Frame description

The Character Trait: Negative frame contains lexical units for character traits that are specifically negative, such as "unhöflich" ("impolite"), "grausam" ("cruel) or "gemein" ("mean"). This frame is similar to the Mental Property frame in that they both involve a (usually implicit) Judge who determines that some Protagonist possesses a particular character trait, based on the their Behavior. The primary difference is that with Character Trait, the basis of the judgement is Behavior toward other human beings (the Company). This gives Character Trait frames a definitive social component. 

Examples:

1. Wenn Sie genervt sind, werden Sie dann richtig unfreundlich?1. When you're annoyed, do you become really unfriendly?
2. Er war brummig, ungesellig und ein Eigenbrötler.2. He was grumpy, asocial and a loner.
3. Ein gemeines Grinsen spielte um seine Lippen.3. A mean grin played on his lips.

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Examples
Grammar Notes
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Frame Elements

Frame Element descriptions (on hover):

The person whose character is being described (usually based on their Behavior).

The people (either specific people or types of people) around whom the Protagonist behaves in such a way as to display the character trait. Sometimes these people are treated positively or negatively by the Protagonist.

The action of the Protagonist, upon which an assessment of the Protagonist’s character is based.

The body part or action by a body part which indicates the character of the Protagonist.

The situation in which the Protagonist displays the character trait (e.g. an event, or relating to a topic). This is often a set of circumstances to which the Protagonist responds with the Behavior.

Typically not expressed. The individual whose point of view is taken in assigning the character trait to the Protagonist.

Details
Examples
Grammar Notes
Sentence Templates
Alternate Forms
See All Information
abscheulich adjective abominable

Details:

abominable

"Abscheulich" is an adjective describing something as disgusting, horrid, unpleasant and nasty in a high degree. As a character trait, it refers to morally condemnable, reprehensible behavior or behavior that causes aversion, objection, or dislike. It is used as in English (but not for "the abominable snowman!" That's just "der Yeti").


Further details:

Wordformation:

"die Abscheulichkeit" ("abomination," "odiousness")

Synonyms:

"entsetzlich," "furchtbar," "fürchterlich," "grässlich," "schauderhaft," "scheußlich," among others

More information in DWDS, the digital dictionary of the German language:

„abscheulich“, bereitgestellt durch das Digitale Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache, <https://www.dwds.de/wb/abscheulich>, abgerufen am 23.05.2022.

Example Sentences:

  1. Es ist abscheulich, was du unseren Kindern vormachst!
  2. Reagan hat ein abscheuliches Verbrechen begangen.
  3. Es ist nicht einfach gewählt zu werden, nur indem man sagt, dass der Präsident abscheulich ist.
  4. Saddam ist ein Folterer, ein Mörder, ein abscheulicher Tyrann!
  5. Er antwortet mit einer abscheulichen Schimpftirade auf Twitter.
  6. Amnesty-Europadirektor John Dalhuisen rief die türkischen Behörden auf, "diese abscheulichen Praktiken" einzustellen.
  1. It is abominable how you you fool our children!
  2. Reagan has committed an abominable crime.
  3. It is not easy to be elected just by saying that the president is abominable.
  4. Saddam is a torturer, a murderer, an abominable tyrant!
  5. He answers with an abominable rant on Twitter.
  6. The director of Amnesty-Europe John Dalhuisen called on the Turkish public authorities to stop these abominable methods.

Grammar:

Adjectives in Action

There are two main ways to use adjectives in German that parallel the ways adjectives are used in English:

Firstly, you can use them after some form of "sein" ("to be"), as in "Adjektive sind faszinierend" ("adjectives are fascinating"). This one is easy. Other verbs like "werden" ("to become") may be used in this context also. We call these "predicate adjectives" because they appear after the verb to give information about the subject.

Secondly, you can use adjectives directly before a noun, as in "die eifersüchtige Frau" ("the jealous woman/wife"). In this context, we call it an "attributive adjective" because it directly attributes some quality to the noun. These can be a little tricky because they require an extra adjective ending, typically "-e" or "-en."

These usages are illustrated in the table below.

 Predicate AdjectivesAttributive Adjectives
1.

Sara ist arbeitslos.
Sara is unemployed.

Saras arbeitsloser Mann sucht einen Job.
Sara's unemployed husband is looking for a job.
2.

Der Kunde wurde wütend.
The customer became angry.

Der wütende Kunde verließ den Laden.
The angry customer left the store.
3.Viele deutsche Wähler sind gut informiert.
Many German voters are well informed.
Informierte Wähler sind wichtig für eine Demokratie.
Informed voters are important for a democracy.

Depending on how advanced you are in German, you may want to delve into the wonders of adjective endings (for highly motivated, grammar-oriented or advanced students), or you may want to simply note that they have an "e" (or more) at the end and move on with your life (recommended for those in the first or second year of study). If you so desire, you can learn more about using adjective endings in Grimm Grammar (after der-wordsafter ein-wordswithout articles).

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 NOT 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 in Grimm Grammar.

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. PROTAGONIST ist abscheulich.
  2. BEHAVIOR ist abscheulich.
  3. [abscheulich- BEHAVIOR]
  4. [abscheulich- PROTAGONIST]
  1. PROTAGONIST is abominable.
  2. BEHAVIOR is abominable.
  3. [abominable BEHAVIOR]
  4. [abominable PROTAGONIST]

Details:

abominable

"Abscheulich" is an adjective describing something as disgusting, horrid, unpleasant and nasty in a high degree. As a character trait, it refers to morally condemnable, reprehensible behavior or behavior that causes aversion, objection, or dislike. It is used as in English (but not for "the abominable snowman!" That's just "der Yeti").


Further details:

Wordformation:

"die Abscheulichkeit" ("abomination," "odiousness")

Synonyms:

"entsetzlich," "furchtbar," "fürchterlich," "grässlich," "schauderhaft," "scheußlich," among others

More information in DWDS, the digital dictionary of the German language:

„abscheulich“, bereitgestellt durch das Digitale Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache, <https://www.dwds.de/wb/abscheulich>, abgerufen am 23.05.2022.

Alternate Forms:

abscheulicher, am abscheulichsten
barbarisch adjective barbaric

Details:

barbaric

"Barbarisch" is no longer as common as it once was; it refers to cruel, savage, rough behaviour but it can also mean extremely uneducated, and / or ill-mannered, unciviolized. As in English there are other words, such as "brutal," that convey similar ideas. Similar to English also, is the occasional use of "barbarisch" in a non-violent, light-hearted sense (e.g. "Rotwein in der Mikrowelle oder in heißem Wasser zu erwärmen, finde ich barbarisch," "Heating red wine in the microwave or hot water, I find barbaric").


Further details:

Wordformation:

"der Barbar" ("barbarian," "brute")

Synonyms:

"grausam," "roh," "bestialisch," "brutal," among others

More information in DWDS, the digital dictionary of the German language:

„barbarisch“, bereitgestellt durch das Digitale Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache, <https://www.dwds.de/wb/barbarisch>, abgerufen am 23.05.2022.

Example Sentences:

  1. Die Kreuzfahrer waren so barbarisch, dass sie zehn tausend Juden, schon am Rhein in Deutschland töteten.
  2. Rotwein in der Mikrowelle oder in heißem Wasser zu erwärmen, finde ich barbarisch.
  3. Die russische Hauptstadt sei von "feindlichen, barbarischen Truppen eingenommen."
  1. The crusaders were so barbaric that they already killed ten thousand Jews by the Rhine in Germany.
  2. Heating red wine in the microwave or hot water, I find barbaric.
  3. The Russian capital was allegedly "captured by enemy, barbaric troops."

Grammar:

Adjectives in Action

There are two main ways to use adjectives in German that parallel the ways adjectives are used in English:

Firstly, you can use them after some form of "sein" ("to be"), as in "Adjektive sind faszinierend" ("adjectives are fascinating"). This one is easy. Other verbs like "werden" ("to become") may be used in this context also. We call these "predicate adjectives" because they appear after the verb to give information about the subject.

Secondly, you can use adjectives directly before a noun, as in "die eifersüchtige Frau" ("the jealous woman/wife"). In this context, we call it an "attributive adjective" because it directly attributes some quality to the noun. These can be a little tricky because they require an extra adjective ending, typically "-e" or "-en."

These usages are illustrated in the table below.

 Predicate AdjectivesAttributive Adjectives
1.

Sara ist arbeitslos.
Sara is unemployed.

Saras arbeitsloser Mann sucht einen Job.
Sara's unemployed husband is looking for a job.
2.

Der Kunde wurde wütend.
The customer became angry.

Der wütende Kunde verließ den Laden.
The angry customer left the store.
3.Viele deutsche Wähler sind gut informiert.
Many German voters are well informed.
Informierte Wähler sind wichtig für eine Demokratie.
Informed voters are important for a democracy.

Depending on how advanced you are in German, you may want to delve into the wonders of adjective endings (for highly motivated, grammar-oriented or advanced students), or you may want to simply note that they have an "e" (or more) at the end and move on with your life (recommended for those in the first or second year of study). If you so desire, you can learn more about using adjective endings in Grimm Grammar (after der-wordsafter ein-wordswithout articles).

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 NOT 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 in Grimm Grammar.

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. PROTAGONIST ist barbarisch.
  2. [barbarisch- PROTAGONIST]
  3. BEHAVIOR ist barbarisch.
  4. [barbarisch- BEHAVIOR]
  1. PROTAGONIST is barbaric.
  2. [barbaric PROTAGONIST]
  3. BEHAVIOR is barbaric.
  4. [barbaric- BEHAVIOR]

Details:

barbaric

"Barbarisch" is no longer as common as it once was; it refers to cruel, savage, rough behaviour but it can also mean extremely uneducated, and / or ill-mannered, unciviolized. As in English there are other words, such as "brutal," that convey similar ideas. Similar to English also, is the occasional use of "barbarisch" in a non-violent, light-hearted sense (e.g. "Rotwein in der Mikrowelle oder in heißem Wasser zu erwärmen, finde ich barbarisch," "Heating red wine in the microwave or hot water, I find barbaric").


Further details:

Wordformation:

"der Barbar" ("barbarian," "brute")

Synonyms:

"grausam," "roh," "bestialisch," "brutal," among others

More information in DWDS, the digital dictionary of the German language:

„barbarisch“, bereitgestellt durch das Digitale Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache, <https://www.dwds.de/wb/barbarisch>, abgerufen am 23.05.2022.

Alternate Forms:

barbarischer, am barbarischsten
barsch adjective harsh, gruff, brusque

Details:

harsh, gruff, brusque

"Barsch" is frequently encountered as an adverb, usually describing the way something is said, e.g. "er antwortete barsch" ("he answered brusquely"), i.e. offhand, snippy, curt which is perceived as being or acting unfriendly.

"Barsch" and "schroff" are very similar in meaning, "barsch" tending slightly more toward "rough," "harsh" and "short-tempered," and "schroff" emphasizing more the abrupt nature of the brusque or harsh interaction.


Further details:

Wordformation:

"die Barschheit" ("shortness," "snappishness")

Synonyms:

"abweisend," "brüsk," "derb," "grob," "rau," ruppig," "rüde," "unfreundlich," "schroff," among others

More information in DWDS, the digital dictionary of the German language:

„barsch“, bereitgestellt durch das Digitale Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache, <https://www.dwds.de/wb/barsch>, abgerufen am 23.05.2022.

Example Sentences:

  1. Seine Antwort kommt in barschem Ton.
  2. Darauf angesprochen, wird ihr Ton barsch.
  3. Wenn ihm etwas nicht passte, forderte er barsch eine Erklärung.
  4. Forderungen nach seinem Rücktritt wies Albig barsch zurück.
  5. "Dies ist ein Krieg," wies Donald Rumsfeld einen Journalisten barsch zurecht.
  6. Der frühere Frontmann von Led Zeppelin, Robert Plant, hat Mutmaßungen über eine Wiedervereinigung der legendären Rockband barsch zurückgewiesen.
  1. His answer comes in a gruff tone.
  2. When asked about it, her tone becomes harsh.
  3. When something didn't suit him, he gruffly demanded an explanation.
  4. Albig brusquely dismissed demands for his resignation.
  5. "This is a war," Donald Rumsfeld harshly scolded a journalist.
  6. The former front man of Led Zeppelin, Robert Plant, brusquely rejected speculations about a reunion of the legendary rock band.

Grammar:

Adjectives in Action

There are two main ways to use adjectives in German that parallel the ways adjectives are used in English:

Firstly, you can use them after some form of "sein" ("to be"), as in "Adjektive sind faszinierend" ("adjectives are fascinating"). This one is easy. Other verbs like "werden" ("to become") may be used in this context also. We call these "predicate adjectives" because they appear after the verb to give information about the subject.

Secondly, you can use adjectives directly before a noun, as in "die eifersüchtige Frau" ("the jealous woman/wife"). In this context, we call it an "attributive adjective" because it directly attributes some quality to the noun. These can be a little tricky because they require an extra adjective ending, typically "-e" or "-en."

These usages are illustrated in the table below.

 Predicate AdjectivesAttributive Adjectives
1.

Sara ist arbeitslos.
Sara is unemployed.

Saras arbeitsloser Mann sucht einen Job.
Sara's unemployed husband is looking for a job.
2.

Der Kunde wurde wütend.
The customer became angry.

Der wütende Kunde verließ den Laden.
The angry customer left the store.
3.Viele deutsche Wähler sind gut informiert.
Many German voters are well informed.
Informierte Wähler sind wichtig für eine Demokratie.
Informed voters are important for a democracy.

Depending on how advanced you are in German, you may want to delve into the wonders of adjective endings (for highly motivated, grammar-oriented or advanced students), or you may want to simply note that they have an "e" (or more) at the end and move on with your life (recommended for those in the first or second year of study). If you so desire, you can learn more about using adjective endings in Grimm Grammar (after der-wordsafter ein-wordswithout articles).

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 NOT 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 in Grimm Grammar.

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. [barsch- BEHAVIOR]
  2. [barsch- EXPRESSOR]
  3. [PROTAGONIST zeigt barsch- BEHAVIOR]
  4. PROTAGONIST wies etwas barsch zurück.
  1. [harsh BEHAVIOR]
  2. [harsh EXPRESSOR]
  3. [PROTAGONIST displays harsh BEHAVIOR]
  4. PROTAGONIST rejects something harshly.

Details:

harsh, gruff, brusque

"Barsch" is frequently encountered as an adverb, usually describing the way something is said, e.g. "er antwortete barsch" ("he answered brusquely"), i.e. offhand, snippy, curt which is perceived as being or acting unfriendly.

"Barsch" and "schroff" are very similar in meaning, "barsch" tending slightly more toward "rough," "harsh" and "short-tempered," and "schroff" emphasizing more the abrupt nature of the brusque or harsh interaction.


Further details:

Wordformation:

"die Barschheit" ("shortness," "snappishness")

Synonyms:

"abweisend," "brüsk," "derb," "grob," "rau," ruppig," "rüde," "unfreundlich," "schroff," among others

More information in DWDS, the digital dictionary of the German language:

„barsch“, bereitgestellt durch das Digitale Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache, <https://www.dwds.de/wb/barsch>, abgerufen am 23.05.2022.

Alternate Forms:

barscher, am barschesten
bissig adjective snappy, biting, caustic

Details:

snappy, biting, caustic

"Bissig" is derived from the verb "beißen" ("to bite") and refers in its main meaning to animals like dogs or horses that quickly and fierecly bite another animal or person. The sense of hurting or offending in a non-physical way is metaphorically derived from the main meaning. "Bissig" can be used as a predicate adjective with people ("er war bissig" - "he was biting") or as an attributive adjective in such contexts as "bissige Kommentare" ("biting comments"). In reference to dogs often seen on warning signs, "bissiger Hund" means the dog is likely to bite.


Further details:

Wordformation:

"die Bissigkeit" ("acrimony," "ferocity," "fierceness")

Synonyms:

"beißend," "beleidigend," "scharf," "sarkastisch," "schnippisch," among others

More information in DWDS, the digital dictionary of the German language:

„bissig“, bereitgestellt durch das Digitale Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache, <https://www.dwds.de/wb/bissig>, abgerufen am 23.05.2022.

Example Sentences:

  1. Er war scharfsichtig, er war bissig.
  2. Sie konnte sehr bissig sein, auch gegenüber ihren  Eltern.
  3. Ihr bissiger Ton zeigte, dass sie nicht erfreut war.
  4. Er konnte bissig sein, aber er wollte nie verletzen.
  5. Der britische Sänger James Blunt ist bekannt für seine bissigen Kommentare auf Twitter.
  1. He was perceptive, he was biting.
  2. She could be very snappy, including toward her parents.
  3. Her caustic tone showed that she was not happy.
  4. He could be caustic, but he never wanted to hurt.
  5. The British singer James Blunt is known for his biting comments on Twitter.

Grammar:

Adjectives in Action

There are two main ways to use adjectives in German that parallel the ways adjectives are used in English:

Firstly, you can use them after some form of "sein" ("to be"), as in "Adjektive sind faszinierend" ("adjectives are fascinating"). This one is easy. Other verbs like "werden" ("to become") may be used in this context also. We call these "predicate adjectives" because they appear after the verb to give information about the subject.

Secondly, you can use adjectives directly before a noun, as in "die eifersüchtige Frau" ("the jealous woman/wife"). In this context, we call it an "attributive adjective" because it directly attributes some quality to the noun. These can be a little tricky because they require an extra adjective ending, typically "-e" or "-en."

These usages are illustrated in the table below.

 Predicate AdjectivesAttributive Adjectives
1.

Sara ist arbeitslos.
Sara is unemployed.

Saras arbeitsloser Mann sucht einen Job.
Sara's unemployed husband is looking for a job.
2.

Der Kunde wurde wütend.
The customer became angry.

Der wütende Kunde verließ den Laden.
The angry customer left the store.
3.Viele deutsche Wähler sind gut informiert.
Many German voters are well informed.
Informierte Wähler sind wichtig für eine Demokratie.
Informed voters are important for a democracy.

Depending on how advanced you are in German, you may want to delve into the wonders of adjective endings (for highly motivated, grammar-oriented or advanced students), or you may want to simply note that they have an "e" (or more) at the end and move on with your life (recommended for those in the first or second year of study). If you so desire, you can learn more about using adjective endings in Grimm Grammar (after der-wordsafter ein-wordswithout articles).

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 NOT 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 in Grimm Grammar.

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. PROTAGONIST ist bissig.
  2. [bissig- EXPRESSOR]
  3. [bissig- BEHAVIOR]
  1. PROTAGONIST is snappy/biting/caustic.
  2. [snappy/biting/caustic EXPRESSOR]
  3. [snappy/biting/caustic BEHAVIOR]

Details:

snappy, biting, caustic

"Bissig" is derived from the verb "beißen" ("to bite") and refers in its main meaning to animals like dogs or horses that quickly and fierecly bite another animal or person. The sense of hurting or offending in a non-physical way is metaphorically derived from the main meaning. "Bissig" can be used as a predicate adjective with people ("er war bissig" - "he was biting") or as an attributive adjective in such contexts as "bissige Kommentare" ("biting comments"). In reference to dogs often seen on warning signs, "bissiger Hund" means the dog is likely to bite.


Further details:

Wordformation:

"die Bissigkeit" ("acrimony," "ferocity," "fierceness")

Synonyms:

"beißend," "beleidigend," "scharf," "sarkastisch," "schnippisch," among others

More information in DWDS, the digital dictionary of the German language:

„bissig“, bereitgestellt durch das Digitale Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache, <https://www.dwds.de/wb/bissig>, abgerufen am 23.05.2022.

Alternate Forms:

bissiger, am bissigsten
böse adjective evil, mean

Details:

evil, mean

"Evil" and "mean" usually accurately describe the meaning of "böse," which can also be used as an adjective ("meanly" or "evilly").

However, this word is also used as "mad" or "angry," most commonly in the phrase "böse auf jemanden sein" ("to be mad at someone"); see the Experiencing Emotion frame for details about this alternate use.


Further details:

Wordformation:

"boshaft" ("vicious," "wicked"), "bösartig" ("malicious," "ill-natured"), "der Bösewicht" ("villain," "bad guy")

Synonyms:

"aggressiv," "gehässig," "boshaft," "bösartig," "gemein," "zynisch," among others

More information in DWDS, the digital dictionary of the German language:

„böse“, bereitgestellt durch das Digitale Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache, <https://www.dwds.de/wb/b%C3%B6se>, abgerufen am 23.05.2022.

 

This word is part of the vocabulary for the Goethe-Zertifikat A1.

Example Sentences:

  1. Wieso sind manche Menschen böse?
  2. Manchmal braucht man die Hilfe des Rechts, weil andere Leute böse Absichten einen hegen.
  3. Es gibt da draußen viele böse Menschen, die Freude daran haben, andere Menschen zu verletzen.
  4. Er lachte böse.
  1. Why are some people mean?
  2. Sometimes one needs the help of the law because other people have evil intentions toward oneself.
  3. There are out there many evil people who take joy in hurting other people.
  4. He laughed meanly.

Grammar:

Adjectives in Action

There are two main ways to use adjectives in German that parallel the ways adjectives are used in English:

Firstly, you can use them after some form of "sein" ("to be"), as in "Adjektive sind faszinierend" ("adjectives are fascinating"). This one is easy. Other verbs like "werden" ("to become") may be used in this context also. We call these "predicate adjectives" because they appear after the verb to give information about the subject.

Secondly, you can use adjectives directly before a noun, as in "die eifersüchtige Frau" ("the jealous woman/wife"). In this context, we call it an "attributive adjective" because it directly attributes some quality to the noun. These can be a little tricky because they require an extra adjective ending, typically "-e" or "-en."

These usages are illustrated in the table below.

 Predicate AdjectivesAttributive Adjectives
1.

Sara ist arbeitslos.
Sara is unemployed.

Saras arbeitsloser Mann sucht einen Job.
Sara's unemployed husband is looking for a job.
2.

Der Kunde wurde wütend.
The customer became angry.

Der wütende Kunde verließ den Laden.
The angry customer left the store.
3.Viele deutsche Wähler sind gut informiert.
Many German voters are well informed.
Informierte Wähler sind wichtig für eine Demokratie.
Informed voters are important for a democracy.

Depending on how advanced you are in German, you may want to delve into the wonders of adjective endings (for highly motivated, grammar-oriented or advanced students), or you may want to simply note that they have an "e" (or more) at the end and move on with your life (recommended for those in the first or second year of study). If you so desire, you can learn more about using adjective endings in Grimm Grammar (after der-wordsafter ein-wordswithout articles).

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 NOT 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 in Grimm Grammar.

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. PROTAGONIST ist böse.
  2. [böse- PROTAGONIST]
  1. PROTAGONIST is evil/mean.
  2. [evil/mean PROTAGONIST]

Details:

evil, mean

"Evil" and "mean" usually accurately describe the meaning of "böse," which can also be used as an adjective ("meanly" or "evilly").

However, this word is also used as "mad" or "angry," most commonly in the phrase "böse auf jemanden sein" ("to be mad at someone"); see the Experiencing Emotion frame for details about this alternate use.


Further details:

Wordformation:

"boshaft" ("vicious," "wicked"), "bösartig" ("malicious," "ill-natured"), "der Bösewicht" ("villain," "bad guy")

Synonyms:

"aggressiv," "gehässig," "boshaft," "bösartig," "gemein," "zynisch," among others

More information in DWDS, the digital dictionary of the German language:

„böse“, bereitgestellt durch das Digitale Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache, <https://www.dwds.de/wb/b%C3%B6se>, abgerufen am 23.05.2022.

 

This word is part of the vocabulary for the Goethe-Zertifikat A1.

Alternate Forms:

böser, am bösesten
boshaft adjective spiteful, vicious

Details:

spiteful, vicious

"Boshaft" describes Protagonists who willfully harm or cause damage to other people or animals. The adjective is used when you would use their counterparts in English, and can also be used as an adverb.


Further details:

Wordformation:

"die Boshaftigkeit" ("spite," "viciousness," "evilness")

Synonyms:

"arglistig," "böse," "bösrtig," "böswillig," "niederträchtig," "fies," "garstig," "gehässig," "gemein," "infam," among others

More information in DWDS, the digital dictionary of the German language:

„boshaft“, bereitgestellt durch das Digitale Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache, <https://www.dwds.de/wb/boshaft>, abgerufen am 23.05.2022.

Example Sentences:

  1. Er war berühmt und er war boshaft.
  2. Über Sonjas Gesicht huschte ein boshaftes Grinsen.
  3. Kira wird als habgieriger und boshafter Mensch beschrieben.
  4. Ich bin dieser Frau gegenüber boshaft, weil sie eine boshafte Person war.
  5. Schäuble antwortete in einem Interview etwas boshaft.
  1. He was famous and he was spiteful.
  2. Over Sonja's face swept vicious grin.
  3. Kira is described as a greedy and spiteful person.
  4. I am spiteful to this woman, because she was a spiteful person.
  5. Schäuble answered in an interview somewhat spitefully.

Grammar:

Adjectives in Action

There are two main ways to use adjectives in German that parallel the ways adjectives are used in English:

Firstly, you can use them after some form of "sein" ("to be"), as in "Adjektive sind faszinierend" ("adjectives are fascinating"). This one is easy. Other verbs like "werden" ("to become") may be used in this context also. We call these "predicate adjectives" because they appear after the verb to give information about the subject.

Secondly, you can use adjectives directly before a noun, as in "die eifersüchtige Frau" ("the jealous woman/wife"). In this context, we call it an "attributive adjective" because it directly attributes some quality to the noun. These can be a little tricky because they require an extra adjective ending, typically "-e" or "-en."

These usages are illustrated in the table below.

 Predicate AdjectivesAttributive Adjectives
1.

Sara ist arbeitslos.
Sara is unemployed.

Saras arbeitsloser Mann sucht einen Job.
Sara's unemployed husband is looking for a job.
2.

Der Kunde wurde wütend.
The customer became angry.

Der wütende Kunde verließ den Laden.
The angry customer left the store.
3.Viele deutsche Wähler sind gut informiert.
Many German voters are well informed.
Informierte Wähler sind wichtig für eine Demokratie.
Informed voters are important for a democracy.

Depending on how advanced you are in German, you may want to delve into the wonders of adjective endings (for highly motivated, grammar-oriented or advanced students), or you may want to simply note that they have an "e" (or more) at the end and move on with your life (recommended for those in the first or second year of study). If you so desire, you can learn more about using adjective endings in Grimm Grammar (after der-wordsafter ein-wordswithout articles).

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 NOT 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 in Grimm Grammar.

Adjectives as Adverbs

Most German adjectives can serve a dual purpose in the grammar - one where they are used as adjectives to apply their meaning to nouns, and one where they are used as adjectives and apply their meaning to an action (verb) or another adjective. The best and most frequent example is "gut," which is translated into English as either "good" (adjective) or "well" (adverb). The examples below illustrate different contexts in which "gut" can appear.

GermanEnglish
1. Der Film war sehr gut.The film was very good.
2. Ich habe gut geschlafen.I have slept well.
3. Der Aufsatz war gut geschrieben.The essay was well written.

Determining whether an adjective can be used as an adverb is not usually too difficult, although if you are in doubt, bilingual dictionaries indicate whether an adjective can be used this way by listing an adverb as a translation. Typically, it comes down to whether it would make sense as an adverb or not. So, for example, "rot" ("red") cannot be used as an adverb to modify a verb's action because it doesn't make sense to describe actions as "redly." On the other hand, it can be applied to another adjective, as in "rot gestrichene Wände" (lit. "redly painted walls"). If in doubt, look it up!

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. PROTAGONIST ist boshaft.
  2. [boshaft- PROTAGONIST]
  3. [boshaft- EXPRESSOR]
  4. [boshaft- BEHAVIOR]
  1. PROTAGONIST is spiteful/vicious.
  2. [spiteful/vicious PROTAGONIST]
  3. [spiteful/vicious EXPRESSOR]
  4. [spiteful/vicious BEHAVIOR]

Details:

spiteful, vicious

"Boshaft" describes Protagonists who willfully harm or cause damage to other people or animals. The adjective is used when you would use their counterparts in English, and can also be used as an adverb.


Further details:

Wordformation:

"die Boshaftigkeit" ("spite," "viciousness," "evilness")

Synonyms:

"arglistig," "böse," "bösrtig," "böswillig," "niederträchtig," "fies," "garstig," "gehässig," "gemein," "infam," among others

More information in DWDS, the digital dictionary of the German language:

„boshaft“, bereitgestellt durch das Digitale Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache, <https://www.dwds.de/wb/boshaft>, abgerufen am 23.05.2022.

Alternate Forms:

boshafter, am boshaftesten
Eigenbrötler: der Eigenbrötler/die Eigenbrötlerin noun loner

Details:

loner

As in English this is mainly a negative word to describe an eccentric, crank or odd person, but can also be seen as something positive. "Eigenbrötler" literally means "someone who makes their own bread." The feminine form is relatively seldom used.

 m.f.
sg.der Eigenbrötlerdie Eigenbrötlerin
pl.die Eigenbrötlerdie Eigenbrötlerinnen

Further details:

Wordformation:

"die Eigenbrötelei," "die Eigenbrötlerei" (both: "eccentricity"), "eigenbrötlerisch" ("peculiar," "solitary")

Synonyms:

"komischer Kauz," "der Außenseiter / die Außenseiterin," "der Einzelgänger / die Einzelgängerin," "der Aussteiger / die Aussteigerin"

More information in DWDS, the digital dictionary of the German language:

„Eigenbrötler“, bereitgestellt durch das Digitale Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache, <https://www.dwds.de/wb/Eigenbr%C3%B6tler>, abgerufen am 23.05.2022.

Example Sentences:

  1. Er ist ein Eigenbrötler und lässt sich nicht gerne mit Leuten ein.
  2. Bei den Nachbarn galt er als Eigenbrötler.
  3. Sie sehen in ihm eher den Eigenbrötler, wahrlich keinen Kumpeltyp.
  4. Dabei ist die Schäferin mit dem blonden Zopf und dem fröhlichen Lachen alles andere als eine spinnerte Eigenbrötlerin.
  5. Unter ihren oft champagner-beseelten Kolleginnen galt sie deshalb als Streberin und Eigenbrötlerin, ihrem Ruhm dagegen tat das keinen Abbruch.
  1. He is a loner and doesn't like engaging with people.
  2. Among the neighbors he was regarded as a loner.
  3. They see in him more the loner, definitely not the buddy type.
  4. The shepherdess with the blond braid and the happy laugh, though, is everything but a crazy loner.
  5. Among her often champagne-animated female colleagues, she therefore was presumed to be a nerd and a loner, to her reputation, however, it did no damage.

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. PROTAGONIST ist ein Eigenbrötler.
  2. PROTAGONIST gilt als Eigenbrötler.
  1. PROTAGONIST is a loner.
  2. PROTAGONIST is seen as a loner.

Details:

loner

As in English this is mainly a negative word to describe an eccentric, crank or odd person, but can also be seen as something positive. "Eigenbrötler" literally means "someone who makes their own bread." The feminine form is relatively seldom used.

 m.f.
sg.der Eigenbrötlerdie Eigenbrötlerin
pl.die Eigenbrötlerdie Eigenbrötlerinnen

Further details:

Wordformation:

"die Eigenbrötelei," "die Eigenbrötlerei" (both: "eccentricity"), "eigenbrötlerisch" ("peculiar," "solitary")

Synonyms:

"komischer Kauz," "der Außenseiter / die Außenseiterin," "der Einzelgänger / die Einzelgängerin," "der Aussteiger / die Aussteigerin"

More information in DWDS, the digital dictionary of the German language:

„Eigenbrötler“, bereitgestellt durch das Digitale Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache, <https://www.dwds.de/wb/Eigenbr%C3%B6tler>, abgerufen am 23.05.2022.

Alternate Forms:

(pl.m.) die Eigenbrötler, (pl.f.) die Eigenbrötlerinnen
gemein adjective mean

Details:

mean

As with the English word "mean," "gemein" can be used as an attributive adjective for people ("gemeine Menschen," "mean people") who are malevolent toward their fellow humans, but is most often used as a predicate adjective "er ist gemein" ("he is mean"). When used as an attributive adjective, it often carries its other meaning of "common" e.g. "ein gemeiner Dieb" ("a common thief"), which falls outside of this frame.


Further details:

Wordformation:

"die Gemeinheit" ("baseness," "meanness," "foulness")

Synonyms:

"arglistig," "boshaft," "bösartig," "fies," "garstig," "gehässig," "infam," "niederträchtig," "schäbig," among others

More information in DWDS, the digital dictionary of the German language:

„gemein“, bereitgestellt durch das Digitale Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache, <https://www.dwds.de/wb/gemein>, abgerufen am 23.05.2022.

Example Sentences:

  1. Sei nicht so gemein zu ihm!
  2. Mensch, bist du gemein!
  3. Ein gemeines Grinsen spielte um seine Lippen.
  4. Du kannst lernen, wie du mit gemeinen Menschen am besten umgehen sollst.
  5. Es ist gemein, Erfinder mit Zweifeln zu traktieren.
  6. Heute empfindet sie ihr Verhalten als gemein.
  1. Don't be so mean to him!
  2. Man, are you mean!
  3. A mean grin played on his lips.
  4. You can learn how you should best deal with mean people.
  5. It is mean, to bully inventors with doubts.
  6. Today, she perceives their behavior as mean.

Grammar:

Adjectives in Action

There are two main ways to use adjectives in German that parallel the ways adjectives are used in English:

Firstly, you can use them after some form of "sein" ("to be"), as in "Adjektive sind faszinierend" ("adjectives are fascinating"). This one is easy. Other verbs like "werden" ("to become") may be used in this context also. We call these "predicate adjectives" because they appear after the verb to give information about the subject.

Secondly, you can use adjectives directly before a noun, as in "die eifersüchtige Frau" ("the jealous woman/wife"). In this context, we call it an "attributive adjective" because it directly attributes some quality to the noun. These can be a little tricky because they require an extra adjective ending, typically "-e" or "-en."

These usages are illustrated in the table below.

 Predicate AdjectivesAttributive Adjectives
1.

Sara ist arbeitslos.
Sara is unemployed.

Saras arbeitsloser Mann sucht einen Job.
Sara's unemployed husband is looking for a job.
2.

Der Kunde wurde wütend.
The customer became angry.

Der wütende Kunde verließ den Laden.
The angry customer left the store.
3.Viele deutsche Wähler sind gut informiert.
Many German voters are well informed.
Informierte Wähler sind wichtig für eine Demokratie.
Informed voters are important for a democracy.

Depending on how advanced you are in German, you may want to delve into the wonders of adjective endings (for highly motivated, grammar-oriented or advanced students), or you may want to simply note that they have an "e" (or more) at the end and move on with your life (recommended for those in the first or second year of study). If you so desire, you can learn more about using adjective endings in Grimm Grammar (after der-wordsafter ein-wordswithout articles).

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 NOT 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 in Grimm Grammar.

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. PROTAGONIST ist gemein.
  2. [gemein- EXPRESSOR]
  3. [gemein- PROTAGONIST]
  1. PROTAGONIST is mean.
  2. [mean EXPRESSOR]
  3. [mean PROTAGONIST]

Details:

mean

As with the English word "mean," "gemein" can be used as an attributive adjective for people ("gemeine Menschen," "mean people") who are malevolent toward their fellow humans, but is most often used as a predicate adjective "er ist gemein" ("he is mean"). When used as an attributive adjective, it often carries its other meaning of "common" e.g. "ein gemeiner Dieb" ("a common thief"), which falls outside of this frame.


Further details:

Wordformation:

"die Gemeinheit" ("baseness," "meanness," "foulness")

Synonyms:

"arglistig," "boshaft," "bösartig," "fies," "garstig," "gehässig," "infam," "niederträchtig," "schäbig," among others

More information in DWDS, the digital dictionary of the German language:

„gemein“, bereitgestellt durch das Digitale Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache, <https://www.dwds.de/wb/gemein>, abgerufen am 23.05.2022.

Alternate Forms:

gemeiner, am gemeinsten
grausam adjective cruel, terrible

Details:

cruel, terrible

"Grausam" can often be translated as "cruel," but also can be used where English might use adjectives such as "terrible" or "atrocious," e.g. "ein grausames Massaker" ("an atrocious massacre, a terrible massacre"). It is used to describe uncaring, deadhearted Protagonists who torment and torture other living beings.


Further details:

Wordformation:

"die Grausamkeit" ("atrocity," "cruelty," "ferocity")

Synonyms:

"hartherzig," "grauenhaft," "hart," "empfindungslos," "kaltherzig," "kalt," "roh," "mörderisch," among others

More information in DWDS, the digital dictionary of the German language:

„grausam“, bereitgestellt durch das Digitale Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache, <https://www.dwds.de/wb/grausam>, abgerufen am 23.05.2022.

Example Sentences:

  1. Es ist unvorstellbar, wie jemand so grausam sein kann.
  2. "Die waren alle kaltherzig und im Grunde grausam," sagt meine Tante.
  3. Kinder können unter sich sehr grausam sein.
  4. Sie blickte zu Marcy, und ein Funken aus dem Kamin beleuchtete ihr grausames Lächeln.
  5. Es gibt viele grausame Menschen auf dieser Welt, die sich als gute Menschen tarnen.
  1. It is unimaginable how someone can be so cruel.
  2. "They were all cold hearted and basically cruel," says my aunt.
  3. Children can amongst themselves be very cruel.
  4. She looked at Marcy and a spark from the fire illuminated her cruel smile.
  5. There are many cruel people in this world who disguise themselves as good people.

Grammar:

Adjectives in Action

There are two main ways to use adjectives in German that parallel the ways adjectives are used in English:

Firstly, you can use them after some form of "sein" ("to be"), as in "Adjektive sind faszinierend" ("adjectives are fascinating"). This one is easy. Other verbs like "werden" ("to become") may be used in this context also. We call these "predicate adjectives" because they appear after the verb to give information about the subject.

Secondly, you can use adjectives directly before a noun, as in "die eifersüchtige Frau" ("the jealous woman/wife"). In this context, we call it an "attributive adjective" because it directly attributes some quality to the noun. These can be a little tricky because they require an extra adjective ending, typically "-e" or "-en."

These usages are illustrated in the table below.

 Predicate AdjectivesAttributive Adjectives
1.

Sara ist arbeitslos.
Sara is unemployed.

Saras arbeitsloser Mann sucht einen Job.
Sara's unemployed husband is looking for a job.
2.

Der Kunde wurde wütend.
The customer became angry.

Der wütende Kunde verließ den Laden.
The angry customer left the store.
3.Viele deutsche Wähler sind gut informiert.
Many German voters are well informed.
Informierte Wähler sind wichtig für eine Demokratie.
Informed voters are important for a democracy.

Depending on how advanced you are in German, you may want to delve into the wonders of adjective endings (for highly motivated, grammar-oriented or advanced students), or you may want to simply note that they have an "e" (or more) at the end and move on with your life (recommended for those in the first or second year of study). If you so desire, you can learn more about using adjective endings in Grimm Grammar (after der-wordsafter ein-wordswithout articles).

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 NOT 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 in Grimm Grammar.

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. PROTAGONIST ist grausam.
  2. [grausam- EXPRESSOR]
  3. [grausam- PROTAGONIST]
  1. PROTAGONIST is cruel/terrible.
  2. [cruel/terrible EXPRESSOR]
  3. [cruel/terrible PROTAGONIST]

Details:

cruel, terrible

"Grausam" can often be translated as "cruel," but also can be used where English might use adjectives such as "terrible" or "atrocious," e.g. "ein grausames Massaker" ("an atrocious massacre, a terrible massacre"). It is used to describe uncaring, deadhearted Protagonists who torment and torture other living beings.


Further details:

Wordformation:

"die Grausamkeit" ("atrocity," "cruelty," "ferocity")

Synonyms:

"hartherzig," "grauenhaft," "hart," "empfindungslos," "kaltherzig," "kalt," "roh," "mörderisch," among others

More information in DWDS, the digital dictionary of the German language:

„grausam“, bereitgestellt durch das Digitale Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache, <https://www.dwds.de/wb/grausam>, abgerufen am 23.05.2022.

Alternate Forms:

grausamer, am grausamsten
Grausamkeit, die noun cruelty

Details:

cruelty, act of cruelty, atrocity

"Die Grausamkeit" refers to a state of deadheartedness, insensibility, brutality of a Protagonist, and can also refer to acts being performed in such a state or with such intent. "Die Grausamkeit" in this sense is used only in singular - as "cruelty" has no plural in English; "die Grausamkeiten (pl.)" can be translated as "acts of cruelty" or "atrocities," depending on the severity of the action.


Further details:

Synonyms:

"die Erbarmungslosigkeit," "die Gefühlskälte," "die Gnadenlosigkeit," "die Schonungslosigkeit," "die Unbarmherzigkeit," among others

More information in DWDS, the digital dictionary of the German language:

„Grausamkeit“, bereitgestellt durch das Digitale Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache, <https://www.dwds.de/wb/Grausamkeit>, abgerufen am 23.05.2022.

Example Sentences:

  1. Die Brutalität und Grausamkeit der Entführer ist schier unfassbar.
  2. Er hatte furchtbare Grausamkeiten begangen.
  3. Wie kann ein Mensch zu solchen Grausamkeiten fähig sein?
  4. Mein Großvater erzählte mir von der Grausamkeit und dem Leid während des Krieges.
  5. Ob eine andere Politik damals zu weniger Gewalt und Grausamkeit geführt hätte, muss offen bleiben.
  1. The brutality and cruelty of the kidnappers is simply incomprehensible.
  2. He had committed dreadful atrocities.
  3. How can a person be capable of such atrocities?
  4. My grandfather told me about the cruelty and suffering during the war.
  5. Whether or not a different policy back then would have led to less violence and cruelty, must remain open.

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1.  PROTAGONIST begeht Grausamkeiten.
  1.  PROTAGONIST commits atrocities.

Details:

cruelty, act of cruelty, atrocity

"Die Grausamkeit" refers to a state of deadheartedness, insensibility, brutality of a Protagonist, and can also refer to acts being performed in such a state or with such intent. "Die Grausamkeit" in this sense is used only in singular - as "cruelty" has no plural in English; "die Grausamkeiten (pl.)" can be translated as "acts of cruelty" or "atrocities," depending on the severity of the action.


Further details:

Synonyms:

"die Erbarmungslosigkeit," "die Gefühlskälte," "die Gnadenlosigkeit," "die Schonungslosigkeit," "die Unbarmherzigkeit," among others

More information in DWDS, the digital dictionary of the German language:

„Grausamkeit“, bereitgestellt durch das Digitale Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache, <https://www.dwds.de/wb/Grausamkeit>, abgerufen am 23.05.2022.

Alternate Forms:

(pl.) die Grausamkeiten
grob adjective rude, crude, rough

Details:

rude, crude, rough

"Grob" is a Protagonist who is impolite and / or rough. Even though you can find "grob" used attributively, e.g. "ein grober Mensch" ("a crude person"), it is usually only used in the predicate when talking about people,  e.g. "er war grob zu mir" ("he was rude/crude to me"). This term can also be used as an adverb.


Further details:

Wordformation:

"die Grobheit" ("incivility," "rudeness"), "der Grobian" ("ruffian," "brute")

Synonyms:

"abweisend," "barsch," "brüsk," "derb," "unhöflich," "unzivilisiert," "gewalttätig," "roh," among others

More information in DWDS, the digital dictionary of the German language:

„grob“, bereitgestellt durch das Digitale Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache, <https://www.dwds.de/wb/grob>, abgerufen am 23.05.2022.

Example Sentences:

  1. Wenn du so grob bist, hör ich nicht mehr auf dich!
  2. In der Wortwahl ist er manchmal sehr grob.
  3. Bei uns zu Hause sind sie oft grob zu den Fahrgästen.
  4. Die letzte Fete, auf der sie ein betrunkener Junge grob angemacht hat, fand sie sogar schrecklich.
  1. When you are that rude, I am not listening to you any more!
  2. In the choice of words he is sometimes very crude.
  3. Where we live they are often rude to the passengers.
  4. The last party, at which a drunk boy made a crude pass at her, she found dreadful even.

Grammar:

Adjectives in Action

There are two main ways to use adjectives in German that parallel the ways adjectives are used in English:

Firstly, you can use them after some form of "sein" ("to be"), as in "Adjektive sind faszinierend" ("adjectives are fascinating"). This one is easy. Other verbs like "werden" ("to become") may be used in this context also. We call these "predicate adjectives" because they appear after the verb to give information about the subject.

Secondly, you can use adjectives directly before a noun, as in "die eifersüchtige Frau" ("the jealous woman/wife"). In this context, we call it an "attributive adjective" because it directly attributes some quality to the noun. These can be a little tricky because they require an extra adjective ending, typically "-e" or "-en."

These usages are illustrated in the table below.

 Predicate AdjectivesAttributive Adjectives
1.

Sara ist arbeitslos.
Sara is unemployed.

Saras arbeitsloser Mann sucht einen Job.
Sara's unemployed husband is looking for a job.
2.

Der Kunde wurde wütend.
The customer became angry.

Der wütende Kunde verließ den Laden.
The angry customer left the store.
3.Viele deutsche Wähler sind gut informiert.
Many German voters are well informed.
Informierte Wähler sind wichtig für eine Demokratie.
Informed voters are important for a democracy.

Depending on how advanced you are in German, you may want to delve into the wonders of adjective endings (for highly motivated, grammar-oriented or advanced students), or you may want to simply note that they have an "e" (or more) at the end and move on with your life (recommended for those in the first or second year of study). If you so desire, you can learn more about using adjective endings in Grimm Grammar (after der-wordsafter ein-wordswithout articles).

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 NOT 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 in Grimm Grammar.

Adjectives as Adverbs

Most German adjectives can serve a dual purpose in the grammar - one where they are used as adjectives to apply their meaning to nouns, and one where they are used as adjectives and apply their meaning to an action (verb) or another adjective. The best and most frequent example is "gut," which is translated into English as either "good" (adjective) or "well" (adverb). The examples below illustrate different contexts in which "gut" can appear.

GermanEnglish
1. Der Film war sehr gut.The film was very good.
2. Ich habe gut geschlafen.I have slept well.
3. Der Aufsatz war gut geschrieben.The essay was well written.

Determining whether an adjective can be used as an adverb is not usually too difficult, although if you are in doubt, bilingual dictionaries indicate whether an adjective can be used this way by listing an adverb as a translation. Typically, it comes down to whether it would make sense as an adverb or not. So, for example, "rot" ("red") cannot be used as an adverb to modify a verb's action because it doesn't make sense to describe actions as "redly." On the other hand, it can be applied to another adjective, as in "rot gestrichene Wände" (lit. "redly painted walls"). If in doubt, look it up!

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. PROTAGONIST ist grob.
  1. PROTAGONIST is rude / crude / rough.

Details:

rude, crude, rough

"Grob" is a Protagonist who is impolite and / or rough. Even though you can find "grob" used attributively, e.g. "ein grober Mensch" ("a crude person"), it is usually only used in the predicate when talking about people,  e.g. "er war grob zu mir" ("he was rude/crude to me"). This term can also be used as an adverb.


Further details:

Wordformation:

"die Grobheit" ("incivility," "rudeness"), "der Grobian" ("ruffian," "brute")

Synonyms:

"abweisend," "barsch," "brüsk," "derb," "unhöflich," "unzivilisiert," "gewalttätig," "roh," among others

More information in DWDS, the digital dictionary of the German language:

„grob“, bereitgestellt durch das Digitale Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache, <https://www.dwds.de/wb/grob>, abgerufen am 23.05.2022.

Alternate Forms:

gröber, am gröbsten
hinterhältig adjective underhanded, devious

Details:

underhanded, devious

"Hinterhältig" is used in the same ways as "underhanded" and "devious" to describe Protagonists and / or their Behavior asinsidious and treacherous, as lurking and causing unexpected damage when the opportunity arises.


Further details:

Wordformation:

"der Hinterhalt" ("ambush"), "die Hinterhältigkeit" ("underhandedness," "furtiveness")

Synonyms:

"heimtückisch," "hinterlistig," "intrigant," "verschlagen," "falsch," "gemein," among others

More information in DWDS, the digital dictionary of the German language:

„hinterhältig“, bereitgestellt durch das Digitale Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache, <https://www.dwds.de/wb/hinterh%C3%A4ltig>, abgerufen am 23.05.2022.

Example Sentences:

  1. Hinterhältige Leute sind nicht ehrlich.
  2. Es gibt so viele hinterhältige Menschen.
  3. Sie können hinterhältig und gemein sein, hilfreich und liebenswürdig.
  4. Innenminister Holger Stahlknecht verurteilte den "feigen und hinterhältigen" Anschlag.
  5. Wolltest du schon immer mal wissen, wie fies, gemein und hinterhältig du bist?
  6. Sebastian konnte nur schwer ein hinterhältiges Grinsen unterdrücken.
  1. Underhanded people are not honest.
  2. There are so many underhanded people.
  3. They can be underhanded and mean, helpful and kind.
  4. Interior minister Holger Stahllknecht denounced the "cowardly and underhanded" attack.
  5. Did you always want to know how nasty, mean and devious you are?
  6. Sebastian could only with difficulty suppress a devious grin.

Grammar:

Adjectives in Action

There are two main ways to use adjectives in German that parallel the ways adjectives are used in English:

Firstly, you can use them after some form of "sein" ("to be"), as in "Adjektive sind faszinierend" ("adjectives are fascinating"). This one is easy. Other verbs like "werden" ("to become") may be used in this context also. We call these "predicate adjectives" because they appear after the verb to give information about the subject.

Secondly, you can use adjectives directly before a noun, as in "die eifersüchtige Frau" ("the jealous woman/wife"). In this context, we call it an "attributive adjective" because it directly attributes some quality to the noun. These can be a little tricky because they require an extra adjective ending, typically "-e" or "-en."

These usages are illustrated in the table below.

 Predicate AdjectivesAttributive Adjectives
1.

Sara ist arbeitslos.
Sara is unemployed.

Saras arbeitsloser Mann sucht einen Job.
Sara's unemployed husband is looking for a job.
2.

Der Kunde wurde wütend.
The customer became angry.

Der wütende Kunde verließ den Laden.
The angry customer left the store.
3.Viele deutsche Wähler sind gut informiert.
Many German voters are well informed.
Informierte Wähler sind wichtig für eine Demokratie.
Informed voters are important for a democracy.

Depending on how advanced you are in German, you may want to delve into the wonders of adjective endings (for highly motivated, grammar-oriented or advanced students), or you may want to simply note that they have an "e" (or more) at the end and move on with your life (recommended for those in the first or second year of study). If you so desire, you can learn more about using adjective endings in Grimm Grammar (after der-wordsafter ein-wordswithout articles).

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 NOT 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 in Grimm Grammar.

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. PROTAGONIST ist hinterhältig.
  2. [hinterhältig- PROTAGONIST]
  3. [hinterhältig- EXPRESSOR]
  1. PROTAGONIST is underhanded/devious.
  2. [underhanded/devious PROTAGONIST]
  3. [underhanded/devious EXPRESSOR]

Details:

underhanded, devious

"Hinterhältig" is used in the same ways as "underhanded" and "devious" to describe Protagonists and / or their Behavior asinsidious and treacherous, as lurking and causing unexpected damage when the opportunity arises.


Further details:

Wordformation:

"der Hinterhalt" ("ambush"), "die Hinterhältigkeit" ("underhandedness," "furtiveness")

Synonyms:

"heimtückisch," "hinterlistig," "intrigant," "verschlagen," "falsch," "gemein," among others

More information in DWDS, the digital dictionary of the German language:

„hinterhältig“, bereitgestellt durch das Digitale Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache, <https://www.dwds.de/wb/hinterh%C3%A4ltig>, abgerufen am 23.05.2022.

Alternate Forms:

hinterhältiger, am hinterhältigsten
kalt adjective cold, unfriendly

Details:

cold, unfriendly

"Kalt" in this frame means that a Protagonist is uncaring, adversarial, impolite as opposed to warm and caring (also "warm," "warmherzig" in German). As in English, this is often used with another adjective, e.g. "kalt und berechnend" ("cold and calculating"). It is most often encountered with an Expressor such as "ein kaltes Lächeln" ("a cold smile").


Further details:

Wordformation:

"die Kälte" ("coldness," "iciness"), "gefühlskalt," "herzenskalt" (both: "unfeeling," "cold-hearted")

Synonyms:

"eisig," "empfindungslos," "gefÜhllos," "grausam," "hart," "hartherzig," "kaltherzig"

More information in DWDS, the digital dictionary of the German language:

„kalt“, bereitgestellt durch das Digitale Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache, <https://www.dwds.de/wb/kalt>, abgerufen am 23.05.2022.

 

This word is part of the vocabulary for the Goethe-Zertifikat A2.

Example Sentences:

  1. Sie ist intelligent, aber kalt und ohne Feingefühl.
  2. Er zeigt Michael Caine als kalt lächelnden Arzt.
  3. Früher wurde sie oft als kalt und berechnend dargestellt.
  4. Ich habe ihr feines kaltes Lächeln gesehen.
  5. Man hat Verständnis noch für den gemeinsten Betrug und die kälteste Abweisung.
  1. She is intelligent, but cold and without sensitivity.
  2. He shows Michael Caine as a coldly smiling doctor.
  3. Earlier she was often portrayed as cold and calculating.
  4. I saw her subtle, cold smile.
  5. One has sympathy yet for the meanest betrayal and the coldest refusal.

Grammar:

Adjectives in Action

There are two main ways to use adjectives in German that parallel the ways adjectives are used in English:

Firstly, you can use them after some form of "sein" ("to be"), as in "Adjektive sind faszinierend" ("adjectives are fascinating"). This one is easy. Other verbs like "werden" ("to become") may be used in this context also. We call these "predicate adjectives" because they appear after the verb to give information about the subject.

Secondly, you can use adjectives directly before a noun, as in "die eifersüchtige Frau" ("the jealous woman/wife"). In this context, we call it an "attributive adjective" because it directly attributes some quality to the noun. These can be a little tricky because they require an extra adjective ending, typically "-e" or "-en."

These usages are illustrated in the table below.

 Predicate AdjectivesAttributive Adjectives
1.

Sara ist arbeitslos.
Sara is unemployed.

Saras arbeitsloser Mann sucht einen Job.
Sara's unemployed husband is looking for a job.
2.

Der Kunde wurde wütend.
The customer became angry.

Der wütende Kunde verließ den Laden.
The angry customer left the store.
3.Viele deutsche Wähler sind gut informiert.
Many German voters are well informed.
Informierte Wähler sind wichtig für eine Demokratie.
Informed voters are important for a democracy.

Depending on how advanced you are in German, you may want to delve into the wonders of adjective endings (for highly motivated, grammar-oriented or advanced students), or you may want to simply note that they have an "e" (or more) at the end and move on with your life (recommended for those in the first or second year of study). If you so desire, you can learn more about using adjective endings in Grimm Grammar (after der-wordsafter ein-wordswithout articles).

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 NOT 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 in Grimm Grammar.

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. PROTAGONIST ist kalt.
  2. [kalt- EXPRESSOR]
  1. PROTAGONIST is cold.
  2. [cold EXPRESSOR]

Details:

cold, unfriendly

"Kalt" in this frame means that a Protagonist is uncaring, adversarial, impolite as opposed to warm and caring (also "warm," "warmherzig" in German). As in English, this is often used with another adjective, e.g. "kalt und berechnend" ("cold and calculating"). It is most often encountered with an Expressor such as "ein kaltes Lächeln" ("a cold smile").


Further details:

Wordformation:

"die Kälte" ("coldness," "iciness"), "gefühlskalt," "herzenskalt" (both: "unfeeling," "cold-hearted")

Synonyms:

"eisig," "empfindungslos," "gefÜhllos," "grausam," "hart," "hartherzig," "kaltherzig"

More information in DWDS, the digital dictionary of the German language:

„kalt“, bereitgestellt durch das Digitale Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache, <https://www.dwds.de/wb/kalt>, abgerufen am 23.05.2022.

 

This word is part of the vocabulary for the Goethe-Zertifikat A2.

Alternate Forms:

kälter, am kältesten
mies adjective low, rotten, lousy

Details:

low, rotten, lousy

In this frame, "mies" refers to the low moral character of the Protagonist, similar to "gemein" ("mean") and "hinterhältig" ("devious, underhanded"). "Mies" can describe how the Protagonist is ("er ist ein mieser Typ," "he is a lousy guy"), or can double as an adverb to indicate how they behave toward Company ("er hat sich ihr gegenüber mies verhalten," "he behaved lousily toward her").

Other senses of "mies" that do not evoke this frame are "low" in the sense of how someone feels, as in "ich bin mies drauf," ("I'm in a lousy mood") or "sie fühlt sich mies" ("she feels lousy").


Further details:

Wordformation:

"der Miesling" ("old grouch," "misery guts," "sourpuss"), "der Miesepeter" ("crabber," "moaner," "crank"), "der Miesmacher" ("killjoy," "defeatist," "grinch," "wet blanket"), "miesmachen" ("to spoil so's pleasure"), "obermies" ("really lousy," "really shocking"), "vermiesen" ("to spoil sth. for so.")

Synonyms:

"arglistig," "boshaft," "bösartig," "böse," "garstig," "gehässig," "übel," among others

More information in DWDS, the digital dictionary of the German language:

„mies“, bereitgestellt durch das Digitale Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache, <https://www.dwds.de/wb/mies>, abgerufen am 23.05.2022.

Example Sentences:

  1. Er ist ein ganz mieser Typ.
  2. Früher waren sie ziemlich mies.
  3. Oder nur ein mieser Trick?
  4. Er hat sich ihr gegenüber mies verhalten.
  1. He is a really lousy guy.
  2. In the past, they were fairly rotten.
  3. Or just a rotten trick?
  4. He behaved lousily toward her.

Grammar:

Adjectives in Action

There are two main ways to use adjectives in German that parallel the ways adjectives are used in English:

Firstly, you can use them after some form of "sein" ("to be"), as in "Adjektive sind faszinierend" ("adjectives are fascinating"). This one is easy. Other verbs like "werden" ("to become") may be used in this context also. We call these "predicate adjectives" because they appear after the verb to give information about the subject.

Secondly, you can use adjectives directly before a noun, as in "die eifersüchtige Frau" ("the jealous woman/wife"). In this context, we call it an "attributive adjective" because it directly attributes some quality to the noun. These can be a little tricky because they require an extra adjective ending, typically "-e" or "-en."

These usages are illustrated in the table below.

 Predicate AdjectivesAttributive Adjectives
1.

Sara ist arbeitslos.
Sara is unemployed.

Saras arbeitsloser Mann sucht einen Job.
Sara's unemployed husband is looking for a job.
2.

Der Kunde wurde wütend.
The customer became angry.

Der wütende Kunde verließ den Laden.
The angry customer left the store.
3.Viele deutsche Wähler sind gut informiert.
Many German voters are well informed.
Informierte Wähler sind wichtig für eine Demokratie.
Informed voters are important for a democracy.

Depending on how advanced you are in German, you may want to delve into the wonders of adjective endings (for highly motivated, grammar-oriented or advanced students), or you may want to simply note that they have an "e" (or more) at the end and move on with your life (recommended for those in the first or second year of study). If you so desire, you can learn more about using adjective endings in Grimm Grammar (after der-wordsafter ein-wordswithout articles).

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 NOT 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 in Grimm Grammar.

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. PROTAGONIST ist mies.
  2. [mies- PROTAGONIST]
  1. PROTAGONIST is low/rotten/lousy.
  2. [low/rotten/lousy PROTAGONIST]

Details:

low, rotten, lousy

In this frame, "mies" refers to the low moral character of the Protagonist, similar to "gemein" ("mean") and "hinterhältig" ("devious, underhanded"). "Mies" can describe how the Protagonist is ("er ist ein mieser Typ," "he is a lousy guy"), or can double as an adverb to indicate how they behave toward Company ("er hat sich ihr gegenüber mies verhalten," "he behaved lousily toward her").

Other senses of "mies" that do not evoke this frame are "low" in the sense of how someone feels, as in "ich bin mies drauf," ("I'm in a lousy mood") or "sie fühlt sich mies" ("she feels lousy").


Further details:

Wordformation:

"der Miesling" ("old grouch," "misery guts," "sourpuss"), "der Miesepeter" ("crabber," "moaner," "crank"), "der Miesmacher" ("killjoy," "defeatist," "grinch," "wet blanket"), "miesmachen" ("to spoil so's pleasure"), "obermies" ("really lousy," "really shocking"), "vermiesen" ("to spoil sth. for so.")

Synonyms:

"arglistig," "boshaft," "bösartig," "böse," "garstig," "gehässig," "übel," among others

More information in DWDS, the digital dictionary of the German language:

„mies“, bereitgestellt durch das Digitale Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache, <https://www.dwds.de/wb/mies>, abgerufen am 23.05.2022.

Alternate Forms:

mieser, am miesesten
niederträchtig adjective vile, malicious, base

Details:

vile, malicious, base, low-down

"Niederträchtig" is not extremely common, but when used is similar in usage to "vile," "malicious," and "base" in the sense of their respective meanings as "morally despicable or abhorrent," "showing a desire to cause harm, arising from malice," and "lacking the higher qualities of mind, lacking higher values." Like many other adjectives, "niederträchtig" can also be used as an adjective.


Further details:

Wordformation:

"die Niedertracht," "die Niederträchtigkeit" ("perfidy," "baseness," "infamousness," "ignominy")

Synonyms:

"erbärmlich," "arglistig," "boshaft," "bösartig," "fies," "garstig," "gehässig," "gemein," "perfide," among others

More information in DWDS, the digital dictionary of the German language:

„niederträchtig“, bereitgestellt durch das Digitale Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache, <https://www.dwds.de/wb/niedertr%C3%A4chtig>, abgerufen am 23.05.2022.

Example Sentences:

  1. Fast alle Menschen meiden ihn wegen seiner niederträchtigen Art.
  2. Herr Watson hat sich niederträchtig und dumm über das Vereinigte Königreich geäußert.
  3. Es war eine niederträchtige Tat, den alten Mann zu bestehlen.
  4. "Sie sind ein gemeiner, niederträchtiger Mensch, Her Förtsch."
  5. Sie haben sich niederträchtig und schäbig verhalten.
  1. Almost all people avoid him because of his malicious manner.
  2. Mr. Watson expressed himself maliciously and dumbly about the United Kingdom.
  3. It was a base action to steal from the old man.
  4. "You are a mean, malicious person, Mr. Förtsch."
  5. They behaved vilely and shabbily.

Grammar:

Adjectives in Action

There are two main ways to use adjectives in German that parallel the ways adjectives are used in English:

Firstly, you can use them after some form of "sein" ("to be"), as in "Adjektive sind faszinierend" ("adjectives are fascinating"). This one is easy. Other verbs like "werden" ("to become") may be used in this context also. We call these "predicate adjectives" because they appear after the verb to give information about the subject.

Secondly, you can use adjectives directly before a noun, as in "die eifersüchtige Frau" ("the jealous woman/wife"). In this context, we call it an "attributive adjective" because it directly attributes some quality to the noun. These can be a little tricky because they require an extra adjective ending, typically "-e" or "-en."

These usages are illustrated in the table below.

 Predicate AdjectivesAttributive Adjectives
1.

Sara ist arbeitslos.
Sara is unemployed.

Saras arbeitsloser Mann sucht einen Job.
Sara's unemployed husband is looking for a job.
2.

Der Kunde wurde wütend.
The customer became angry.

Der wütende Kunde verließ den Laden.
The angry customer left the store.
3.Viele deutsche Wähler sind gut informiert.
Many German voters are well informed.
Informierte Wähler sind wichtig für eine Demokratie.
Informed voters are important for a democracy.

Depending on how advanced you are in German, you may want to delve into the wonders of adjective endings (for highly motivated, grammar-oriented or advanced students), or you may want to simply note that they have an "e" (or more) at the end and move on with your life (recommended for those in the first or second year of study). If you so desire, you can learn more about using adjective endings in Grimm Grammar (after der-wordsafter ein-wordswithout articles).

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 NOT 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 in Grimm Grammar.

Adjectives as Adverbs

Most German adjectives can serve a dual purpose in the grammar - one where they are used as adjectives to apply their meaning to nouns, and one where they are used as adjectives and apply their meaning to an action (verb) or another adjective. The best and most frequent example is "gut," which is translated into English as either "good" (adjective) or "well" (adverb). The examples below illustrate different contexts in which "gut" can appear.

GermanEnglish
1. Der Film war sehr gut.The film was very good.
2. Ich habe gut geschlafen.I have slept well.
3. Der Aufsatz war gut geschrieben.The essay was well written.

Determining whether an adjective can be used as an adverb is not usually too difficult, although if you are in doubt, bilingual dictionaries indicate whether an adjective can be used this way by listing an adverb as a translation. Typically, it comes down to whether it would make sense as an adverb or not. So, for example, "rot" ("red") cannot be used as an adverb to modify a verb's action because it doesn't make sense to describe actions as "redly." On the other hand, it can be applied to another adjective, as in "rot gestrichene Wände" (lit. "redly painted walls"). If in doubt, look it up!

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. PROTAGONIST ist niederträchtig.
  2. [niederträchtig- PROTAGONIST]
  3. [niederträchtig- BEHAVIOR]
  1. PROTAGONIST is vile.
  2. [vile/malicious/base PROTAGONIST]
  3. [vile/malicious/base BEHAVIOR]

Details:

vile, malicious, base, low-down

"Niederträchtig" is not extremely common, but when used is similar in usage to "vile," "malicious," and "base" in the sense of their respective meanings as "morally despicable or abhorrent," "showing a desire to cause harm, arising from malice," and "lacking the higher qualities of mind, lacking higher values." Like many other adjectives, "niederträchtig" can also be used as an adjective.


Further details:

Wordformation:

"die Niedertracht," "die Niederträchtigkeit" ("perfidy," "baseness," "infamousness," "ignominy")

Synonyms:

"erbärmlich," "arglistig," "boshaft," "bösartig," "fies," "garstig," "gehässig," "gemein," "perfide," among others

More information in DWDS, the digital dictionary of the German language:

„niederträchtig“, bereitgestellt durch das Digitale Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache, <https://www.dwds.de/wb/niedertr%C3%A4chtig>, abgerufen am 23.05.2022.

Alternate Forms:

niederträchtiger, am niederträchtigsten
respektlos adjective disrespectful

Details:

disrespectful, lit. respectless, without respect

Used as in English.


Further details:

Wordformation:

"die Respektlosigkeit" ("disrespect," "disrespectfulness")

Synonyms:

"aufsässig," "aufmüpfig," "ungehorsam," "abschätzig," "abfällig," "geringschätzig," "verächtlich," among others

More information in DWDS, the digital dictionary of the German language:

„respektlos“, bereitgestellt durch das Digitale Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache, <https://www.dwds.de/wb/respektlos>, abgerufen am 23.05.2022.

Example Sentences:

  1. Sie waren jung und respektlos, wie Studenten sein sollten.
  2. Ist es nicht respektlos, den Partner für so doof zu halten?
  3. Entweder ist er ein dummer Mann oder ein sehr respektloser Mann, oder beides.
  4. Grundsätzlich aber ist der Berliner respektlos und frech.
  5. Niemand möchte, dass Frauen angemacht und respektlos behandelt werden.
  1. They were young and disrespectful, as students should be.
  2. Either he is a dumb man or a very disrespectful man, or both.
  3. Fundamentally, however, the Berliner is disrespectful and rude.
  4. No one wants that women get hit on and handled disrespectfully.

Grammar:

Adjectives in Action

There are two main ways to use adjectives in German that parallel the ways adjectives are used in English:

Firstly, you can use them after some form of "sein" ("to be"), as in "Adjektive sind faszinierend" ("adjectives are fascinating"). This one is easy. Other verbs like "werden" ("to become") may be used in this context also. We call these "predicate adjectives" because they appear after the verb to give information about the subject.

Secondly, you can use adjectives directly before a noun, as in "die eifersüchtige Frau" ("the jealous woman/wife"). In this context, we call it an "attributive adjective" because it directly attributes some quality to the noun. These can be a little tricky because they require an extra adjective ending, typically "-e" or "-en."

These usages are illustrated in the table below.

 Predicate AdjectivesAttributive Adjectives
1.

Sara ist arbeitslos.
Sara is unemployed.

Saras arbeitsloser Mann sucht einen Job.
Sara's unemployed husband is looking for a job.
2.

Der Kunde wurde wütend.
The customer became angry.

Der wütende Kunde verließ den Laden.
The angry customer left the store.
3.Viele deutsche Wähler sind gut informiert.
Many German voters are well informed.
Informierte Wähler sind wichtig für eine Demokratie.
Informed voters are important for a democracy.

Depending on how advanced you are in German, you may want to delve into the wonders of adjective endings (for highly motivated, grammar-oriented or advanced students), or you may want to simply note that they have an "e" (or more) at the end and move on with your life (recommended for those in the first or second year of study). If you so desire, you can learn more about using adjective endings in Grimm Grammar (after der-wordsafter ein-wordswithout articles).

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 NOT 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 in Grimm Grammar.

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. PROTAGONIST ist respektlos.
  2. [respektlos- PROTAGONIST]
  3. BEHAVIOR ist respektlos.
  4. [respektlos- BEHAVIOR]
  1. PROTAGONIST is disrespectful.
  2. [disrespectful PROTAGONIST]
  3. BEHAVIOR is disrespectful.
  4. [disrespectful BEHAVIOR]

Details:

disrespectful, lit. respectless, without respect

Used as in English.


Further details:

Wordformation:

"die Respektlosigkeit" ("disrespect," "disrespectfulness")

Synonyms:

"aufsässig," "aufmüpfig," "ungehorsam," "abschätzig," "abfällig," "geringschätzig," "verächtlich," among others

More information in DWDS, the digital dictionary of the German language:

„respektlos“, bereitgestellt durch das Digitale Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache, <https://www.dwds.de/wb/respektlos>, abgerufen am 23.05.2022.

Alternate Forms:

respektloser, am respektlosesten
rücksichtslos adjective inconsiderate

Details:

inconsiderate, reckless

"Rücksichtslos" is used as in English. Its literal meaning is "without regard / consideration" (for others), and it can also be used as an adverb.


Further details:

Wordformation:

"die Rücksichtslosigkeit" ("ruthlessness," "inconsiderateness," "recklessness")

Synonyms:

"bedenkenlos," "skrupellos," "respektlos," "unhöflich," among others

More information in DWDS, the digital dictionary of the German language:

„rücksichtslos“, bereitgestellt durch das Digitale Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache, <https://www.dwds.de/wb/r%C3%BCcksichtslos>, abgerufen am 23.05.2022.

Example Sentences:

  1. Er konnte sehr rücksichtslos sein.
  2. Rücksichtslose Nachbarn sind ein echtes Ärgernis.
  3. Sie kommen und gehen, wie es ihnen passt, sie sind rücksichtslos und stören mich.
  4. Die Mehrheit der Deutschen (59 Prozent) will rücksichtslose Radfahrer künftig zwangsweise in eine Verkehrsschule schicken.
  5. Er schrieb viel über die Verantwortung, war aber selbst ein rücksichtsloser Egoist.
  6. Aber jeder Ressourcenabbau hat Umwelt- und soziale Schäden zur Folge, und der Bergbau ist besonders rücksichtslos.
  1. He could be very inconsiderate.
  2. Inconsiderate neighbors are a real annoyance.
  3. They come and go as they please, they are inconsiderate and disturb me.
  4. The majority of Germans (59 percent) want to force inconsiderate cyclists to go to driving school.
  5. He wrote a lot about responsibility, but was himself an inconsiderate egotist.
  6. But every resource reduction has environmental and social detriments as a consequence, and mining is especially reckless.

Grammar:

Adjectives in Action

There are two main ways to use adjectives in German that parallel the ways adjectives are used in English:

Firstly, you can use them after some form of "sein" ("to be"), as in "Adjektive sind faszinierend" ("adjectives are fascinating"). This one is easy. Other verbs like "werden" ("to become") may be used in this context also. We call these "predicate adjectives" because they appear after the verb to give information about the subject.

Secondly, you can use adjectives directly before a noun, as in "die eifersüchtige Frau" ("the jealous woman/wife"). In this context, we call it an "attributive adjective" because it directly attributes some quality to the noun. These can be a little tricky because they require an extra adjective ending, typically "-e" or "-en."

These usages are illustrated in the table below.

 Predicate AdjectivesAttributive Adjectives
1.

Sara ist arbeitslos.
Sara is unemployed.

Saras arbeitsloser Mann sucht einen Job.
Sara's unemployed husband is looking for a job.
2.

Der Kunde wurde wütend.
The customer became angry.

Der wütende Kunde verließ den Laden.
The angry customer left the store.
3.Viele deutsche Wähler sind gut informiert.
Many German voters are well informed.
Informierte Wähler sind wichtig für eine Demokratie.
Informed voters are important for a democracy.

Depending on how advanced you are in German, you may want to delve into the wonders of adjective endings (for highly motivated, grammar-oriented or advanced students), or you may want to simply note that they have an "e" (or more) at the end and move on with your life (recommended for those in the first or second year of study). If you so desire, you can learn more about using adjective endings in Grimm Grammar (after der-wordsafter ein-wordswithout articles).

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 NOT 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 in Grimm Grammar.

Adjectives as Adverbs

Most German adjectives can serve a dual purpose in the grammar - one where they are used as adjectives to apply their meaning to nouns, and one where they are used as adjectives and apply their meaning to an action (verb) or another adjective. The best and most frequent example is "gut," which is translated into English as either "good" (adjective) or "well" (adverb). The examples below illustrate different contexts in which "gut" can appear.

GermanEnglish
1. Der Film war sehr gut.The film was very good.
2. Ich habe gut geschlafen.I have slept well.
3. Der Aufsatz war gut geschrieben.The essay was well written.

Determining whether an adjective can be used as an adverb is not usually too difficult, although if you are in doubt, bilingual dictionaries indicate whether an adjective can be used this way by listing an adverb as a translation. Typically, it comes down to whether it would make sense as an adverb or not. So, for example, "rot" ("red") cannot be used as an adverb to modify a verb's action because it doesn't make sense to describe actions as "redly." On the other hand, it can be applied to another adjective, as in "rot gestrichene Wände" (lit. "redly painted walls"). If in doubt, look it up!

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. PROTAGONIST ist rücksichtslos.
  2. [rücksichtslos- PROTAGONIST]
  3. BEHAVIOR ist rücksichtslos.
  4. [rücksichtslos- BEHAVIOR]
  1. PROTAGONIST is inconsiderate.
  2. [inconsiderate PROTAGONIST]
  3. BEHAVIOR is inconsiderate.
  4. [inconsiderate BEHAVIOR]

Details:

inconsiderate, reckless

"Rücksichtslos" is used as in English. Its literal meaning is "without regard / consideration" (for others), and it can also be used as an adverb.


Further details:

Wordformation:

"die Rücksichtslosigkeit" ("ruthlessness," "inconsiderateness," "recklessness")

Synonyms:

"bedenkenlos," "skrupellos," "respektlos," "unhöflich," among others

More information in DWDS, the digital dictionary of the German language:

„rücksichtslos“, bereitgestellt durch das Digitale Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache, <https://www.dwds.de/wb/r%C3%BCcksichtslos>, abgerufen am 23.05.2022.

Alternate Forms:

rücksichtsloser, am rücksichtslosesten
ruppig adjective gruff, abrasive

Details:

gruff, abrasive

"Ruppig" is derived from the verb "rupfen" ("to pluck," "ruppen" in some dialects) and is used to describe Protagonists as ill-bred, impudent, rude, brutish. Used as you would use the terms gruff and abrasive in English. This differs from similar terms in this frame by emphasizing the abrasive element; see also "barsch" ("brusque"), "bissig" ("biting"), and "unwirsch" ("snappy").


Further details:

Wordformation:

"die Ruppigkeit" ("gruffness," "sharpness," "abruptness," "scruffiness," "shabbiness")

Synonyms:

"flegelhaft," "grob," "derb," "abweisend," "barsch," "brüsk," "unfreundlich," "grob," among others

More information in DWDS, the digital dictionary of the German language:

„ruppig“, bereitgestellt durch das Digitale Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache, <https://www.dwds.de/wb/ruppig>, abgerufen am 23.05.2022.

Example Sentences:

  1. Online sind die Menschen ruppiger.
  2. Sie ist unberechenbar, ruppig, manchmal zynisch und manchmal zärtlich.
  3. Die Telefonate werden ruppiger.
  4. Es gibt Leute, die sagen, der Berliner an sich sei sehr ruppig.
  5. Trumps Sprecher Sean Spicer hat mit seinem ruppigen Ton gegenüber Journalisten Schlagzeilen gemacht.
  6. Die Soldaten sind laut und ruppig, aber in ihren Blicken ist auch Angst, sie wollen weg von hier.
  7. Die Schwester war ja auch eine ruppige Person.
  1. Online, people are more abrasive.
  2. She is unpredictable, gruff, sometimes cynical and sometimes gentle.
  3. The telephone calls get more abrasive.
  4. There are people who say the Berliner in and of themself is very abrasive.
  5. Trump's spokesperson Sean Spicer made headlines with his gruff tone with journalists.
  6. The soldiers are loud and gruff, but in their eyes is also fear, they want to get away from here.
  7. The nurse was indeed an abrasive person.

Grammar:

Adjectives in Action

There are two main ways to use adjectives in German that parallel the ways adjectives are used in English:

Firstly, you can use them after some form of "sein" ("to be"), as in "Adjektive sind faszinierend" ("adjectives are fascinating"). This one is easy. Other verbs like "werden" ("to become") may be used in this context also. We call these "predicate adjectives" because they appear after the verb to give information about the subject.

Secondly, you can use adjectives directly before a noun, as in "die eifersüchtige Frau" ("the jealous woman/wife"). In this context, we call it an "attributive adjective" because it directly attributes some quality to the noun. These can be a little tricky because they require an extra adjective ending, typically "-e" or "-en."

These usages are illustrated in the table below.

 Predicate AdjectivesAttributive Adjectives
1.

Sara ist arbeitslos.
Sara is unemployed.

Saras arbeitsloser Mann sucht einen Job.
Sara's unemployed husband is looking for a job.
2.

Der Kunde wurde wütend.
The customer became angry.

Der wütende Kunde verließ den Laden.
The angry customer left the store.
3.Viele deutsche Wähler sind gut informiert.
Many German voters are well informed.
Informierte Wähler sind wichtig für eine Demokratie.
Informed voters are important for a democracy.

Depending on how advanced you are in German, you may want to delve into the wonders of adjective endings (for highly motivated, grammar-oriented or advanced students), or you may want to simply note that they have an "e" (or more) at the end and move on with your life (recommended for those in the first or second year of study). If you so desire, you can learn more about using adjective endings in Grimm Grammar (after der-wordsafter ein-wordswithout articles).

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 NOT 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 in Grimm Grammar.

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. PROTAGONIST ist ruppig.
  2. [ruppig- EXPRESSOR]
  3. [ruppig- PROTAGONIST]
  1. PROTAGONIST is gruff/abrasive.
  2. [gruff/abrasive EXPRESSOR]
  3. [gruff/abrasive PROTAGONIST]

Details:

gruff, abrasive

"Ruppig" is derived from the verb "rupfen" ("to pluck," "ruppen" in some dialects) and is used to describe Protagonists as ill-bred, impudent, rude, brutish. Used as you would use the terms gruff and abrasive in English. This differs from similar terms in this frame by emphasizing the abrasive element; see also "barsch" ("brusque"), "bissig" ("biting"), and "unwirsch" ("snappy").


Further details:

Wordformation:

"die Ruppigkeit" ("gruffness," "sharpness," "abruptness," "scruffiness," "shabbiness")

Synonyms:

"flegelhaft," "grob," "derb," "abweisend," "barsch," "brüsk," "unfreundlich," "grob," among others

More information in DWDS, the digital dictionary of the German language:

„ruppig“, bereitgestellt durch das Digitale Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache, <https://www.dwds.de/wb/ruppig>, abgerufen am 23.05.2022.

Alternate Forms:

ruppiger, am ruppigsten
schlecht adjective bad

Details:

bad

As with "bad" in English, "schlecht" is highly subjective and can be used as an attributive adjective for people, e.g. "schlechte Menschen" ("bad people"), but you find it most often describing how people treat others "er behandelt sie schlecht" ("he treats her badly"). In such cases, "schlecht" is used as an adverb.


Further details:

Wordformation:

"die Schlechtigkeit" ("badness," "wickedness," "bad, wicked deed"), "schlechtgelaunt" ("bad-tempered," "grumpy")

Synonyms:

"bösartig," "böswillig," "böse," "gemein," "übel," "fies"

More information in DWDS, the digital dictionary of the German language:

„schlecht“, bereitgestellt durch das Digitale Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache, <https://www.dwds.de/wb/schlecht>, abgerufen am 23.05.2022.

 

This word is part of the vocabulary for the Goethe-Zertifikat A1.

Example Sentences:

  1. 90 Prozent der Deutschen ärgern sich über schlechtes Benehmen.
  2. Sie redet freundlich, manchmal kritisch, aber nie schlecht über andere Leute.
  3. Die Welt behandelt uns schlecht, also geht es uns schlecht.
  4. Menschen, die solche Fahrräder stehlen, müssen sehr schlecht und sehr böse sein.
  5. Hast du dich je gefragt "warum schlechte Dinge guten Menschen passieren?" oder "warum gute Dinge schlechten Menschen passieren?"
  6. Ich habe ihn schlecht behandelt und nun bereue ich es!
  1. 90 percent of Germans are annoyed by bad behavior.
  2. She speaks friendly, sometimes critically, but never badly about other people.
  3. The world treats us badly, so it is going badly for us.
  4. People who steal such bicycles must be very bad and very evil.
  5. Have you ever asked yourself "why bad things happen to good people?" or "why good things happen to bad people?"
  6. I treated him badly and now I regret it!

Grammar:

Adjectives in Action

There are two main ways to use adjectives in German that parallel the ways adjectives are used in English:

Firstly, you can use them after some form of "sein" ("to be"), as in "Adjektive sind faszinierend" ("adjectives are fascinating"). This one is easy. Other verbs like "werden" ("to become") may be used in this context also. We call these "predicate adjectives" because they appear after the verb to give information about the subject.

Secondly, you can use adjectives directly before a noun, as in "die eifersüchtige Frau" ("the jealous woman/wife"). In this context, we call it an "attributive adjective" because it directly attributes some quality to the noun. These can be a little tricky because they require an extra adjective ending, typically "-e" or "-en."

These usages are illustrated in the table below.

 Predicate AdjectivesAttributive Adjectives
1.

Sara ist arbeitslos.
Sara is unemployed.

Saras arbeitsloser Mann sucht einen Job.
Sara's unemployed husband is looking for a job.
2.

Der Kunde wurde wütend.
The customer became angry.

Der wütende Kunde verließ den Laden.
The angry customer left the store.
3.Viele deutsche Wähler sind gut informiert.
Many German voters are well informed.
Informierte Wähler sind wichtig für eine Demokratie.
Informed voters are important for a democracy.

Depending on how advanced you are in German, you may want to delve into the wonders of adjective endings (for highly motivated, grammar-oriented or advanced students), or you may want to simply note that they have an "e" (or more) at the end and move on with your life (recommended for those in the first or second year of study). If you so desire, you can learn more about using adjective endings in Grimm Grammar (after der-wordsafter ein-wordswithout articles).

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 NOT 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 in Grimm Grammar.

Adjectives as Adverbs

Most German adjectives can serve a dual purpose in the grammar - one where they are used as adjectives to apply their meaning to nouns, and one where they are used as adjectives and apply their meaning to an action (verb) or another adjective. The best and most frequent example is "gut," which is translated into English as either "good" (adjective) or "well" (adverb). The examples below illustrate different contexts in which "gut" can appear.

GermanEnglish
1. Der Film war sehr gut.The film was very good.
2. Ich habe gut geschlafen.I have slept well.
3. Der Aufsatz war gut geschrieben.The essay was well written.

Determining whether an adjective can be used as an adverb is not usually too difficult, although if you are in doubt, bilingual dictionaries indicate whether an adjective can be used this way by listing an adverb as a translation. Typically, it comes down to whether it would make sense as an adverb or not. So, for example, "rot" ("red") cannot be used as an adverb to modify a verb's action because it doesn't make sense to describe actions as "redly." On the other hand, it can be applied to another adjective, as in "rot gestrichene Wände" (lit. "redly painted walls"). If in doubt, look it up!

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. [schlecht- PROTAGONIST]
  2. [schlecht- BEHAVIOR]
  3. PROTAGONIST behandelt COMPANY schlecht.
  1. [bad PROTAGONIST]
  2. [bad BEHAVIOR]
  3. PROTAGONIST treats COMPANY badly.

Details:

bad

As with "bad" in English, "schlecht" is highly subjective and can be used as an attributive adjective for people, e.g. "schlechte Menschen" ("bad people"), but you find it most often describing how people treat others "er behandelt sie schlecht" ("he treats her badly"). In such cases, "schlecht" is used as an adverb.


Further details:

Wordformation:

"die Schlechtigkeit" ("badness," "wickedness," "bad, wicked deed"), "schlechtgelaunt" ("bad-tempered," "grumpy")

Synonyms:

"bösartig," "böswillig," "böse," "gemein," "übel," "fies"

More information in DWDS, the digital dictionary of the German language:

„schlecht“, bereitgestellt durch das Digitale Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache, <https://www.dwds.de/wb/schlecht>, abgerufen am 23.05.2022.

 

This word is part of the vocabulary for the Goethe-Zertifikat A1.

Alternate Forms:

schlechter, am schlechtesten
schroff adjective harsh, brusque, short, abrupt

Details:

harsh, brusque, short, abrupt

"Schroff" can be used to describe the Protagonist (e.g. "sie war schroff," "she was harsh") as unfriendly and gruff or their actions (Behavior), e.g. "er unterbrach ihn schroff," "he interrupted him abruptly." As in this last example, it can be used as an adverb.

"Barsch" and "schroff" are very similar in meaning, "barsch" tending slightly more toward "rough," "harsh" and "short-tempered," and "schroff" emphasizing more the abrupt nature of the "brusque" or "harsh" interaction.


Further details:

Wordformation:

"die Schroffheit" ("abruptness," "abrasiveness," "brusqueness")

Synonyms:

"unfreundlich," "barsch," "brüsk," "derb," "grob," "unhöflich," among others

More information in DWDS, the digital dictionary of the German language:

„schroff“, bereitgestellt durch das Digitale Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache, <https://www.dwds.de/wb/schroff>, abgerufen am 23.05.2022.

Example Sentences:

  1. Er ist schroff, und er hat es immer eilig.
  2. Sie war schroff, eigenwillig und umstritten.
  3. Carl Brenten unterbrach ihn schroff.
  4. Der ältere Bruder wies das schroff zurück.
  5. Hinter seinem Schreibtisch kaut ein Mitarbeiter der Botschaft Nüsse und gibt schroffe Anweisungen.
  1. He is brusque and always in a rush.
  2. She was harsh, opinionated, and controversial.
  3. Carl Brenten interrupted him brusquely.
  4. The older brother dismissed it brusquely.
  5. Behind his desk, an employee of the embassy chews nuts and gives brusque instructions.

Grammar:

Adjectives in Action

There are two main ways to use adjectives in German that parallel the ways adjectives are used in English:

Firstly, you can use them after some form of "sein" ("to be"), as in "Adjektive sind faszinierend" ("adjectives are fascinating"). This one is easy. Other verbs like "werden" ("to become") may be used in this context also. We call these "predicate adjectives" because they appear after the verb to give information about the subject.

Secondly, you can use adjectives directly before a noun, as in "die eifersüchtige Frau" ("the jealous woman/wife"). In this context, we call it an "attributive adjective" because it directly attributes some quality to the noun. These can be a little tricky because they require an extra adjective ending, typically "-e" or "-en."

These usages are illustrated in the table below.

 Predicate AdjectivesAttributive Adjectives
1.

Sara ist arbeitslos.
Sara is unemployed.

Saras arbeitsloser Mann sucht einen Job.
Sara's unemployed husband is looking for a job.
2.

Der Kunde wurde wütend.
The customer became angry.

Der wütende Kunde verließ den Laden.
The angry customer left the store.
3.Viele deutsche Wähler sind gut informiert.
Many German voters are well informed.
Informierte Wähler sind wichtig für eine Demokratie.
Informed voters are important for a democracy.

Depending on how advanced you are in German, you may want to delve into the wonders of adjective endings (for highly motivated, grammar-oriented or advanced students), or you may want to simply note that they have an "e" (or more) at the end and move on with your life (recommended for those in the first or second year of study). If you so desire, you can learn more about using adjective endings in Grimm Grammar (after der-wordsafter ein-wordswithout articles).

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 NOT 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 in Grimm Grammar.

Adjectives as Adverbs

Most German adjectives can serve a dual purpose in the grammar - one where they are used as adjectives to apply their meaning to nouns, and one where they are used as adjectives and apply their meaning to an action (verb) or another adjective. The best and most frequent example is "gut," which is translated into English as either "good" (adjective) or "well" (adverb). The examples below illustrate different contexts in which "gut" can appear.

GermanEnglish
1. Der Film war sehr gut.The film was very good.
2. Ich habe gut geschlafen.I have slept well.
3. Der Aufsatz war gut geschrieben.The essay was well written.

Determining whether an adjective can be used as an adverb is not usually too difficult, although if you are in doubt, bilingual dictionaries indicate whether an adjective can be used this way by listing an adverb as a translation. Typically, it comes down to whether it would make sense as an adverb or not. So, for example, "rot" ("red") cannot be used as an adverb to modify a verb's action because it doesn't make sense to describe actions as "redly." On the other hand, it can be applied to another adjective, as in "rot gestrichene Wände" (lit. "redly painted walls"). If in doubt, look it up!

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. PROTAGONIST ist schroff.
  2. PROTAGONIST weist etwas schroff zurück.
  3. BEHAVIOR ist schroff.
  1. PROTAGONIST is harsh/brusque.
  2. PROTAGONIST rejects something harshly/brusquely.
  3. BEHAVIOR is harsh/brusque.

Details:

harsh, brusque, short, abrupt

"Schroff" can be used to describe the Protagonist (e.g. "sie war schroff," "she was harsh") as unfriendly and gruff or their actions (Behavior), e.g. "er unterbrach ihn schroff," "he interrupted him abruptly." As in this last example, it can be used as an adverb.

"Barsch" and "schroff" are very similar in meaning, "barsch" tending slightly more toward "rough," "harsh" and "short-tempered," and "schroff" emphasizing more the abrupt nature of the "brusque" or "harsh" interaction.


Further details:

Wordformation:

"die Schroffheit" ("abruptness," "abrasiveness," "brusqueness")

Synonyms:

"unfreundlich," "barsch," "brüsk," "derb," "grob," "unhöflich," among others

More information in DWDS, the digital dictionary of the German language:

„schroff“, bereitgestellt durch das Digitale Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache, <https://www.dwds.de/wb/schroff>, abgerufen am 23.05.2022.

Alternate Forms:

schroffer, am schroffesten/am schroffsten
unfreundlich adjective unfriendly

Details:

unfriendly

A Protagonist is called "unfreundlich" when they are cold and unaccomodating, not likeable toward their fellow humans. When "unfreundlich" is used as an attributive adjective, it is more likely to appear with certain terms that refer to groups of people, such as the professions, e.g. "unfreundliche Kellner" ("unfriendly waiters"), but also "unfreundliche Kunden" ("unfriendly customers"), and is less likely to appear with something like "unfreundliche Frauen" ("unfriendly women"). This is similar to what we find in English.

Note that the weather can be described as "unfreundlich" in German, where English might use "unpleasant" or "inclement." This use is of course not part of a Character Trait frame.


Further details:

Wordformation:

"die Unfreundlichkeit" ("unfriendliness," "unkindliness")

Synonyms:

"abweisend," "mürrisch," "nicht nett," "grob," "unhöflich," among others

More information in DWDS, the digital dictionary of the German language:

„unfreundlich“, bereitgestellt durch das Digitale Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache, <https://www.dwds.de/wb/unfreundlich>, abgerufen am 23.05.2022.

 

This word is part of the vocabulary for the Goethe-Zertifikat A2.

Example Sentences:

  1. Er ist nicht unfreundlich, aber auch nicht herzlich.
  2. Wenn Sie genervt sind, werden Sie dann richtig unfreundlich?
  3. Berlin ist weit über seine Stadtgrenzen verschrien für seine unfreundlichen Taxifahrer.
  4. Im Restaurant am Parkeingang von Sanssouci gibt es eine sehr dürftige Speisekarte und unfreundliche Kellner.
  5. Unfreundliches Personal stört mehr Männer (39 %) als Frauen (34 %).
  6. Seit dem Ende meiner Ausbildung wurde mir geraten, ich solle unfreundlichere E-Mails schreiben.
  7. Manche Nachbarn sind unfreundlich.
  8. Der Verkäufer war sehr unfreundlich.
  9. Ich finde die Leute auf der Straße ziemlich unfreundlich. Wie ist dein Eindruck?
  1. He is not unfriendly, but also not warm.
  2. When you're annoyed, do you become really unfriendly?
  3. Berlin is notorious way beyond its city limits for its unfriendly taxi drivers.
  4. In the restaurant at the park entrance of Sanssouci there is a very meager menu and unfriendly waiters.
  5. Unfriendly staff bother more men (39%) than women (34%).
  6. Since the end of my education, I was advised, I should write less friendly emails.
  7. Some neighbors are unfriendly.
  8. The salesman was unfriendly.
  9. I think the people on the street are unfriendly. What is your impression?

Grammar:

Adjectives in Action

There are two main ways to use adjectives in German that parallel the ways adjectives are used in English:

Firstly, you can use them after some form of "sein" ("to be"), as in "Adjektive sind faszinierend" ("adjectives are fascinating"). This one is easy. Other verbs like "werden" ("to become") may be used in this context also. We call these "predicate adjectives" because they appear after the verb to give information about the subject.

Secondly, you can use adjectives directly before a noun, as in "die eifersüchtige Frau" ("the jealous woman/wife"). In this context, we call it an "attributive adjective" because it directly attributes some quality to the noun. These can be a little tricky because they require an extra adjective ending, typically "-e" or "-en."

These usages are illustrated in the table below.

 Predicate AdjectivesAttributive Adjectives
1.

Sara ist arbeitslos.
Sara is unemployed.

Saras arbeitsloser Mann sucht einen Job.
Sara's unemployed husband is looking for a job.
2.

Der Kunde wurde wütend.
The customer became angry.

Der wütende Kunde verließ den Laden.
The angry customer left the store.
3.Viele deutsche Wähler sind gut informiert.
Many German voters are well informed.
Informierte Wähler sind wichtig für eine Demokratie.
Informed voters are important for a democracy.

Depending on how advanced you are in German, you may want to delve into the wonders of adjective endings (for highly motivated, grammar-oriented or advanced students), or you may want to simply note that they have an "e" (or more) at the end and move on with your life (recommended for those in the first or second year of study). If you so desire, you can learn more about using adjective endings in Grimm Grammar (after der-wordsafter ein-wordswithout articles).

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 NOT 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 in Grimm Grammar.

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. PROTAGONIST ist unfreundlich.
  2. [unfreundlich- PROTAGONIST]
  1. PROTAGONIST is unfriendly.
  2. [unfriendly PROTAGONIST]

Details:

unfriendly

A Protagonist is called "unfreundlich" when they are cold and unaccomodating, not likeable toward their fellow humans. When "unfreundlich" is used as an attributive adjective, it is more likely to appear with certain terms that refer to groups of people, such as the professions, e.g. "unfreundliche Kellner" ("unfriendly waiters"), but also "unfreundliche Kunden" ("unfriendly customers"), and is less likely to appear with something like "unfreundliche Frauen" ("unfriendly women"). This is similar to what we find in English.

Note that the weather can be described as "unfreundlich" in German, where English might use "unpleasant" or "inclement." This use is of course not part of a Character Trait frame.


Further details:

Wordformation:

"die Unfreundlichkeit" ("unfriendliness," "unkindliness")

Synonyms:

"abweisend," "mürrisch," "nicht nett," "grob," "unhöflich," among others

More information in DWDS, the digital dictionary of the German language:

„unfreundlich“, bereitgestellt durch das Digitale Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache, <https://www.dwds.de/wb/unfreundlich>, abgerufen am 23.05.2022.

 

This word is part of the vocabulary for the Goethe-Zertifikat A2.

Alternate Forms:

unfreundlicher,  am unfreundlichsten
ungesellig adjective asocial

Details:

asocial, unsociable

"Ungesellig" is used to describe a Protagonist who is shy toward others and reclusive, someone who tries to avoid the encounter and company of other people. It is used as in English.


Further details:

Wordformation:

"die Ungeselligkeit" ("unsociability," "unsociableness")

Synonyms:

"distanziert," "menschenscheu," "unnahbar"

More information in DWDS, the digital dictionary of the German language:

„ungesellig“, bereitgestellt durch das Digitale Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache, <https://www.dwds.de/wb/ungesellig>, abgerufen am 23.05.2022.

Example Sentences:

  1. Er war brummig, ungesellig und ein Eigenbrötler.
  2. Wir Deutschen sollen ja angeblich so ungesellig sein.
  3. Lusja ist ein verschlossener und ungeselliger Mensch.
  4. Lesen ist ein zutiefst ungeselliger Vorgang.
  1. He was grumpy, asocial and a loner.
  2. We Germans are supposed to be very asocial apparently.
  3. Lusja is a reserved and asocial person.
  4. Reading is a profoundly asocial activity.

Grammar:

Adjectives in Action

There are two main ways to use adjectives in German that parallel the ways adjectives are used in English:

Firstly, you can use them after some form of "sein" ("to be"), as in "Adjektive sind faszinierend" ("adjectives are fascinating"). This one is easy. Other verbs like "werden" ("to become") may be used in this context also. We call these "predicate adjectives" because they appear after the verb to give information about the subject.

Secondly, you can use adjectives directly before a noun, as in "die eifersüchtige Frau" ("the jealous woman/wife"). In this context, we call it an "attributive adjective" because it directly attributes some quality to the noun. These can be a little tricky because they require an extra adjective ending, typically "-e" or "-en."

These usages are illustrated in the table below.

 Predicate AdjectivesAttributive Adjectives
1.

Sara ist arbeitslos.
Sara is unemployed.

Saras arbeitsloser Mann sucht einen Job.
Sara's unemployed husband is looking for a job.
2.

Der Kunde wurde wütend.
The customer became angry.

Der wütende Kunde verließ den Laden.
The angry customer left the store.
3.Viele deutsche Wähler sind gut informiert.
Many German voters are well informed.
Informierte Wähler sind wichtig für eine Demokratie.
Informed voters are important for a democracy.

Depending on how advanced you are in German, you may want to delve into the wonders of adjective endings (for highly motivated, grammar-oriented or advanced students), or you may want to simply note that they have an "e" (or more) at the end and move on with your life (recommended for those in the first or second year of study). If you so desire, you can learn more about using adjective endings in Grimm Grammar (after der-wordsafter ein-wordswithout articles).

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 NOT 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 in Grimm Grammar.

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. PROTAGONIST ist ungesellig.
  2. [ungesellig- PROTAGONIST]
  3. [ungesellig- BEHAVIOR]
  1. PROTAGONIST is asocial.
  2. [asocial PROTAGONIST]
  3. [asocial BEHAVIOR]

Details:

asocial, unsociable

"Ungesellig" is used to describe a Protagonist who is shy toward others and reclusive, someone who tries to avoid the encounter and company of other people. It is used as in English.


Further details:

Wordformation:

"die Ungeselligkeit" ("unsociability," "unsociableness")

Synonyms:

"distanziert," "menschenscheu," "unnahbar"

More information in DWDS, the digital dictionary of the German language:

„ungesellig“, bereitgestellt durch das Digitale Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache, <https://www.dwds.de/wb/ungesellig>, abgerufen am 23.05.2022.

Alternate Forms:

ungeselliger, am ungeselligsten
unhöflich adjective impolite, rude

Details:

impolite, rude

This is one of the behavioral terms that is quite dependent on culture, e.g. someone from Texas might find a certain behavior of a person from New York or Berlin "unhöflich," while a person from that culture might find it perfectly acceptable. "Höflich" ("polite") comes from the word "Hof" ("court") and originally suggested behavior befitting the (royal) court. Today it has a meaning just like English "polite," and "unhöflich" that of "impolite;" the tricky part is determining just what kinds of behaviors would be labelled this way.

There are two major differences in the concept of politeness when comparing American and German speaking cultures. Firstly, the proper use of "du" (informal "you") and "Sie" (formal "you") is an important factor in determining what is polite or not when speaking German. Remember to use the formal "Sie" when talking to strangers (adults), your boss, and people who are older than you are, otherwise "unhöflich" might be applied to you! Second, being direct is considered polite in German, which is the complete opposite of American English, where speakers are expected to hedge and beat around the bush a bit before asking a question or generally stating their point. 


Further details:

Wordformation:

"die Unhöflichkeit" ("impoliteness," "disrespect," "rudeness")

Synonyms:

"abweisend," "derb," "grob," "rüde," "unangemessen," "unanständig," "ungebührend," "unverschämt," among others

More information in DWDS, the digital dictionary of the German language:

„unhöflich“, bereitgestellt durch das Digitale Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache, <https://www.dwds.de/wb/unh%C3%B6flich>, abgerufen am 23.05.2022.

Example Sentences:

  1. Sie sind unhöflich und unterbrechen mich! [Auch: mich!]
  2. Ist es unhöflich, beim Essen richtig reinzuhauen?
  3. Ich bin zickig, manchmal unhöflich und ansonsten bin ich auch eitel.
  4. Er sagte das in einem fast unhöflichen Ton.
  5. Unhöfliche Leute sind in Deutschland besonders unbeliebt.
  1. You are rude and are interrupting me! [Also: me!]
  2. Is it impolite to really chow down while eating?
  3. I am moody, sometimes rude and apart from that I'm also vain.
  4. He said that in an almost impolite tone.
  5. Rude people are particularly unpopular in Germany.

Grammar:

Adjectives in Action

There are two main ways to use adjectives in German that parallel the ways adjectives are used in English:

Firstly, you can use them after some form of "sein" ("to be"), as in "Adjektive sind faszinierend" ("adjectives are fascinating"). This one is easy. Other verbs like "werden" ("to become") may be used in this context also. We call these "predicate adjectives" because they appear after the verb to give information about the subject.

Secondly, you can use adjectives directly before a noun, as in "die eifersüchtige Frau" ("the jealous woman/wife"). In this context, we call it an "attributive adjective" because it directly attributes some quality to the noun. These can be a little tricky because they require an extra adjective ending, typically "-e" or "-en."

These usages are illustrated in the table below.

 Predicate AdjectivesAttributive Adjectives
1.

Sara ist arbeitslos.
Sara is unemployed.

Saras arbeitsloser Mann sucht einen Job.
Sara's unemployed husband is looking for a job.
2.

Der Kunde wurde wütend.
The customer became angry.

Der wütende Kunde verließ den Laden.
The angry customer left the store.
3.Viele deutsche Wähler sind gut informiert.
Many German voters are well informed.
Informierte Wähler sind wichtig für eine Demokratie.
Informed voters are important for a democracy.

Depending on how advanced you are in German, you may want to delve into the wonders of adjective endings (for highly motivated, grammar-oriented or advanced students), or you may want to simply note that they have an "e" (or more) at the end and move on with your life (recommended for those in the first or second year of study). If you so desire, you can learn more about using adjective endings in Grimm Grammar (after der-wordsafter ein-wordswithout articles).

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 NOT 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 in Grimm Grammar.

Adjectives as Adverbs

Most German adjectives can serve a dual purpose in the grammar - one where they are used as adjectives to apply their meaning to nouns, and one where they are used as adjectives and apply their meaning to an action (verb) or another adjective. The best and most frequent example is "gut," which is translated into English as either "good" (adjective) or "well" (adverb). The examples below illustrate different contexts in which "gut" can appear.

GermanEnglish
1. Der Film war sehr gut.The film was very good.
2. Ich habe gut geschlafen.I have slept well.
3. Der Aufsatz war gut geschrieben.The essay was well written.

Determining whether an adjective can be used as an adverb is not usually too difficult, although if you are in doubt, bilingual dictionaries indicate whether an adjective can be used this way by listing an adverb as a translation. Typically, it comes down to whether it would make sense as an adverb or not. So, for example, "rot" ("red") cannot be used as an adverb to modify a verb's action because it doesn't make sense to describe actions as "redly." On the other hand, it can be applied to another adjective, as in "rot gestrichene Wände" (lit. "redly painted walls"). If in doubt, look it up!

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. PROTAGONIST ist unhöflich.
  2. BEHAVIOR ist unhöflich.
  3. [unhöflich- PROTAGONIST]
  4. [unhöflich- BEHAVIOR]

  5.  

    [unhöflich- EXPRESSOR]
  1. PROTAGONIST is impolite/rude.
  2. BEHAVIOR is impolite/rude.
  3. [impolite/rude PROTAGONIST]
  4. [impolite/rude BEHAVIOR]
  5. [impolite/rude EXPRESSOR]

Details:

impolite, rude

This is one of the behavioral terms that is quite dependent on culture, e.g. someone from Texas might find a certain behavior of a person from New York or Berlin "unhöflich," while a person from that culture might find it perfectly acceptable. "Höflich" ("polite") comes from the word "Hof" ("court") and originally suggested behavior befitting the (royal) court. Today it has a meaning just like English "polite," and "unhöflich" that of "impolite;" the tricky part is determining just what kinds of behaviors would be labelled this way.

There are two major differences in the concept of politeness when comparing American and German speaking cultures. Firstly, the proper use of "du" (informal "you") and "Sie" (formal "you") is an important factor in determining what is polite or not when speaking German. Remember to use the formal "Sie" when talking to strangers (adults), your boss, and people who are older than you are, otherwise "unhöflich" might be applied to you! Second, being direct is considered polite in German, which is the complete opposite of American English, where speakers are expected to hedge and beat around the bush a bit before asking a question or generally stating their point. 


Further details:

Wordformation:

"die Unhöflichkeit" ("impoliteness," "disrespect," "rudeness")

Synonyms:

"abweisend," "derb," "grob," "rüde," "unangemessen," "unanständig," "ungebührend," "unverschämt," among others

More information in DWDS, the digital dictionary of the German language:

„unhöflich“, bereitgestellt durch das Digitale Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache, <https://www.dwds.de/wb/unh%C3%B6flich>, abgerufen am 23.05.2022.

Alternate Forms:

unhöflicher, am unhöflichsten
unreif adjective immature

Details:

immature

As in English, it is mainly used as a predicate adjective when you are meaning "immature,"  i.e. young and / or inexperienced, e.g. "Da war ich unreif und dumm" ("I was then still immature and dumb"). It can be found as an attributive adjective "unreife Jungs" ("immature boys"), but it is most often encountered with fruit when used that way, in which case it means "unripe," e.g. "unreifes Obst hat keinen Geschmack" ("unripe fruit has no taste"). Of course, this last sense does not evoke the Character Trait: Negative frame.


Further details:

Synonyms:

"unerfahren," "albern," "infantil," "kindisch," "unerwachsen"

More information in DWDS, the digital dictionary of the German language:

„unreif“, bereitgestellt durch das Digitale Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache, <https://www.dwds.de/wb/unreif>, abgerufen am 23.05.2022.

Example Sentences:

  1. Da war ich unreif und dumm.
  2. Er war nur noch unreif und gar nicht mehr jugendlich.
  3. Sie wirkt trotzig, auch unsicher, unreif.
  4. Warum scheinen alle Männer, die wir kennenlernen, unreife Jungs zu sein? 
  1. I was then still immature and dumb.
  2. He was only still immature and not at all youthful anymore.
  3. She seems defiant, also unsure, immature.
  4. Why do all men we meet seem to be immature boys?

Grammar:

Adjectives in Action

There are two main ways to use adjectives in German that parallel the ways adjectives are used in English:

Firstly, you can use them after some form of "sein" ("to be"), as in "Adjektive sind faszinierend" ("adjectives are fascinating"). This one is easy. Other verbs like "werden" ("to become") may be used in this context also. We call these "predicate adjectives" because they appear after the verb to give information about the subject.

Secondly, you can use adjectives directly before a noun, as in "die eifersüchtige Frau" ("the jealous woman/wife"). In this context, we call it an "attributive adjective" because it directly attributes some quality to the noun. These can be a little tricky because they require an extra adjective ending, typically "-e" or "-en."

These usages are illustrated in the table below.

 Predicate AdjectivesAttributive Adjectives
1.

Sara ist arbeitslos.
Sara is unemployed.

Saras arbeitsloser Mann sucht einen Job.
Sara's unemployed husband is looking for a job.
2.

Der Kunde wurde wütend.
The customer became angry.

Der wütende Kunde verließ den Laden.
The angry customer left the store.
3.Viele deutsche Wähler sind gut informiert.
Many German voters are well informed.
Informierte Wähler sind wichtig für eine Demokratie.
Informed voters are important for a democracy.

Depending on how advanced you are in German, you may want to delve into the wonders of adjective endings (for highly motivated, grammar-oriented or advanced students), or you may want to simply note that they have an "e" (or more) at the end and move on with your life (recommended for those in the first or second year of study). If you so desire, you can learn more about using adjective endings in Grimm Grammar (after der-wordsafter ein-wordswithout articles).

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 NOT 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 in Grimm Grammar.

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. PROTAGONIST ist unreif.
  2. [unreif- PROTAGONIST]
  1. PROTAGONIST is immature.
  2. [immature PROTAGONIST]

Details:

immature

As in English, it is mainly used as a predicate adjective when you are meaning "immature,"  i.e. young and / or inexperienced, e.g. "Da war ich unreif und dumm" ("I was then still immature and dumb"). It can be found as an attributive adjective "unreife Jungs" ("immature boys"), but it is most often encountered with fruit when used that way, in which case it means "unripe," e.g. "unreifes Obst hat keinen Geschmack" ("unripe fruit has no taste"). Of course, this last sense does not evoke the Character Trait: Negative frame.


Further details:

Synonyms:

"unerfahren," "albern," "infantil," "kindisch," "unerwachsen"

More information in DWDS, the digital dictionary of the German language:

„unreif“, bereitgestellt durch das Digitale Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache, <https://www.dwds.de/wb/unreif>, abgerufen am 23.05.2022.

Alternate Forms:

unreifer, am unreifsten
unsympathisch adjective unpleasant

Details:

unpleasant

Even though English speakers will want to translate "unsympathisch" as "unsympathetic," its best translation is "unpleasant" or even "unlikeable." If you want to say that someone is lacking in sympathy, you would use something like "ohne Mitgefühl" ("without sympathy") or "verständnislos" ("understanding-less").


Further details:

Synonyms:

"missfallend," "unliebenswürdig," "abstoßend," "unausstehlich," "unerträglich," "widerwärtig"

More information in DWDS, the digital dictionary of the German language:

„unsympathisch“, bereitgestellt durch das Digitale Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache, <https://www.dwds.de/wb/unsympathisch>, abgerufen am 23.05.2022.

Example Sentences:

  1. Sie ist mir einfach unsympathisch.
  2. Bill Maher ist ein ausgesprochen unsympathischer Mensch.
  3. 45 Prozent finden Menschen mit dicken Autos unsympathisch.
  4. Er machte einen äußerst unsympathischen Eindruck.
  1. I simply find her unpleasant.
  2. Bill Maher is a really unpleasant person.
  3. 45 percent find people with big cars unpleasant.
  4. He made an extremely unpleasant impression.

Grammar:

Adjectives in Action

There are two main ways to use adjectives in German that parallel the ways adjectives are used in English:

Firstly, you can use them after some form of "sein" ("to be"), as in "Adjektive sind faszinierend" ("adjectives are fascinating"). This one is easy. Other verbs like "werden" ("to become") may be used in this context also. We call these "predicate adjectives" because they appear after the verb to give information about the subject.

Secondly, you can use adjectives directly before a noun, as in "die eifersüchtige Frau" ("the jealous woman/wife"). In this context, we call it an "attributive adjective" because it directly attributes some quality to the noun. These can be a little tricky because they require an extra adjective ending, typically "-e" or "-en."

These usages are illustrated in the table below.

 Predicate AdjectivesAttributive Adjectives
1.

Sara ist arbeitslos.
Sara is unemployed.

Saras arbeitsloser Mann sucht einen Job.
Sara's unemployed husband is looking for a job.
2.

Der Kunde wurde wütend.
The customer became angry.

Der wütende Kunde verließ den Laden.
The angry customer left the store.
3.Viele deutsche Wähler sind gut informiert.
Many German voters are well informed.
Informierte Wähler sind wichtig für eine Demokratie.
Informed voters are important for a democracy.

Depending on how advanced you are in German, you may want to delve into the wonders of adjective endings (for highly motivated, grammar-oriented or advanced students), or you may want to simply note that they have an "e" (or more) at the end and move on with your life (recommended for those in the first or second year of study). If you so desire, you can learn more about using adjective endings in Grimm Grammar (after der-wordsafter ein-wordswithout articles).

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 NOT 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 in Grimm Grammar.

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. PROTAGONIST ist unsympathisch.
  2. [unsympathisch- PROTAGONIST]
  1. PROTAGONIST is unpleasant.
  2. [unpleasant PROTAGONIST]

Details:

unpleasant

Even though English speakers will want to translate "unsympathisch" as "unsympathetic," its best translation is "unpleasant" or even "unlikeable." If you want to say that someone is lacking in sympathy, you would use something like "ohne Mitgefühl" ("without sympathy") or "verständnislos" ("understanding-less").


Further details:

Synonyms:

"missfallend," "unliebenswürdig," "abstoßend," "unausstehlich," "unerträglich," "widerwärtig"

More information in DWDS, the digital dictionary of the German language:

„unsympathisch“, bereitgestellt durch das Digitale Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache, <https://www.dwds.de/wb/unsympathisch>, abgerufen am 23.05.2022.

Alternate Forms:

unsympathischer, am unsympathischsten
unwirsch adjective snappy, gruff, brusque

Details:

snappy, gruff, brusque

Used as you would use these words in English, for Protagonists who are grumpy, sullen, and / or rude to their fellow humans. This term has a slight emphasis on the "snappy" meaning, when compared to the near synonym "barsch" ("harsh, gruff, brusque") while "bissig" ("biting") focuses even more strongly on this aspect. "Ruppig," in contrast, highlights an "abrasive" quality. 

This term can also be used as an adverb.


Further details:

Synonyms:

"verdrießlich," "mürrisch," "abweisend," "rüde," "unfreundlich," "grantig," "knurrig," among others

More information in DWDS, the digital dictionary of the German language:

„unwirsch“, bereitgestellt durch das Digitale Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache, <https://www.dwds.de/wb/unwirsch>, abgerufen am 23.05.2022.

Example Sentences:

  1. Wenn er nicht gewinnt, wird er unwirsch, übellaunig, schmallippig.
  2. Mit einer unwirschen Handbewegung wedelte er mich auf meinen Platz. 
  3. Von Anfang an ist ihr Ton gereizt, unwirsch, angespannt.
  4. "Papi," rief Luise unwirsch, "du verstehst das nicht."
  1. If he doesn't win, he becomes brusque, bad tempered and thin lipped.
  2. With a brusque hand gesture he waved me to my seat.
  3. From the start, her tone is irritated, snappy, tense.
  4. "Daddy," called Luise gruffly, "you don't understand it."

Grammar:

Adjectives in Action

There are two main ways to use adjectives in German that parallel the ways adjectives are used in English:

Firstly, you can use them after some form of "sein" ("to be"), as in "Adjektive sind faszinierend" ("adjectives are fascinating"). This one is easy. Other verbs like "werden" ("to become") may be used in this context also. We call these "predicate adjectives" because they appear after the verb to give information about the subject.

Secondly, you can use adjectives directly before a noun, as in "die eifersüchtige Frau" ("the jealous woman/wife"). In this context, we call it an "attributive adjective" because it directly attributes some quality to the noun. These can be a little tricky because they require an extra adjective ending, typically "-e" or "-en."

These usages are illustrated in the table below.

 Predicate AdjectivesAttributive Adjectives
1.

Sara ist arbeitslos.
Sara is unemployed.

Saras arbeitsloser Mann sucht einen Job.
Sara's unemployed husband is looking for a job.
2.

Der Kunde wurde wütend.
The customer became angry.

Der wütende Kunde verließ den Laden.
The angry customer left the store.
3.Viele deutsche Wähler sind gut informiert.
Many German voters are well informed.
Informierte Wähler sind wichtig für eine Demokratie.
Informed voters are important for a democracy.

Depending on how advanced you are in German, you may want to delve into the wonders of adjective endings (for highly motivated, grammar-oriented or advanced students), or you may want to simply note that they have an "e" (or more) at the end and move on with your life (recommended for those in the first or second year of study). If you so desire, you can learn more about using adjective endings in Grimm Grammar (after der-wordsafter ein-wordswithout articles).

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 NOT 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 in Grimm Grammar.

Adjectives as Adverbs

Most German adjectives can serve a dual purpose in the grammar - one where they are used as adjectives to apply their meaning to nouns, and one where they are used as adjectives and apply their meaning to an action (verb) or another adjective. The best and most frequent example is "gut," which is translated into English as either "good" (adjective) or "well" (adverb). The examples below illustrate different contexts in which "gut" can appear.

GermanEnglish
1. Der Film war sehr gut.The film was very good.
2. Ich habe gut geschlafen.I have slept well.
3. Der Aufsatz war gut geschrieben.The essay was well written.

Determining whether an adjective can be used as an adverb is not usually too difficult, although if you are in doubt, bilingual dictionaries indicate whether an adjective can be used this way by listing an adverb as a translation. Typically, it comes down to whether it would make sense as an adverb or not. So, for example, "rot" ("red") cannot be used as an adverb to modify a verb's action because it doesn't make sense to describe actions as "redly." On the other hand, it can be applied to another adjective, as in "rot gestrichene Wände" (lit. "redly painted walls"). If in doubt, look it up!

Templates with Frame Elements:

  1. PROTAGONIST ist unwirsch.
  2. [unwirsch- EXPRESSOR]
  3. [unwirsch- PROTAGONIST]
  1. PROTAGONIST is snappy/gruff/brusque.
  2. [snappy/gruff/brusque EXPRESSOR]
  3. [snappy/gruff/brusque PROTAGONIST]

Details:

snappy, gruff, brusque

Used as you would use these words in English, for Protagonists who are grumpy, sullen, and / or rude to their fellow humans. This term has a slight emphasis on the "snappy" meaning, when compared to the near synonym "barsch" ("harsh, gruff, brusque") while "bissig" ("biting") focuses even more strongly on this aspect. "Ruppig," in contrast, highlights an "abrasive" quality. 

This term can also be used as an adverb.


Further details:

Synonyms:

"verdrießlich," "mürrisch," "abweisend," "rüde," "unfreundlich," "grantig," "knurrig," among others

More information in DWDS, the digital dictionary of the German language:

„unwirsch“, bereitgestellt durch das Digitale Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache, <https://www.dwds.de/wb/unwirsch>, abgerufen am 23.05.2022.

Alternate Forms:

unwirscher, am unwirschesten