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Basic patterns in German language

Compounds in German


You may have noticed that German has great vocabulary. German uses compounds (a word that is made up of more than one noun) more often than English.

Formation of compounds and possibilities:

  • Noun -> adjective:  You can take the german suffix "-los" to form adjectives and adverbs from nouns (equivalent of the English suffix "-less"). Example: Ende -> endlos (English: End -> endless)
  • Noun -> adjective: You can take the german suffix "-haft" to form adjectives from nouns to designate qualities or behaviour. Example: Kind -> kindhaft (English: child - childlike)
  • Verb -> noun: You can take the german suffix "-ung" to the stem of some verbs to form a noun (Note: all nouns ending in -ung are feminine in German).
  • adjective -> adjective: You can take the german prefix "un-" to give a word the opposite meaning.  sauber -> unsauber (English: clean - unclean)


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