the sentence, depending on what form the verb takes. In the infinitive form, the prefix is attached, like "ausgehen" (to go out). If the verb is conjugated (in present or simple past tense), the prefix appears at the end of the clause, as in "Ich gehe heute Abend aus." For more information about these verbs, see the examples for individual verbs or read these explanations from Grimm Grammar: present tense, conversational past tense (Perfekt).

Making Adjectives from Verbs

In German (just as in English), the past participles of verbs (with the -ed ending in English) can be used as adjectives, known as "participial adjectives." Add an adjective ending when appropriate. Even a verb's present participle can be used as an adjective. This form of the verb is similar in meaning to English ing-forms, and is formed in German by adding a "d" (and an adjective ending, if necessary) to the infinitive form of the verb. Adjectives formed in this way apply to the type of frame element that would fill the subject role of the verb (e.g. überraschend applies to a Stimulus, and  ).

Example: enttäuschen, überraschen (normal use as verbs)

     Jens enttäuscht seine Mutter. (Jens disappoints his mother.)

     Das Ende der Geschichte überrascht Lena. (The end of the story surprises Lena.)

Adjectives from Past Participles: 

Example: enttäuschen (to disappoint) > enttäuscht

     Seine Mutter war enttäuscht, dass er bei der Prüfung durchgefallen ist. (His mother was disappointed that he failed the test.)

     Die enttäuschte Mutter weint. (The disappointed mother cries.)

The way frame elements are realized with the verb determine what the adjective can be used to describe. Details are given in the table below.

Subject of VerbDirect ObjectAdjective applies to:Examples
StimulusExperiencerExperienceraufgeregt (worked up), schockiert (shocked), enttäuscht (disappointed)
Experiencer

Content or Stimulus

Content or Stimulus

gefürchtet (feared), gehasst (hated), geliebt (loved)

*Note that this is not the same as passive voice, which also uses a past participle. See Grimm Grammar for infomation about passive.

Adjectives from Present Participles:

Example: überraschen > überraschend (surprising)

     Das Ende der Geschichte war überraschend. (The end of the story was surprising.)

     Das war ein überraschendes Ende. (That was a surprising ending.)

 

 

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. STIMULUS regt EXPERIENCER auf.
  2. EXPERIENCER regt sich auf.
  3. EXPERIENCER regt sich über STIMULUS auf.
  1. STIMULUS upsets EXPERIENCER.
  2. EXPERIENCER works himself up.
  3. EXPERIENCER works himself up about STIMULUS.

Details:

Sometimes translated as "to excite," this word has a more negative connotation, as in "to agitate." The Simulus appears as subject, and the Experiencer is the direct object.

The reflexive use of the verb aufregen can be translated as "get worked up" or "work oneself up." When used in this way, the Experiencer appears as the grammatical subject, and the Stimulus can be expressed with "über" (akk.).

For example: Er regt sich auf. (He's getting upset.)

Alternate Forms:

er regt ... auf, hat aufgeregt, regte ... auf; sich aufregen (über)
beneiden (jdn. um etw.) verb envy

Details:

This verb typically takes the Topic as a direct object and Content as a prepositional phrase with "um." Although the Content often belongs to the Topic (the person who is envied), German speakers tend to avoid possessive pronouns or genitive in favor of expressing the Topic as the direct object.

It is also possible for the Content to appear as direct object, or for the Topic appear without the Content. In the latter case, the Topic is somewhat vague and indicates a range of possible Content.

Example Sentences:

  1. Ich beneide dich nicht.
  2. Frank beneidet andere um ihren Erfolg.
  3. Ella beneidet Frauen, die volle Lippen haben.
  4. Der Schüler beneidet das Testergebnis seiner Klassenkameradin.
  1. I don't envy you.
  2. Frank envies others for their success.
  3. Ella envies women who have full lips.
  4. The student envies the test score of his classmate.

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. EXPERIENCER beneidet TOPIC.
  2. EXPERIENCER beneidet TOPIC um CONTENT.
  3. EXPERIENCER beneidet CONTENT.
  1. EXPERIENCER envies TOPIC.
  2. EXPERIENCER envies TOPIC for CONTENT.
  3. EXPERIENCER envies CONTENT.

Details:

This verb typically takes the Topic as a direct object and Content as a prepositional phrase with "um." Although the Content often belongs to the Topic (the person who is envied), German speakers tend to avoid possessive pronouns or genitive in favor of expressing the Topic as the direct object.

It is also possible for the Content to appear as direct object, or for the Topic appear without the Content. In the latter case, the Topic is somewhat vague and indicates a range of possible Content.

bereuen verb regret

Details:

This verb is used much like its English counterpart, except when it comes to whole phrases that fill the role of Content. In English, a gerund is used (an ing-form), as in "I regret having so little free time." In German, a zu-construction (aka Infinitivsatz) is used: "Ich bereue, so wenig Freizeit zu haben."Basically, you just take the verb that would be the gerund in English, put it in infinitive form, and place it at the end of the sentence, preceded by "zu." For further details on zu-constructions, see this page from Grimm Grammar.

It is also possible to begin a clause with "dass" if you don't want to use a zu-construction.

Example Sentences:

  1. Ich bereue meine Faulheit im ersten Semester an der Uni.
  2. Viele Menschen bereuen, nicht viel Zeit mit der Familie verbringen zu können.
  3. Man soll nichts machen, was man später bereuen könnte.
  4. Herr Roth bereut, seinen Lottogewinn so schnell ausgegeben zu haben.
  5. Angelika bereut, dass sie nicht auf die Party gehen konnte.
  1. I regret my laziness in the first semester at the university.
  2. Many people regret not being able to spend a lot of time with their family.
  3. One should do nothing that one could later regret.
  4. Mister Roth regrets having spent his lottery winnings so fast.
  5. Angelika regrets that she couldn't go to the party.

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. EXPERIENCER bereut CONTENT.
  1. EXPERIENCER regrets CONTENT.

Details:

This verb is used much like its English counterpart, except when it comes to whole phrases that fill the role of Content. In English, a gerund is used (an ing-form), as in "I regret having so little free time." In German, a zu-construction (aka Infinitivsatz) is used: "Ich bereue, so wenig Freizeit zu haben."Basically, you just take the verb that would be the gerund in English, put it in infinitive form, and place it at the end of the sentence, preceded by "zu." For further details on zu-constructions, see this page from Grimm Grammar.

It is also possible to begin a clause with "dass" if you don't want to use a zu-construction.

das Mitleid noun sympathy

Details:

Lit. with-sorrow

Used like the English equivalent; the Stimulus can be realized following either "mit" (dat.) or "für" (akk.).

Example Sentences:

  1. Livia will kein Mitleid.
  2. Langsam erregte Tanja ihr Lehrers Mitleid.
  3. Nach dem Feuer geht es meinen Nachbarn gar nicht gut; ich habe Mitleid für ihre Lage.
  4. Trotz allem, was passierte, hatte Dario noch Mitleid mit dem Verbrecher.
  5. Manche Soldaten hatten ein bisschen Mitleid mit den Kriegsgefangenen.
  6. Polizisten empfinden kein Mitleid für Autofahrer, die nicht auf die Verkehrsregeln achten.
  1. Livia has no sympathy.
  2. Slowly, Tanja inspired her teacher's sympathy.
  3. After the fire, it's not going well at all for my neighbors; I have sympathy for their situation.
  4. Despite everything that happened, Dario still had sympathy for the criminal.
  5. Some soldiers had a little sympathy for the prisoners of war.
  6. Policemen feel no sympathy for drivers who don't pay attention to traffic regulations.

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. EXPERIENCER hat Mitleid.
  2. EXPERIENCER hat Mitleid mit STIMULUS.
  1. EXPERIENCER has sympathy.
  2. EXPERIENCER has sympathy for STIMULUS.

Details:

Lit. with-sorrow

Used like the English equivalent; the Stimulus can be realized following either "mit" (dat.) or "für" (akk.).

depressiv adjective depressed

Details:

As in English, this adjective can describe people or their moods.

Example Sentences:

  1. Manche Mütter werden depressiv nach der Geburt des Kindes.
  2. Im ersten Jahr seines Studiums war Fabio schwer depressiv.
  1. Some mothers become depressed after the birth of the child.
  2. In his first year of study, Fabio was severely depressed.

Grammar:

Adjectives in Action

There are two main ways to use adjectives in German that parallel the ways adjectives are used in English. These usages are illustrated in the table below.

Predicate AdjectivesAttributive Adjectives
1. Sara ist arbeitslos.2. Saras arbeitsloser Mann sucht einen Job.
Sara is unemployedSara's unemployed husband is looking for a job
3. Der Kunde wurde wütend.4. Der wütende Kunde verließ den Laden.
The customer became angry.The angry customer left the store.
5. Viele deutsche Wähler sind gut informiert6. Informierte Wähler sind wichtig für eine Demokratie.
Many German voters are well informed.Informed voters are important for a democracy.

Predicate adjectives are part of a sentence's predicate, the part that states something about the subject. When used in this way, as in examples (1), (3), and (5), the adjective typically follows a verb like sein ("to be") or werden ("to become"), and appears in its most basic form. Attributive adjectives directly attribute a quality to a noun by appearing before it in the sentence; no verb comes between the adjective and the noun it describes. In attributive uses, such as (2), (4), and (6), endings are added to the adjectives. At a minimum, an attributive adjective in German gets an "e" at the end, although there are several possibilities. Adjective endings are difficult to master, so if you are in your first few years of study, the take-away here is that attributive adjectives get endings (an "e" or more), and predicate adjectives do not. If you are further in your studies or just tenaciously curious, you can learn more about adjective endings here, here and here.

Comparisons using Adjectives

In the Alternate Forms tab, you can see the comparative (e.g. gut - besser, "good" - "better") and superlative (e.g. gut - am besten, "good" - "the best") forms of an adjective. German and English are similar in their uses of comparative; both languages add an "-er" ending to make comparative forms, for example: wütend, wütender ("angry, angrier"), informiert, informierter ("informed, more informed"), etc. The main difference is that English sometimes does not allow such an ending (e.g. *stupider, *informeder, *loster), but in German, the "-er" ending is always possible, and "more" does appear with an adjective to convey the comparative meaning. There are a few more rules for German comparatives and superlatives (including some irregular forms) that you can read about here.

 

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. EXPERIENCER ist depressiv.
  2. [ein depressiv- EXPERIENCER]
  1. EXPERIENCER is depressed.
  2. [a depressed EXPERIENCER]

Details:

As in English, this adjective can describe people or their moods.

die Angst noun fear

Details:

"Angst" is a very common way to refer to fear and being afraid. German speakers don't use adjectives like afraid or scared as often as English speakers. Below are some examples that show how German and English differ.

English phrase

German phraseLit. English translation
I am afraidIch habe AngstI have fear
I get scaredIch bekomme AngstI receive fear
He scares meEr macht mir AngstHe makes (for) me fear

To express the Stimulus, use "vor" (dat.); this is what the Experiencer is afraid "of." "Um" (akk.) can introduce the Topic, what the Experiencer is afraid "for."

Example Sentences:

  1. Das Kind hat Angst vor dem Monster unter seinem Bett.
  2. Tobias hat grosse Angst vor Katzen.
  3. Die Familien waren in Angst um ihre Leben.
  4. Der Angeklagte hatte Angst um seine Familie und wollte nichts sagen.
  5. Keine Angst!
  6. Das Licht ging aus und wir bekamen grosse Angst.
  7. Der Unbekannte machte Lorenz Angst.
  8. Du machst mir Angst!
  1. The child has fear of the monster under its bed.
  2. Tobias has a great fear of cats.
  3. The Families were in fear for their lives.
  4. The defendant had fear for his family and didn't want to say anything.
  5. No fear! [Don't be afraid]
  6. The light went out and we received great fear. [became very afraid]
  7. The stranger made Lorenz afraid.
  8. You are scaring me!

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. EXPERIENCER hat/bekommt Angst.
  2. EXPERIENCER hat Angst vor STIMULUS.
  3. EXPERIENCER hat Angst um TOPIC.
  4. STIMULUS macht EXPERIENCER Angst.
  1. EXPERIENCER has/gets fear.
  2. EXPERIENCER has fear of STIMULUS.
  3. EXPERIENCER has fear for TOPIC.
  4. STIMULUS makes (for) EXPERIENCER fear.

Details:

"Angst" is a very common way to refer to fear and being afraid. German speakers don't use adjectives like afraid or scared as often as English speakers. Below are some examples that show how German and English differ.

English phrase

German phraseLit. English translation
I am afraidIch habe AngstI have fear
I get scaredIch bekomme AngstI receive fear
He scares meEr macht mir AngstHe makes (for) me fear

To express the Stimulus, use "vor" (dat.); this is what the Experiencer is afraid "of." "Um" (akk.) can introduce the Topic, what the Experiencer is afraid "for."

Alternate Forms:

die Ängste (pl.)
eifersüchtig adjective jealous

Details:

Used like its English equivalent. The Content/Topic is expressed in a phrase with "auf" (akk.).

Example Sentences:

  1. Du darfst nicht eifersüchtig sein.
  2. Leonies Freunde sind eifersüchtig auf ihren Erfolg.
  3. Selina beruhigt ihren eifersüchtigen Freund.
  4. Die Schuaspielerin war etwas eifersüchtig auf ihre eigenen Töchter.
  5. Eifersüchtiges Überwachen ist nicht gesund in einer Liebesbeziehung.
  1. You are not allowed to be jealous.
  2. Leonie's friends are jealous of her success.
  3. Selina reassures her jealous boyfriend.
  4. The actress was somewhat jealous of her own daughters.
  5. Jealous surveillance is not healthy in a love relationship.

Grammar:

Adjectives in Action

There are two main ways to use adjectives in German that parallel the ways adjectives are used in English. These usages are illustrated in the table below.

Predicate AdjectivesAttributive Adjectives
1. Sara ist arbeitslos.2. Saras arbeitsloser Mann sucht einen Job.
Sara is unemployedSara's unemployed husband is looking for a job
3. Der Kunde wurde wütend.4. Der wütende Kunde verließ den Laden.
The customer became angry.The angry customer left the store.
5. Viele deutsche Wähler sind gut informiert6. Informierte Wähler sind wichtig für eine Demokratie.
Many German voters are well informed.Informed voters are important for a democracy.

Predicate adjectives are part of a sentence's predicate, the part that states something about the subject. When used in this way, as in examples (1), (3), and (5), the adjective typically follows a verb like sein ("to be") or werden ("to become"), and appears in its most basic form. Attributive adjectives directly attribute a quality to a noun by appearing before it in the sentence; no verb comes between the adjective and the noun it describes. In attributive uses, such as (2), (4), and (6), endings are added to the adjectives. At a minimum, an attributive adjective in German gets an "e" at the end, although there are several possibilities. Adjective endings are difficult to master, so if you are in your first few years of study, the take-away here is that attributive adjectives get endings (an "e" or more), and predicate adjectives do not. If you are further in your studies or just tenaciously curious, you can learn more about adjective endings here, here and here.

Comparisons using Adjectives

In the Alternate Forms tab, you can see the comparative (e.g. gut - besser, "good" - "better") and superlative (e.g. gut - am besten, "good" - "the best") forms of an adjective. German and English are similar in their uses of comparative; both languages add an "-er" ending to make comparative forms, for example: wütend, wütender ("angry, angrier"), informiert, informierter ("informed, more informed"), etc. The main difference is that English sometimes does not allow such an ending (e.g. *stupider, *informeder, *loster), but in German, the "-er" ending is always possible, and "more" does appear with an adjective to convey the comparative meaning. There are a few more rules for German comparatives and superlatives (including some irregular forms) that you can read about here.

 

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. EXPERIENCER ist eifersüchtig.
  2. EXPERIENCER ist eifersüchtig auf CONTENT.
  3. EXPERIENCER ist eifersüchtig auf TOPIC.
  4. [ein eifersüchtig- EXPERIENCER]
  1. EXPERIENCER is jealous.
  2. EXPERIENCER is jealous of CONTENT.
  3. EXPERIENCER is jealous of TOPIC.
  4. [a jealous EXPERIENCER]

Details:

Used like its English equivalent. The Content/Topic is expressed in a phrase with "auf" (akk.).

einschüchtern verb intimidate

Details:

This verb is used like the English version. It often occurs with "sich lassen" (to allow oneself), forming phrases like "Ich lasse mich nicht einschüchtern" ("I do not allow myself to be intimidated"). For more information about how to use this construction, see the last section on this page in Grimm Grammar.

Example Sentences:

  1. Er will uns nur einschüchtern.
  2. Die Regierung schüchtert Journalisten ein.
  3. Der Innenminister appelliert an die Bürger, sich nicht einschüchtern zu lassen.
  4. Menschen, die andere einschüchtern oder bedrohen, gehören nicht an dieser Universität. 
  1. He only wants to intimidate us.
  2. The government intimidates Journalists.
  3. The minister of the interior calls on the citizens, not to let themselves be intimidated.
  4. People who others intimidate or threaten, don't belong at this university.

Grammar:

Verbs with Separable Prefixes

Some verbs have a prefix that moves around in the sentence, depending on what form the verb takes. In the infinitive form, the prefix is attached, like "ausgehen" (to go out). If the verb is conjugated (in present or simple past tense), the prefix appears at the end of the clause, as in "Ich gehe heute Abend aus." For more information about these verbs, see the examples for individual verbs or read these explanations from Grimm Grammar: present tense, conversational past tense (Perfekt).

Making Adjectives from Verbs

In German (just as in English), the past participles of verbs (with the -ed ending in English) can be used as adjectives, known as "participial adjectives." Add an adjective ending when appropriate. Even a verb's present participle can be used as an adjective. This form of the verb is similar in meaning to English ing-forms, and is formed in German by adding a "d" (and an adjective ending, if necessary) to the infinitive form of the verb. Adjectives formed in this way apply to the type of frame element that would fill the subject role of the verb (e.g. überraschend applies to a Stimulus, and  ).

Example: enttäuschen, überraschen (normal use as verbs)

     Jens enttäuscht seine Mutter. (Jens disappoints his mother.)

     Das Ende der Geschichte überrascht Lena. (The end of the story surprises Lena.)

Adjectives from Past Participles: 

Example: enttäuschen (to disappoint) > enttäuscht

     Seine Mutter war enttäuscht, dass er bei der Prüfung durchgefallen ist. (His mother was disappointed that he failed the test.)

     Die enttäuschte Mutter weint. (The disappointed mother cries.)

The way frame elements are realized with the verb determine what the adjective can be used to describe. Details are given in the table below.

Subject of VerbDirect ObjectAdjective applies to:Examples
StimulusExperiencerExperienceraufgeregt (worked up), schockiert (shocked), enttäuscht (disappointed)
Experiencer

Content or Stimulus

Content or Stimulus

gefürchtet (feared), gehasst (hated), geliebt (loved)

*Note that this is not the same as passive voice, which also uses a past participle. See Grimm Grammar for infomation about passive.

Adjectives from Present Participles:

Example: überraschen > überraschend (surprising)

     Das Ende der Geschichte war überraschend. (The end of the story was surprising.)

     Das war ein überraschendes Ende. (That was a surprising ending.)

 

 

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. STIMULUS schüchtert EXPERIENCER ein.
  1. STIMULUS intimidates EXPERIENCER.

Details:

This verb is used like the English version. It often occurs with "sich lassen" (to allow oneself), forming phrases like "Ich lasse mich nicht einschüchtern" ("I do not allow myself to be intimidated"). For more information about how to use this construction, see the last section on this page in Grimm Grammar.

Alternate Forms:

er schüchtert ... ein, hat eingeschüchtert, schüchterte ... ein
entsetzt adjective horrified

Details:

Used like its English counterpart.

Example Sentences:

  1. Die Demonstranten sind entsetzt über das Ausmaß an Gewalt gegen Frauen und Kinder.
  2. Als ich mitgeteilt wurde, war ich entsetzt und schockiert.
  1. The demonstraters are horrified about the extent of violence against women and children.
  2. When I was informed, I was horrified and shocked.

Grammar:

Adjectives in Action

There are two main ways to use adjectives in German that parallel the ways adjectives are used in English. These usages are illustrated in the table below.

Predicate AdjectivesAttributive Adjectives
1. Sara ist arbeitslos.2. Saras arbeitsloser Mann sucht einen Job.
Sara is unemployedSara's unemployed husband is looking for a job
3. Der Kunde wurde wütend.4. Der wütende Kunde verließ den Laden.
The customer became angry.The angry customer left the store.
5. Viele deutsche Wähler sind gut informiert6. Informierte Wähler sind wichtig für eine Demokratie.
Many German voters are well informed.Informed voters are important for a democracy.

Predicate adjectives are part of a sentence's predicate, the part that states something about the subject. When used in this way, as in examples (1), (3), and (5), the adjective typically follows a verb like sein ("to be") or werden ("to become"), and appears in its most basic form. Attributive adjectives directly attribute a quality to a noun by appearing before it in the sentence; no verb comes between the adjective and the noun it describes. In attributive uses, such as (2), (4), and (6), endings are added to the adjectives. At a minimum, an attributive adjective in German gets an "e" at the end, although there are several possibilities. Adjective endings are difficult to master, so if you are in your first few years of study, the take-away here is that attributive adjectives get endings (an "e" or more), and predicate adjectives do not. If you are further in your studies or just tenaciously curious, you can learn more about adjective endings here, here and here.

Comparisons using Adjectives

In the Alternate Forms tab, you can see the comparative (e.g. gut - besser, "good" - "better") and superlative (e.g. gut - am besten, "good" - "the best") forms of an adjective. German and English are similar in their uses of comparative; both languages add an "-er" ending to make comparative forms, for example: wütend, wütender ("angry, angrier"), informiert, informierter ("informed, more informed"), etc. The main difference is that English sometimes does not allow such an ending (e.g. *stupider, *informeder, *loster), but in German, the "-er" ending is always possible, and "more" does appear with an adjective to convey the comparative meaning. There are a few more rules for German comparatives and superlatives (including some irregular forms) that you can read about here.

 

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. EXPERIENCER ist/wird entsetzt.
  2. EXPERIENCER ist entsetzt über STIMULUS.
  3. [ein entsetzt- EXPERIENCER]
  1. EXPERIENCER is/becomes horrified.
  2. EXPERIENCER is horrified about STIMULUS.
  3. [a horrified EXPERIENCER]

Details:

Used like its English counterpart.

enttäuschen verb disappoint

Example Sentences:

  1. Das Match enttäuschte die Fans.
  2. Anton enttäuscht seine Mutter, indem er schlechte Noten bekommt.
  1. The match disappointed the fans.
  2. Anton disappoints his mother, in that he gets bad grades.

Grammar:

Making Adjectives from Verbs

In German (just as in English), the past participles of verbs (with the -ed ending in English) can be used as adjectives, known as "participial adjectives." Add an adjective ending when appropriate. Even a verb's present participle can be used as an adjective. This form of the verb is similar in meaning to English ing-forms, and is formed in German by adding a "d" (and an adjective ending, if necessary) to the infinitive form of the verb. Adjectives formed in this way apply to the type of frame element that would fill the subject role of the verb (e.g. überraschend applies to a Stimulus, and  ).

Example: enttäuschen, überraschen (normal use as verbs)

     Jens enttäuscht seine Mutter. (Jens disappoints his mother.)

     Das Ende der Geschichte überrascht Lena. (The end of the story surprises Lena.)

Adjectives from Past Participles: 

Example: enttäuschen (to disappoint) > enttäuscht

     Seine Mutter war enttäuscht, dass er bei der Prüfung durchgefallen ist. (His mother was disappointed that he failed the test.)

     Die enttäuschte Mutter weint. (The disappointed mother cries.)

The way frame elements are realized with the verb determine what the adjective can be used to describe. Details are given in the table below.

Subject of VerbDirect ObjectAdjective applies to:Examples
StimulusExperiencerExperienceraufgeregt (worked up), schockiert (shocked), enttäuscht (disappointed)
Experiencer

Content or Stimulus

Content or Stimulus

gefürchtet (feared), gehasst (hated), geliebt (loved)

*Note that this is not the same as passive voice, which also uses a past participle. See Grimm Grammar for infomation about passive.

Adjectives from Present Participles:

Example: überraschen > überraschend (surprising)

     Das Ende der Geschichte war überraschend. (The end of the story was surprising.)

     Das war ein überraschendes Ende. (That was a surprising ending.)

 

 

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. STIMULUS enttäuscht EXPERIENCER.
  1. STIMULUS disappoints EXPERIENCER.
fürchten verb fear

Details:

to fear

Sometimes translated as "to dread." See also "die Angst" ("fear").

Example Sentences:

  1. Der Zeuge fürchtet um sein Leben.
  2. Melina fürchtete, ihren Pass zu verlieren.
  3. Die Eltern fürchten um ihr Geld.
  4. Die Veranstalter fürchten eine Verwässerung der Standards.
  5. Sie braucht sich nicht mehr vor dem Sterben zu fürchten.
  1. The witness fears for his life.
  2. Melina fears losing her passport.
  3. The parents fear for their money.
  4. The organizers fear a watering-down of the standards.
  5. She needs no more to fear death.

Grammar:

Making Adjectives from Verbs

In German (just as in English), the past participles of verbs (with the -ed ending in English) can be used as adjectives, known as "participial adjectives." Add an adjective ending when appropriate. Even a verb's present participle can be used as an adjective. This form of the verb is similar in meaning to English ing-forms, and is formed in German by adding a "d" (and an adjective ending, if necessary) to the infinitive form of the verb. Adjectives formed in this way apply to the type of frame element that would fill the subject role of the verb (e.g. überraschend applies to a Stimulus, and  ).

Example: enttäuschen, überraschen (normal use as verbs)

     Jens enttäuscht seine Mutter. (Jens disappoints his mother.)

     Das Ende der Geschichte überrascht Lena. (The end of the story surprises Lena.)

Adjectives from Past Participles: 

Example: enttäuschen (to disappoint) > enttäuscht

     Seine Mutter war enttäuscht, dass er bei der Prüfung durchgefallen ist. (His mother was disappointed that he failed the test.)

     Die enttäuschte Mutter weint. (The disappointed mother cries.)

The way frame elements are realized with the verb determine what the adjective can be used to describe. Details are given in the table below.

Subject of VerbDirect ObjectAdjective applies to:Examples
StimulusExperiencerExperienceraufgeregt (worked up), schockiert (shocked), enttäuscht (disappointed)
Experiencer

Content or Stimulus

Content or Stimulus

gefürchtet (feared), gehasst (hated), geliebt (loved)

*Note that this is not the same as passive voice, which also uses a past participle. See Grimm Grammar for infomation about passive.

Adjectives from Present Participles:

Example: überraschen > überraschend (surprising)

     Das Ende der Geschichte war überraschend. (The end of the story was surprising.)

     Das war ein überraschendes Ende. (That was a surprising ending.)

 

 

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. EXPERIENCER fürchtet STIMULUS.
  2. EXPERIENCER fürchtet um TOPIC.
  3. EXPERIENCER fürchtet sich vor STIMULUS
  1. EXPERIENCER fears STIMULUS.
  2. EXPERIENCER fears for TOPIC.
  3. EXPERIENCER fears STIMULUS.

Details:

to fear

Sometimes translated as "to dread." See also "die Angst" ("fear").

jdm. auf die Nerven gehen multi-word expression get on s.o.'s nerves

Details:

Used like its English equivalent, but the Experiencer appears in dative rather than as a possessive.

Example Sentences:

  1. Dieses Lied geht mir auf die Nerven.
  2. Adrian geht ihr auf die Nerven.
  3. Wenn mir ein Journalist auf die Nerven geht, kann ich sofort reagieren.
  4. Er will den Leuten nicht auf die Nerven gehen.
  1. This song gets on my nerves.
  2. Adrian gets on her nerves.
  3. If a journalist gets on  my nerves, I can immediately react.
  4. He doesn't want to get  on the people's nerves.

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. STIMULUS geht EXPERIENCER auf die Nerven.
  1. STIMULUS gets EXPERIENCER on the nerves.

Details:

Used like its English equivalent, but the Experiencer appears in dative rather than as a possessive.

neidisch adjective envious

Details:

Used like its English counterpart. To express the Topic a person is envious "of," use "auf" (akk.). This is typically another person.

Example Sentences:

  1. Lukas ist neidisch auf seinen besten Freund.
  2. Karin ist neidisch auf Lena, weil sie ein neues Auto hat.
  3. Der neidische Kollege wusste, dass Sabine mehr Geld verdiente als er.
  1. Lukas is envious of his best friend.
  2. Karin is envious of Lena, because she has a new car.
  3. The envious colleague knew that Sabine earned more money than he.

Grammar:

Adjectives in Action

There are two main ways to use adjectives in German that parallel the ways adjectives are used in English. These usages are illustrated in the table below.

Predicate AdjectivesAttributive Adjectives
1. Sara ist arbeitslos.2. Saras arbeitsloser Mann sucht einen Job.
Sara is unemployedSara's unemployed husband is looking for a job
3. Der Kunde wurde wütend.4. Der wütende Kunde verließ den Laden.
The customer became angry.The angry customer left the store.
5. Viele deutsche Wähler sind gut informiert6. Informierte Wähler sind wichtig für eine Demokratie.
Many German voters are well informed.Informed voters are important for a democracy.

Predicate adjectives are part of a sentence's predicate, the part that states something about the subject. When used in this way, as in examples (1), (3), and (5), the adjective typically follows a verb like sein ("to be") or werden ("to become"), and appears in its most basic form. Attributive adjectives directly attribute a quality to a noun by appearing before it in the sentence; no verb comes between the adjective and the noun it describes. In attributive uses, such as (2), (4), and (6), endings are added to the adjectives. At a minimum, an attributive adjective in German gets an "e" at the end, although there are several possibilities. Adjective endings are difficult to master, so if you are in your first few years of study, the take-away here is that attributive adjectives get endings (an "e" or more), and predicate adjectives do not. If you are further in your studies or just tenaciously curious, you can learn more about adjective endings here, here and here.

Comparisons using Adjectives

In the Alternate Forms tab, you can see the comparative (e.g. gut - besser, "good" - "better") and superlative (e.g. gut - am besten, "good" - "the best") forms of an adjective. German and English are similar in their uses of comparative; both languages add an "-er" ending to make comparative forms, for example: wütend, wütender ("angry, angrier"), informiert, informierter ("informed, more informed"), etc. The main difference is that English sometimes does not allow such an ending (e.g. *stupider, *informeder, *loster), but in German, the "-er" ending is always possible, and "more" does appear with an adjective to convey the comparative meaning. There are a few more rules for German comparatives and superlatives (including some irregular forms) that you can read about here.

 

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. EXPERIENCER ist neidisch.
  2. EXPERIENCER ist neidisch auf TOPIC.
  3. [ein neidisch- EXPERIENCER]
  1. EXPERIENCER is envious.
  2. EXPERIENCER is envious of TOPIC.
  3. [an envious EXPERIENCER]

Details:

Used like its English counterpart. To express the Topic a person is envious "of," use "auf" (akk.). This is typically another person.

nervös adjective nervous

Details:

Used like the English equivalent. Can also function as an adverb. Stimulus is typically expressed with "wegen" (gen.), "because of."

Example Sentences:

  1. Die Studenten sind alle nervös wegen des großen Examens.
  2. Hannah war ziemlich nervös vor der Prüfung.
  3. Daniel macht mich nervös, wenn er mich so anstarrt.
  1. The students are all nervous because of the big exam.
  2. Hannah was pretty nervous before the test.
  3. Daniel makes me nervous, when he stares at me like that.

Grammar:

Adjectives in Action

There are two main ways to use adjectives in German that parallel the ways adjectives are used in English. These usages are illustrated in the table below.

Predicate AdjectivesAttributive Adjectives
1. Sara ist arbeitslos.2. Saras arbeitsloser Mann sucht einen Job.
Sara is unemployedSara's unemployed husband is looking for a job
3. Der Kunde wurde wütend.4. Der wütende Kunde verließ den Laden.
The customer became angry.The angry customer left the store.
5. Viele deutsche Wähler sind gut informiert6. Informierte Wähler sind wichtig für eine Demokratie.
Many German voters are well informed.Informed voters are important for a democracy.

Predicate adjectives are part of a sentence's predicate, the part that states something about the subject. When used in this way, as in examples (1), (3), and (5), the adjective typically follows a verb like sein ("to be") or werden ("to become"), and appears in its most basic form. Attributive adjectives directly attribute a quality to a noun by appearing before it in the sentence; no verb comes between the adjective and the noun it describes. In attributive uses, such as (2), (4), and (6), endings are added to the adjectives. At a minimum, an attributive adjective in German gets an "e" at the end, although there are several possibilities. Adjective endings are difficult to master, so if you are in your first few years of study, the take-away here is that attributive adjectives get endings (an "e" or more), and predicate adjectives do not. If you are further in your studies or just tenaciously curious, you can learn more about adjective endings here, here and here.

Comparisons using Adjectives

In the Alternate Forms tab, you can see the comparative (e.g. gut - besser, "good" - "better") and superlative (e.g. gut - am besten, "good" - "the best") forms of an adjective. German and English are similar in their uses of comparative; both languages add an "-er" ending to make comparative forms, for example: wütend, wütender ("angry, angrier"), informiert, informierter ("informed, more informed"), etc. The main difference is that English sometimes does not allow such an ending (e.g. *stupider, *informeder, *loster), but in German, the "-er" ending is always possible, and "more" does appear with an adjective to convey the comparative meaning. There are a few more rules for German comparatives and superlatives (including some irregular forms) that you can read about here.

 

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. EXPERIENCER ist nervös.
  2. EXPERIENCER ist nervös wegen STIMULUS.
  3. [ein nervös- EXPERIENCER]
  1. EXPERIENCER is nervous.
  2. EXPERIENCER is nervous because of STIMULUS.
  3. [a nervous EXPERIENCER]

Details:

Used like the English equivalent. Can also function as an adverb. Stimulus is typically expressed with "wegen" (gen.), "because of."

schockieren verb shock

Details:

Used like it's English equivalent.

Example Sentences:

  1. Der Skandal schockiert die Nation.
  2. Die Nachricht schockierte die Bürger.
  1. The scandal shocks the nation.
  2. The news shocked the citizens.

Grammar:

Making Adjectives from Verbs

In German (just as in English), the past participles of verbs (with the -ed ending in English) can be used as adjectives, known as "participial adjectives." Add an adjective ending when appropriate. Even a verb's present participle can be used as an adjective. This form of the verb is similar in meaning to English ing-forms, and is formed in German by adding a "d" (and an adjective ending, if necessary) to the infinitive form of the verb. Adjectives formed in this way apply to the type of frame element that would fill the subject role of the verb (e.g. überraschend applies to a Stimulus, and  ).

Example: enttäuschen, überraschen (normal use as verbs)

     Jens enttäuscht seine Mutter. (Jens disappoints his mother.)

     Das Ende der Geschichte überrascht Lena. (The end of the story surprises Lena.)

Adjectives from Past Participles: 

Example: enttäuschen (to disappoint) > enttäuscht

     Seine Mutter war enttäuscht, dass er bei der Prüfung durchgefallen ist. (His mother was disappointed that he failed the test.)

     Die enttäuschte Mutter weint. (The disappointed mother cries.)

The way frame elements are realized with the verb determine what the adjective can be used to describe. Details are given in the table below.

Subject of VerbDirect ObjectAdjective applies to:Examples
StimulusExperiencerExperienceraufgeregt (worked up), schockiert (shocked), enttäuscht (disappointed)
Experiencer

Content or Stimulus

Content or Stimulus

gefürchtet (feared), gehasst (hated), geliebt (loved)

*Note that this is not the same as passive voice, which also uses a past participle. See Grimm Grammar for infomation about passive.

Adjectives from Present Participles:

Example: überraschen > überraschend (surprising)

     Das Ende der Geschichte war überraschend. (The end of the story was surprising.)

     Das war ein überraschendes Ende. (That was a surprising ending.)

 

 

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. STIMULUS schockiert EXPERIENCER.
  1. STIMULUS shocks EXPERIENCER.

Details:

Used like it's English equivalent.

sich (akk.) schämen verb feel ashamed

Details:

The subject of this reflexive verb is the Experiencer, and the Stimulus appears in genetive. The preposition "wegen" can also indicate the Stimulus (gen. is the accepted case, but this is sometimes seen with dat.).

Ashamedness is often associated with the presence of a particular person or people; use the preposition "vor" (dat.) to say "in front of." If a person feels ashamed for another, "für" (akk.) is used, and this functions as Topic. A zu-construction (Infinitivsatz) can also be used to convey a Topic or Stimulus.

Example Sentences:

  1. Leon schämte sich wegen seines schlechten Verhaltens.
  2. Peter schämt sich für seinen Freund.
  3. Ich schäme mich oft vor meinem Therapeuten.
  4. Schämst du dich nicht?
  5. Er schämt sich, Schweizer zu sein, wegen des Erfolgs der Volksinitiative gegen Masseneinwanderung.
  1. Leon felt ashamed because of his bad behavior.
  2. Peter feels ashamed for his friend.
  3. I often feel ashamed in front of my therapist.
  4. Don't you feel ashamed?
  5. He feels ashamed to be swiss because of the success of the people's initiative against mass immigration.

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. EXPERIENCER schämt sich.
  2. EXPERIENCER schämt sich STIMULUS.
  3. EXPERIENCER schämt sich wegen STIMULUS.
  1. EXPERIENCER feels ashamed.
  2. EXPERIENCER feels ashamed of STIMULUS.
  3. EXPERIENCER feels ashamed because of STIMULUS.

Details:

The subject of this reflexive verb is the Experiencer, and the Stimulus appears in genetive. The preposition "wegen" can also indicate the Stimulus (gen. is the accepted case, but this is sometimes seen with dat.).

Ashamedness is often associated with the presence of a particular person or people; use the preposition "vor" (dat.) to say "in front of." If a person feels ashamed for another, "für" (akk.) is used, and this functions as Topic. A zu-construction (Infinitivsatz) can also be used to convey a Topic or Stimulus.

sich (dat.) Sorgen machen (um) multi-word expression worry

Details:

to worry (about), lit. to make (for) oneself worries

The Experiencer expresses concern for a Topic or Content. Since what one worries about hasn't actually happened, it cannot be a Stimulus.

Example Sentences:

  1. Jasmin macht sich Sorgen um die Zukunft.
  2. Stefans Mutter macht sich Sorgen um seine Gesundheit.
  3. Claudia macht sich Sorgendass sie die Prüfung nicht bestehen wird.
  1. Jasmin worries about the future.
  2. Stefan's mother worries about his health.
  3. Claudia worries that she won't pass the test.

Grammar:

Reflexive Verbs and Pronouns

Verbs that are used reflexively often carry a reciprocal meaning or the meaning that the subject is performing the action of the verb on themself, although some abstract verbs are used reflexively without such meanings. In any case, the reflexive pronouns and word order are the same. As a general rule, the reflexive pronoun should appear just after the subject, although the V2 rule trumps this one, so in a basic sentence, you will find: subject, verb, reflexive (e.g. Er verliebt sich in Melanie, "He is falling in love with Melanie"). For further examples, consult the Examples sections of reflexive verbs. Click here for further explanation.

NominativAkkusativDativ
ichmichmir
dudichdir
er/sie/essichsich
wirunsuns
ihreucheuch
sie/Siesichsich

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. EXPERIENCER macht sich Sorgen.
  2. EXPERIENCER macht sich Sorgen um TOPIC.
  3. EXPERIENCER macht sich Sorgen, dass CONTENT.
  1. EXPERIENCER worries.
  2. EXPERIENCER worries about TOPIC.
  3. EXPERIENCER worries that CONTENT.

Details:

to worry (about), lit. to make (for) oneself worries

The Experiencer expresses concern for a Topic or Content. Since what one worries about hasn't actually happened, it cannot be a Stimulus.

traurig adjective sad

Details:

Just as with English "sad," "traurig" can be used to describe a variety of things that are not people, as in "ein trauriges Buch," "ein trauriger Tag," etc. When it is applied to an Experiencer, the preposition "über" expresses what someone is sad "about" (the Stimulus).

Example Sentences:

  1. Steffi ist immer traurig.
  2. Martin wurde traurig über den Tod seines Hundes.
  3. Es macht mich traurig, dass ich in den Ferien nicht nach Hause fahren kann.
  1. Steffi is always sad.
  2. Martin became sad about the death of his dog.
  3. It makes me sad that I can't go home during vacation.

Grammar:

Adjectives in Action

There are two main ways to use adjectives in German that parallel the ways adjectives are used in English. These usages are illustrated in the table below.

Predicate AdjectivesAttributive Adjectives
1. Sara ist arbeitslos.2. Saras arbeitsloser Mann sucht einen Job.
Sara is unemployedSara's unemployed husband is looking for a job
3. Der Kunde wurde wütend.4. Der wütende Kunde verließ den Laden.
The customer became angry.The angry customer left the store.
5. Viele deutsche Wähler sind gut informiert6. Informierte Wähler sind wichtig für eine Demokratie.
Many German voters are well informed.Informed voters are important for a democracy.

Predicate adjectives are part of a sentence's predicate, the part that states something about the subject. When used in this way, as in examples (1), (3), and (5), the adjective typically follows a verb like sein ("to be") or werden ("to become"), and appears in its most basic form. Attributive adjectives directly attribute a quality to a noun by appearing before it in the sentence; no verb comes between the adjective and the noun it describes. In attributive uses, such as (2), (4), and (6), endings are added to the adjectives. At a minimum, an attributive adjective in German gets an "e" at the end, although there are several possibilities. Adjective endings are difficult to master, so if you are in your first few years of study, the take-away here is that attributive adjectives get endings (an "e" or more), and predicate adjectives do not. If you are further in your studies or just tenaciously curious, you can learn more about adjective endings here, here and here.

Comparisons using Adjectives

In the Alternate Forms tab, you can see the comparative (e.g. gut - besser, "good" - "better") and superlative (e.g. gut - am besten, "good" - "the best") forms of an adjective. German and English are similar in their uses of comparative; both languages add an "-er" ending to make comparative forms, for example: wütend, wütender ("angry, angrier"), informiert, informierter ("informed, more informed"), etc. The main difference is that English sometimes does not allow such an ending (e.g. *stupider, *informeder, *loster), but in German, the "-er" ending is always possible, and "more" does appear with an adjective to convey the comparative meaning. There are a few more rules for German comparatives and superlatives (including some irregular forms) that you can read about here.

 

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. EXPERIENCER ist traurig.
  2. EXPERIENCER ist traurig über STIMULUS.
  3. [ein traurig- EXPERIENCER]
  1. EXPERIENCER is sad.
  2. EXPERIENCER is sad about STIMULUS.
  3. [a sad EXPERIENCER]

Details:

Just as with English "sad," "traurig" can be used to describe a variety of things that are not people, as in "ein trauriges Buch," "ein trauriger Tag," etc. When it is applied to an Experiencer, the preposition "über" expresses what someone is sad "about" (the Stimulus).

überraschen verb surprise

Details:

Used like its English equivalent.

Example Sentences:

  1. Du überraschst mich!
  2. Levi überrascht seine Mutter mit einem schönen Geschenk.
  3. Das Ergebnis des Experiments überraschte den Physiker.
  1. You surprise me!
  2. Levi surprises his mother with a beautiful gift.
  3. The results of the experiment surprised the physicist.

Grammar:

Making Adjectives from Verbs

In German (just as in English), the past participles of verbs (with the -ed ending in English) can be used as adjectives, known as "participial adjectives." Add an adjective ending when appropriate. Even a verb's present participle can be used as an adjective. This form of the verb is similar in meaning to English ing-forms, and is formed in German by adding a "d" (and an adjective ending, if necessary) to the infinitive form of the verb. Adjectives formed in this way apply to the type of frame element that would fill the subject role of the verb (e.g. überraschend applies to a Stimulus, and  ).

Example: enttäuschen, überraschen (normal use as verbs)

     Jens enttäuscht seine Mutter. (Jens disappoints his mother.)

     Das Ende der Geschichte überrascht Lena. (The end of the story surprises Lena.)

Adjectives from Past Participles: 

Example: enttäuschen (to disappoint) > enttäuscht

     Seine Mutter war enttäuscht, dass er bei der Prüfung durchgefallen ist. (His mother was disappointed that he failed the test.)

     Die enttäuschte Mutter weint. (The disappointed mother cries.)

The way frame elements are realized with the verb determine what the adjective can be used to describe. Details are given in the table below.

Subject of VerbDirect ObjectAdjective applies to:Examples
StimulusExperiencerExperienceraufgeregt (worked up), schockiert (shocked), enttäuscht (disappointed)
Experiencer

Content or Stimulus

Content or Stimulus

gefürchtet (feared), gehasst (hated), geliebt (loved)

*Note that this is not the same as passive voice, which also uses a past participle. See Grimm Grammar for infomation about passive.

Adjectives from Present Participles:

Example: überraschen > überraschend (surprising)

     Das Ende der Geschichte war überraschend. (The end of the story was surprising.)

     Das war ein überraschendes Ende. (That was a surprising ending.)

 

 

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. STIMULUS überrascht EXPERIENCER.
  1. STIMULUS surprises EXPERIENCER.

Details:

Used like its English equivalent.

vermissen verb miss

Details:

Used like its English equivalent.

Example Sentences:

  1. Nena vermisst ihre Familie und Freunde.
  2. Ich vermisse dich.
  3. Klaus vermisste Texas, während er in Österreich war.
  1. Nena misses her family and friends.
  2. I miss you.
  3. Klaus missed Texas, while he was in Austria.

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. EXPERIENCER vermisst CONTENT.
  1. EXPERIENCER misses CONTENT.

Details:

Used like its English equivalent.

verzweifelt adjective desparate

Details:

This is a paricipial adjective derived from the intransitive verb "verzweifeln (an)" (to despair [of], to give up [on]). It conveys the meaning that someone (an Experiencer) is desparate, hopeless, defeated. It can also be used as an adverb (desparately).

This adjective also frequently describes a situation (eine Situation) or an attempt (ein Versuch) that is desparate from the point of view of an Experiencer.

Example Sentences:

  1. Leon hat keine Hoffnung mehr; er ist verzweifelt.
  2. Nachdem ich beim Test durchgefallen bin, war ich total verzweifelt.
  3. Der verzweifelte Mann wollte vom Fester springen, aber die Polizei brachte ihn von seinem Vorhaben ab.
  1. Leon has no hope anymore; he is desparate.
  2. After I failed the test, I was totally desparate.
  3. The desparate man wanted to jump from the window, but the police talked him out of his plan.

Grammar:

Adjectives in Action

There are two main ways to use adjectives in German that parallel the ways adjectives are used in English. These usages are illustrated in the table below.

Predicate AdjectivesAttributive Adjectives
1. Sara ist arbeitslos.2. Saras arbeitsloser Mann sucht einen Job.
Sara is unemployedSara's unemployed husband is looking for a job
3. Der Kunde wurde wütend.4. Der wütende Kunde verließ den Laden.
The customer became angry.The angry customer left the store.
5. Viele deutsche Wähler sind gut informiert6. Informierte Wähler sind wichtig für eine Demokratie.
Many German voters are well informed.Informed voters are important for a democracy.

Predicate adjectives are part of a sentence's predicate, the part that states something about the subject. When used in this way, as in examples (1), (3), and (5), the adjective typically follows a verb like sein ("to be") or werden ("to become"), and appears in its most basic form. Attributive adjectives directly attribute a quality to a noun by appearing before it in the sentence; no verb comes between the adjective and the noun it describes. In attributive uses, such as (2), (4), and (6), endings are added to the adjectives. At a minimum, an attributive adjective in German gets an "e" at the end, although there are several possibilities. Adjective endings are difficult to master, so if you are in your first few years of study, the take-away here is that attributive adjectives get endings (an "e" or more), and predicate adjectives do not. If you are further in your studies or just tenaciously curious, you can learn more about adjective endings here, here and here.

Comparisons using Adjectives

In the Alternate Forms tab, you can see the comparative (e.g. gut - besser, "good" - "better") and superlative (e.g. gut - am besten, "good" - "the best") forms of an adjective. German and English are similar in their uses of comparative; both languages add an "-er" ending to make comparative forms, for example: wütend, wütender ("angry, angrier"), informiert, informierter ("informed, more informed"), etc. The main difference is that English sometimes does not allow such an ending (e.g. *stupider, *informeder, *loster), but in German, the "-er" ending is always possible, and "more" does appear with an adjective to convey the comparative meaning. There are a few more rules for German comparatives and superlatives (including some irregular forms) that you can read about here.

 

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. EXPERIENCER ist verzweifelt.
  2. [ein verzweifelt- EXPERIENCER]
  1. EXPERIENCER is desparate.
  2. [a desparate EXPERIENCER]

Details:

This is a paricipial adjective derived from the intransitive verb "verzweifeln (an)" (to despair [of], to give up [on]). It conveys the meaning that someone (an Experiencer) is desparate, hopeless, defeated. It can also be used as an adverb (desparately).

This adjective also frequently describes a situation (eine Situation) or an attempt (ein Versuch) that is desparate from the point of view of an Experiencer.

wütend adjective angry

Details:

This word is used like its English counterpart, but can also be used as an adverb (angrily). To indicate what one is angry "at" (the Stimulus), the preposition "auf" (akk.) is used. "Über" (akk.) is the equivalent of "about," and can express the Stimulus or Topic.

Example Sentences:

  1. Nina ist wütend auf Jana.
  2. Meine Mutter macht mich wütend.
  3. Verkäufer sind wütend über den Boykott.
  4. Die Jugendlichen werden wütend über Ungerechtigkeit.
  5. Leon versuchte, die wütende Frau zu beruhigen.
  1. Nina is angry at Jana.
  2. My mother makes me angry.
  3. Sellers are angry about the boycott.
  4. The young people get angry about injustice.
  5. Leon tried to calm the angry woman.

Grammar:

Adjectives in Action

There are two main ways to use adjectives in German that parallel the ways adjectives are used in English. These usages are illustrated in the table below.

Predicate AdjectivesAttributive Adjectives
1. Sara ist arbeitslos.2. Saras arbeitsloser Mann sucht einen Job.
Sara is unemployedSara's unemployed husband is looking for a job
3. Der Kunde wurde wütend.4. Der wütende Kunde verließ den Laden.
The customer became angry.The angry customer left the store.
5. Viele deutsche Wähler sind gut informiert6. Informierte Wähler sind wichtig für eine Demokratie.
Many German voters are well informed.Informed voters are important for a democracy.

Predicate adjectives are part of a sentence's predicate, the part that states something about the subject. When used in this way, as in examples (1), (3), and (5), the adjective typically follows a verb like sein ("to be") or werden ("to become"), and appears in its most basic form. Attributive adjectives directly attribute a quality to a noun by appearing before it in the sentence; no verb comes between the adjective and the noun it describes. In attributive uses, such as (2), (4), and (6), endings are added to the adjectives. At a minimum, an attributive adjective in German gets an "e" at the end, although there are several possibilities. Adjective endings are difficult to master, so if you are in your first few years of study, the take-away here is that attributive adjectives get endings (an "e" or more), and predicate adjectives do not. If you are further in your studies or just tenaciously curious, you can learn more about adjective endings here, here and here.

Comparisons using Adjectives

In the Alternate Forms tab, you can see the comparative (e.g. gut - besser, "good" - "better") and superlative (e.g. gut - am besten, "good" - "the best") forms of an adjective. German and English are similar in their uses of comparative; both languages add an "-er" ending to make comparative forms, for example: wütend, wütender ("angry, angrier"), informiert, informierter ("informed, more informed"), etc. The main difference is that English sometimes does not allow such an ending (e.g. *stupider, *informeder, *loster), but in German, the "-er" ending is always possible, and "more" does appear with an adjective to convey the comparative meaning. There are a few more rules for German comparatives and superlatives (including some irregular forms) that you can read about here.

 

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. EXPERIENCER ist wütend.
  2. EXPERIENCER ist wütend auf STIMULUS.
  3. EXPERIENCER ist wütend über STIMULUS.
  4. EXPERIENCER ist wütend über TOPIC.
  5. [ein wütend- EXPERIENCER]
  1. EXPERIENCER is angry.
  2. EXPERIENCER is angry at STIMULUS.
  3. EXPERIENCER is angry about STIMULUS.
  4. EXPERIENCER is angry about TOPIC.
  5. [an angry EXPERIENCER]

Details:

This word is used like its English counterpart, but can also be used as an adverb (angrily). To indicate what one is angry "at" (the Stimulus), the preposition "auf" (akk.) is used. "Über" (akk.) is the equivalent of "about," and can express the Stimulus or Topic.

Details
Examples
Grammar Notes
Sentence Templates
Alternate Forms
See All Information
das Interesse noun interest

Details:

There are many metaphorical usages of this noun, but when it evokes this frame, the Experiencer is a sentient being. It is most often realized with a Topic or Stimulus, in a prepositional phrase headed by "an" (dat.) or "für" (akk.). "Für" tends to be used for things like fields of study or genres (a Topic), while "an" tends to occur with more specific interests (a Stimulus), but this is not a rule; they are more or less interchangeable.

Example Sentences:

  1. Viele Jugendlichen haben kein Interesse für Politik.
  2. Die Weltmeisterschaft weckte mein Interesse an Fußball.
  3. Mias Interessen sind Philosophie und Musik.
  4. Mit 15 Jahren entwickelte Sophia ein Interesse für Mode und Literatur.
  5. Heinrich zeigt eine Interesse an dem Studium des Kosmos.
  6. Als ich einen Anatomiekurs belegte, entwickelte ich ein großes Interesse am menschlichen Körper.
  7. Ich sah mit großem Interesse als sie den Kuchen vorbereitete.
  1. Many young people have no interest for politics.
  2. The World Cup aroused my interest in soccer.
  3. Mia's interests are philosophy and music.
  4. At 15, Sophia developed an interest for fashion and literature.
  5. Heinrich shows an interest in the study of the cosmos.
  6. When I took an anatomy course, I developed a stong interest in the human body.
  7. I watched with great interest as she prepared the cake.

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. EXPERIENCER hat Interessen.
  2. EXPERIENCER hat ein Interesse an TOPIC/STIMULUS.
  3. EXPERIENCER hat ein Interesse für TOPIC/STIMULUS.
  1. EXPERIENCER has interests.
  2. EXPERIENCER has an interest in TOPIC/STIMULUS.
  3. EXPERIENCER has an interest for TOPIC/STIMULUS.

Details:

There are many metaphorical usages of this noun, but when it evokes this frame, the Experiencer is a sentient being. It is most often realized with a Topic or Stimulus, in a prepositional phrase headed by "an" (dat.) or "für" (akk.). "Für" tends to be used for things like fields of study or genres (a Topic), while "an" tends to occur with more specific interests (a Stimulus), but this is not a rule; they are more or less interchangeable.

Alternate Forms:

die Interessen (pl.)
der Hass noun hatred

Details:

Compound nouns are quite common with this word, for example: Selbsthass (self-hate), Fremdenhass (xenophobia), Rassenhass (racial hatred), Frauenhass (misogyny), Schwulenhass (homophobia), Islamhass (hatred of Islam), etc.

Example Sentences:

  1. In den USA gibt es keinen Hass auf die Russen.
  2. Liam ist von Hass erfüllt.
  3. Der Hass gegen Migranten ist ein großes Problem.
  4. Elena empfand einen blinden Hass gegen den Mann.
  1. In the USA there is no hatred for Russians.
  2. Liam is with hatred filled.
  3. Hatred of immigrants is a big problem.
  4. Elena felt a blind hatred for the man.

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. EXPERIENCER hat/empfindet/kriegt Hass.
  2. EXPERIENCER empfindet Hass gegen CONTENT.
  3. EXPERIENCER empfindet Hass auf CONTENT.
  1. EXPERIENCER has/feels/gets hatred.
  2. EXPERIENCER feels hatred for CONTENT.
  3. EXPERIENCER feels hatred for CONTENT.

Details:

Compound nouns are quite common with this word, for example: Selbsthass (self-hate), Fremdenhass (xenophobia), Rassenhass (racial hatred), Frauenhass (misogyny), Schwulenhass (homophobia), Islamhass (hatred of Islam), etc.

gefallen (dat.) verb like, please

Details:

This verb conveys the same meaning as English "like," but in a seemingly backward way - the thing that is liked takes the subject role in the sentence! It is even considered a Stimulus. The dative case is used for the Experiencer. So, if I like a book, I would say "Das Buch gefällt mir." It may help to think of the English verb "please," as in "The book pleases me." What someone likes "about" something (a Topic) is expressed using "an."

This is a so-called dative verb because it does not take an accusative object.

Example Sentences:

  1. Die neuen Schuhe gefallen ihr.
  2. Dieser Film gefällt mir sehr gut.
  3. Was gefällt euch an der Universität von Texas?
  4. Mir gefällt er gar nicht!
  1. The new shoes please her.
  2. This movie pleases me very well.
  3. What pleases you about the University of Texas?
  4. I don't like him at all!

Grammar:

Dative Verbs

Some German verbs use the dative case with their objects, instead of accusative (e.g. helfen, danken, gefallen, gehören, schmecken, passen). Sometimes these dative objects are expressed with "to" phrases in English (e.g. Es gehört mir - It belongs to me). People often fill this syntactic role, so it will come in handy to review the personal pronouns in dative.

Personal Pronouns in Dative
 Sing.Pl.
1st pers.miruns
2nd pers.direuch

3rd pers. masc.

fem.

neut.

ihm

ihr

ihm

ihnen
Formal 2nd pers.Ihnen

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. STIMULUS gefällt EXPERIENCER.
  2. STIMULUS gefällt EXPERIENCER an TOPIC.
  1. STIMULUS pleases EXPERIENCER.
  2. STIMULUS pleases EXPERIENCER about TOPIC.

Details:

This verb conveys the same meaning as English "like," but in a seemingly backward way - the thing that is liked takes the subject role in the sentence! It is even considered a Stimulus. The dative case is used for the Experiencer. So, if I like a book, I would say "Das Buch gefällt mir." It may help to think of the English verb "please," as in "The book pleases me." What someone likes "about" something (a Topic) is expressed using "an."

This is a so-called dative verb because it does not take an accusative object.

Alternate Forms:

es gefällt, hat gefallen, gefiel
gern adverb gladly

Details:

This adverb is used along with a verb to indicate that its subject likes the activity. Sometimes it is written "gerne."

Example Sentences:

  1. Jens und Kent schwimmen gern.
  2. Michelle spielt gern Computerspiele.
  3. Frank isst gern Wurst und Kartoffelsalat.
  4. Ich gehe gern ins Kino.
  5. Was machst du gern in deiner Freizeit?
  1. Jens and Kent swim gladly.
  2. Michelle plays gladly computer games.
  3. Frank eats gladly sausage and potato salad.
  4. I go gladly to the movies.
  5. What do you do gladly in your free time?

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. EXPERIENCER verb-t gern.
  1. EXPERIENCER verb-s gladly.

Details:

This adverb is used along with a verb to indicate that its subject likes the activity. Sometimes it is written "gerne."

Alternate Forms:

gerne
gern haben multi-word expression like

Details:

Lit. to have gladly

This is one of a number of ways to say that you like something in German (see also gefallen and mögen). It is used with nouns only (to say you like doing something, you can leave out "haben" and use gern with that verb; see the entry for gern in this frame).

A more intense variation on this expression is "etwas zum Fressen gern haben," which means something like "to love something to pieces." If you've looked at the Eating and Drinking frame, you know that fressen is used for animals eating; the expression makes more sense if you imagine a mother telling her child "I want to eat you all up!" 

Example Sentences:

  1. Er hat mich gern.
  2. Gerhard hatte den Hund recht gern.
  3. Ich habe ihn zum Fressen gern!
  1. He likes me.
  2. Gerhard really liked the dog.
  3. I love him to pieces!

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. EXPERIENCER hat CONTENT gern.
  1. EXPERIENCER has CONTENT gladly.

Details:

Lit. to have gladly

This is one of a number of ways to say that you like something in German (see also gefallen and mögen). It is used with nouns only (to say you like doing something, you can leave out "haben" and use gern with that verb; see the entry for gern in this frame).

A more intense variation on this expression is "etwas zum Fressen gern haben," which means something like "to love something to pieces." If you've looked at the Eating and Drinking frame, you know that fressen is used for animals eating; the expression makes more sense if you imagine a mother telling her child "I want to eat you all up!" 

Alternate Forms:

gerne
hassen verb hate

Details:

Used like the English term.

Example Sentences:

  1. Stephanie hasst diesen Film.
  2. Mein bester Freund hasst mich jetzt.
  3. Ich hasse es wie die Pest!
  1. Stephanie hates this Film.
  2. My best friend hates me now.
  3. I hate it like the plague!

Grammar:

Making Adjectives from Verbs

In German (just as in English), the past participles of verbs (with the -ed ending in English) can be used as adjectives, known as "participial adjectives." Add an adjective ending when appropriate. Even a verb's present participle can be used as an adjective. This form of the verb is similar in meaning to English ing-forms, and is formed in German by adding a "d" (and an adjective ending, if necessary) to the infinitive form of the verb. Adjectives formed in this way apply to the type of frame element that would fill the subject role of the verb (e.g. überraschend applies to a Stimulus, and  ).

Example: enttäuschen, überraschen (normal use as verbs)

     Jens enttäuscht seine Mutter. (Jens disappoints his mother.)

     Das Ende der Geschichte überrascht Lena. (The end of the story surprises Lena.)

Adjectives from Past Participles: 

Example: enttäuschen (to disappoint) > enttäuscht

     Seine Mutter war enttäuscht, dass er bei der Prüfung durchgefallen ist. (His mother was disappointed that he failed the test.)

     Die enttäuschte Mutter weint. (The disappointed mother cries.)

The way frame elements are realized with the verb determine what the adjective can be used to describe. Details are given in the table below.

Subject of VerbDirect ObjectAdjective applies to:Examples
StimulusExperiencerExperienceraufgeregt (worked up), schockiert (shocked), enttäuscht (disappointed)
Experiencer

Content or Stimulus

Content or Stimulus

gefürchtet (feared), gehasst (hated), geliebt (loved)

*Note that this is not the same as passive voice, which also uses a past participle. See Grimm Grammar for infomation about passive.

Adjectives from Present Participles:

Example: überraschen > überraschend (surprising)

     Das Ende der Geschichte war überraschend. (The end of the story was surprising.)

     Das war ein überraschendes Ende. (That was a surprising ending.)

 

 

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. EXPERIENCER hasst CONTENT.
  1. EXPERIENCER hates CONTENT.

Details:

Used like the English term.

interessieren verb interest (be interested in)

Details:

Used like English counterpart, but there is a reflexive form that means "to be interested in" ("sich interessieren für").

*This concept is an exception to the pattern identified in the grammar note: for "interesting," use "interessant" (nicht "interessierend"). "Interessiert" is still appropriate, and its opposite can be formed by adding un- ("uninteressiert").

Example Sentences:

  1. Philosophie interessiert Sara.
  2. Es interessiert ihn, dass Deutsch und Englisch so ähnlich sind.
  3. Felix interessiert sich für Linguistik.
  4. Als sie jung waren, interessierten sich Lily und Mila für Puppen und Pferde.
  1. Philosophy interests Sara.
  2. It interests him, that German and English are so similar.
  3. Felix is interested in linguistics.
  4. When they were young, Lily and Mila were interested in dolls and horses.

Grammar:

Making Adjectives from Verbs

In German (just as in English), the past participles of verbs (with the -ed ending in English) can be used as adjectives, known as "participial adjectives." Add an adjective ending when appropriate. Even a verb's present participle can be used as an adjective. This form of the verb is similar in meaning to English ing-forms, and is formed in German by adding a "d" (and an adjective ending, if necessary) to the infinitive form of the verb. Adjectives formed in this way apply to the type of frame element that would fill the subject role of the verb (e.g. überraschend applies to a Stimulus, and  ).

Example: enttäuschen, überraschen (normal use as verbs)

     Jens enttäuscht seine Mutter. (Jens disappoints his mother.)

     Das Ende der Geschichte überrascht Lena. (The end of the story surprises Lena.)

Adjectives from Past Participles: 

Example: enttäuschen (to disappoint) > enttäuscht

     Seine Mutter war enttäuscht, dass er bei der Prüfung durchgefallen ist. (His mother was disappointed that he failed the test.)

     Die enttäuschte Mutter weint. (The disappointed mother cries.)

The way frame elements are realized with the verb determine what the adjective can be used to describe. Details are given in the table below.

Subject of VerbDirect ObjectAdjective applies to:Examples
StimulusExperiencerExperienceraufgeregt (worked up), schockiert (shocked), enttäuscht (disappointed)
Experiencer

Content or Stimulus

Content or Stimulus

gefürchtet (feared), gehasst (hated), geliebt (loved)

*Note that this is not the same as passive voice, which also uses a past participle. See Grimm Grammar for infomation about passive.

Adjectives from Present Participles:

Example: überraschen > überraschend (surprising)

     Das Ende der Geschichte war überraschend. (The end of the story was surprising.)

     Das war ein überraschendes Ende. (That was a surprising ending.)

 

 

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. STIMULUS interessiert EXPERIENCER.
  2. EXPERIENCER interessiert sich für STIMULUS.
  1. STIMULUS interests EXPERIENCER.
  2. EXPERIENCER is interested in STIMULUS.

Details:

Used like English counterpart, but there is a reflexive form that means "to be interested in" ("sich interessieren für").

*This concept is an exception to the pattern identified in the grammar note: for "interesting," use "interessant" (nicht "interessierend"). "Interessiert" is still appropriate, and its opposite can be formed by adding un- ("uninteressiert").

Alternate Forms:

sich interessieren für
jdm. egal sein multi-word expression be all the same

Details:

to be all the same (to someone)

"Es ist mir egal" literally means "it is equal to me" but is best translated as "I don't care." Use this expression with a different Experiencer by changing the dative "mir." If no dative object is included, e.g. "es ist egal," then the meaning is general: "it doesn't matter."

The subject of the sentence is the Content. When used with "es" ("it") as the subject, you can elaborate on the Content by adding a dependent clause that typically begins with a question word or a preposition, as in examples 2 and 4.

Example Sentences:

  1. Das ist mir egal.
  2. Es war ihnen egal, ob die Reise etwas länger war.
  3. Das weiß Patrick, aber es ist ihm egal.
  4. Es ist mir letztlich auch egal, aus welchen Quellen sich das gespeist hat.
  1. It is all the same to me. (I don't care; It doesn't matter to me)
  2. It didn't matter to them, if the trip was a bit longer.
  3. Patrick knows that, but he doesn't care.
  4. I don't care what sources it was supplied from.

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. CONTENT ist EXPERIENCER egal.
  2. Es ist EXPERIENCER egal, CONTENT.
  1. CONTENT is to EXPERIENCER all the same.
  2. It is all the same to EXPERIENCER, CONTENT.

Details:

to be all the same (to someone)

"Es ist mir egal" literally means "it is equal to me" but is best translated as "I don't care." Use this expression with a different Experiencer by changing the dative "mir." If no dative object is included, e.g. "es ist egal," then the meaning is general: "it doesn't matter."

The subject of the sentence is the Content. When used with "es" ("it") as the subject, you can elaborate on the Content by adding a dependent clause that typically begins with a question word or a preposition, as in examples 2 and 4.

jdm. wurst sein multi-word expression be all the same

Details:

Literally "to be sausage to s.o.", this expression means "I don't care" or "it's all the same to me." It's a bit stonger than "es ist mir egal."

Example Sentences:

  1. Es ist mir wurst!
  2. Es war ihm ziemlich wurst, ob er mitkommen konnte.
  1. It is all the same to me! (I don't care!)
  2. It was prettymuch all the same to him, whether he was able to come along.

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. CONTENT ist EXPERIENCER Wurst.
  1. CONTENT is EXPERIENCER sausage.

Details:

Literally "to be sausage to s.o.", this expression means "I don't care" or "it's all the same to me." It's a bit stonger than "es ist mir egal."

lieben verb love

Details:

For the most part, "lieben" is used like English "love" - it's stronger than liking, and it can apply to things like songs, a job, girlfriends/boyfriends, etc. Here's the difference in usage: in English, it is common to say that one loves one's friends, and to tell them so. In German, however, there is a different expression for this: "lieb haben," as in "ich habe dich lieb" ("I like you very much").

So while "lieben" can apply to things, when it is used for relationships between people, it indicates a very stong feeling. Thus, directly telling someone "ich liebe dich" is typically reserved for significant others or immediate family (e.g. parents/children).

Example Sentences:

  1. Alexander liebt seine Freundin.
  2. Ich liebe meinen Beruf.
  3. Als Teenager in den 90er Jahren liebte sie Kurt Cobain.
  4. Er liebt nur mich.
  1. Alexander loves his girlfriend.
  2. I love my career.
  3. As a teenager in the 90s, she loved Kurt Cobain.
  4. He loves only me.

Grammar:

Making Adjectives from Verbs

In German (just as in English), the past participles of verbs (with the -ed ending in English) can be used as adjectives, known as "participial adjectives." Add an adjective ending when appropriate. Even a verb's present participle can be used as an adjective. This form of the verb is similar in meaning to English ing-forms, and is formed in German by adding a "d" (and an adjective ending, if necessary) to the infinitive form of the verb. Adjectives formed in this way apply to the type of frame element that would fill the subject role of the verb (e.g. überraschend applies to a Stimulus, and  ).

Example: enttäuschen, überraschen (normal use as verbs)

     Jens enttäuscht seine Mutter. (Jens disappoints his mother.)

     Das Ende der Geschichte überrascht Lena. (The end of the story surprises Lena.)

Adjectives from Past Participles: 

Example: enttäuschen (to disappoint) > enttäuscht

     Seine Mutter war enttäuscht, dass er bei der Prüfung durchgefallen ist. (His mother was disappointed that he failed the test.)

     Die enttäuschte Mutter weint. (The disappointed mother cries.)

The way frame elements are realized with the verb determine what the adjective can be used to describe. Details are given in the table below.

Subject of VerbDirect ObjectAdjective applies to:Examples
StimulusExperiencerExperienceraufgeregt (worked up), schockiert (shocked), enttäuscht (disappointed)
Experiencer

Content or Stimulus

Content or Stimulus

gefürchtet (feared), gehasst (hated), geliebt (loved)

*Note that this is not the same as passive voice, which also uses a past participle. See Grimm Grammar for infomation about passive.

Adjectives from Present Participles:

Example: überraschen > überraschend (surprising)

     Das Ende der Geschichte war überraschend. (The end of the story was surprising.)

     Das war ein überraschendes Ende. (That was a surprising ending.)

 

 

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. EXPERIENCER liebt CONTENT.
  1. EXPERIENCER loves CONTENT.

Details:

For the most part, "lieben" is used like English "love" - it's stronger than liking, and it can apply to things like songs, a job, girlfriends/boyfriends, etc. Here's the difference in usage: in English, it is common to say that one loves one's friends, and to tell them so. In German, however, there is a different expression for this: "lieb haben," as in "ich habe dich lieb" ("I like you very much").

So while "lieben" can apply to things, when it is used for relationships between people, it indicates a very stong feeling. Thus, directly telling someone "ich liebe dich" is typically reserved for significant others or immediate family (e.g. parents/children).

mögen verb like

Details:

This verb is used like English "like," but it's not the only way to express this notion (see gefallen, gern, and gern haben). Its forms are irregular, so they are given below. The subject of this verb is the Experiencer, and the Content can either be the direct object or a verb denoting an activity. When used with another verb, that verb is placed at the end of the clause in its infinitive form.

ich magwir mögen
du magstihr mögt

er/sie/es mag

sie mögen
Sie mögen

Example Sentences:

  1. Lea mag Tiere.
  2. Markus mochte das Geschenk von seiner Freundin.
  3. Kim und Angela mögen Rockmusik.
  4. Cliff mag zeichnen.
  1. Lea likes animals.
  2. Markus liked the present from his girlfriend.
  3. Kim and Angela like rock music.
  4. Cliff likes to draw.

Grammar:

What's "modal" about this verb?

The small class of words known as "modal verbs" is made up of verbs that do not denote an action (as is normally the case, e.g. tanzen - to dance), but rather the way something else is experienced - that is, they express modality. So, you can indicate someone's relation to an action using modal verbs: "Sie mag tanzen," (She likes to dance) or "Sie muss tanzen" (She must dance).

Modals exist in English too, and they are most often used with another verb. When this happens in German, that other verb appears at the end of the clause in its infinitive form. Modals are not typically used in the Perfekt tense, so you only have to worry about knowing the simple past (Imperfekt) form. For more information, see the examples for particular verbs or these topics in Grimm Grammar: Modals in present tenseModals in past tense (Imperfekt).

ModalverbModal verb
mögenlike
wollenwant
sollenshould / be supposed to
müssenmust / have to
dürfenmay / be allowed to
könnencan / be able to

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. EXPERIENCER mag CONTENT.
  1. EXPERIENCER likes CONTENT.

Details:

This verb is used like English "like," but it's not the only way to express this notion (see gefallen, gern, and gern haben). Its forms are irregular, so they are given below. The subject of this verb is the Experiencer, and the Content can either be the direct object or a verb denoting an activity. When used with another verb, that verb is placed at the end of the clause in its infinitive form.

ich magwir mögen
du magstihr mögt

er/sie/es mag

sie mögen
Sie mögen

Alternate Forms:

er mag, hat gemocht, mochte