Formes comparatives et superlatives en allemand : Adjectifs et adverbes

In German, like in many other languages, adjectives and adverbs can be used in different forms to express degrees of comparison. Understanding how to form comparatives and superlatives is essential for effective communication in German. Let’s look into the comparative and superlative forms of adjectives and adverbs in German, along with examples to illustrate their usage.

 

Comparative Forms of Adjectives

When comparing two things or people in German, you use the comparative form of adjectives. The comparative is formed differently depending on whether the adjective is a weak or strong adjective.

Weak Adjectives

Weak adjectives are those that already have an ending in their base form. To form the comparative, you simply add “er” to the end of the adjective.

Exemples :

  • alt (ancien) -> älter (older)
  • jung (jeune) -> jünger (younger)
  • klein (petit) -> kleiner (smaller)

Strong Adjectives

Strong adjectives are those that do not have an ending in their base form. To form the comparative, you add “er” to the end of the adjective and add an umlaut (¨) to the vowel if possible.

Exemples :

  • groß (grand) -> größer (bigger)
  • klug (clever) -> klüger (cleverer)
  • schön (beau) -> schöner (more beautiful)

 

Superlative Forms of Adjectives

The superlative form is used when comparing one thing or person to all others in a group. In German, similar to comparatives, the formation of superlatives also depends on whether the adjective is weak or strong.

Weak Adjectives

To form the superlative with weak adjectives, you add “am” before the adjective and “sten” at the end.

Exemples :

  • alt (ancien) -> am ältesten (oldest)
  • jung (jeune) -> am jüngsten (youngest)
  • klein (petit) -> am kleinsten (smallest)

Strong Adjectives

For strong adjectives, you add “am” before the adjective and “sten” at the end, along with an umlaut (¨) if possible.

Exemples :

  • groß (grand) -> am größten (biggest)
  • klug (clever) -> am klügsten (cleverest)
  • schön (beau) -> am schönsten (most beautiful)

 

Comparative Forms of Adverbs

Comparative forms of adverbs are used to compare the intensity or manner of action between two things.

Formation

In German, to form the comparative of adverbs, you typically add “er” to the adverb.

Exemple :

  • schnell (rapide) -> schneller (faster)
  • laut (loudly) -> lauter (louder)
  • gut (well) -> besser (better)

 

Superlative Forms of Adverbs

Superlative forms of adverbs are used to describe the highest degree of intensity or manner of action.

Formation

To form the superlative of adverbs, you typically add “am” before the adverb and “sten” at the end.

Exemple :

  • schnell (rapide) -> am schnellsten (fastest)
  • laut (loudly) -> am lautesten (loudest)
  • gut (well) -> am besten (best)