Some Suffixes for Forming Nouns:

-ant -antin -är -ärin -art -at -ator -chen -e -ei -el -ent -entin -er -erei -erin -eur -eurin -euse -heit -i -ie -ik -ismus -ist -ität -istin -keit -kunde -lein -ler -ling -nis -ologie -or -orin -öse -sal -schaft -sel -sorte -st -t -tät -tum -ung -wesen -zeug

Some Suffixes for Forming Adjectives and Adverbs:

-arm -artig -bar -en -er -erlei -erlich -fach -fältig -frei -gemäß -haft -haftig -ig -iv -isch -leer -lich -los -mal -malig -mäßig -reich -voll -sam -wert -würdig


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Dartmouth German
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Like English, German often employs suffixes to add meaning or to produce other parts of speech. Here is a further discussion of this phenomenon, already introduced with examples derived from the verb "sprechen".

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Using the Suffix "-e" to Derive Feminine Nouns from Verbs:

    Certain verbs add "-e" to the present or past verb stem (with or without an umlaut) to create a feminine noun. The plural is "-n".

    Verb Noun Plural Meaning
    ehren die Ehre  die Ehren honor
    haben die Habe  die Haben belongings; chattels
    lieben die Liebe  [no plural] love
    waschen die Wäsche  [no plural] laundry; linens
    lügen die Lüge die Lügen lie
    nehmen die Einnahme die Einnahmen revenue
    schrauben die Schraube die Schrauben screw
    sprechen die Sprache die Sprachen language

Here are some others that are also (mostly) feminine after adding the suffix "-t" or "-st":

    ankommen die Ankunft die Ankünfte arrival
    dienen der [!] Dienst die Dienste service
    fahren die Fahrt die Fahrten drive; trip
    können die Kunst die Künste art; craft
    laden die Last die Lasten burden
    machen [!] die Macht die Mächte power; might
    tun die Tat die Taten deed

Using "-e" to Derive Nouns from Adjectives (in addition to Adjectival Nouns )

The Diminutives "-chen" and "-lein"

The Suffixes "-los", "-leer", "-arm", and "-frei" all indicate a lack or scarcity.

"-los" is cognate with the English "-less" and has the same function:
"arbeitslos" (unemployed); "ärmellos" (sleeveless); "bewegungslos" (motionless); "endlos" (never-ending); "gefühllos" (unfeeling); "humorlos" (humorless); "mitleidslos" (unpitying); "regungslos" (motionless); "sprachlos" (speechless); "verantwortungslos" (irresponsible).

"-leer" means empty of, indicating that something used to be there that is now gone:
"luftleer" (void of air); "menschenleer" (empty of people; deserted).

"-arm" means low in:
"fettarm" (low-fat); "kalorienarm" (low in calories).

"-frei" means free of and implies something positive:
"eisfrei" (clear of ice); "sorgenfrei" (carefree).

The Suffixes "-mäßig" and "-gemäß":

    "-mäßig" and "-gemäß" establish an abstract connection to the stem word. Modern usage sometimes goes overboard in their application:

    "berufsmäßig" (professional; related to the profession)
        Diese Arbeit bringt mit sich wenig berufsmäßige Erfahrung.
        This work provides little professional experience.

    "gesetzmäßig" (lawful; legal)
        Sein Prozess war gesetzmäßig verlaufen.
        His trial had proceeded legally.

    "zahlenmäßig" (in terms of numbers);
    "leistungsmäßig" (in terms of accomplishment)
        Nicht zahlenmäßig, aber leistungsmäßig war der Verein gut repräsentiert.
        The club was well-represented in terms of accomplishment, if not in numbers.

    "sprachmäßig" (in terms of language)
        Die ausländische Studentin hat es sprachmäßig sehr weit gebracht.
        The foreign student has achieved a lot in terms of language.

    "verfassungssmäßig" (constitutional")
        Das Gericht hat noch nicht entschieden, ob dieses Gesetz verfassungssmäßig ist.
        The court hasn't yet decided if this law is constitutional.

    "wettergemäß" (weatherwise)
        Wettergemäß ist der Tag schön.
        Weatherwise it's a beautiful day.

The Suffixes "-reich", and "-voll":

    "-reich" and "-voll" indicate having a significant amount of something desirable:

    "kalorienreich" (rich in calories); "segensreich" (beneficial); "traditionsreich" (full of tradition).

The Suffix "-sam":

    "-sam", cognate with the English "-some" (e.g. "handsome") denotes an inclination toward the quality implied by the stem:

    "biegsam" (flexible); "einsam" (lonely; solitary); "empfindsam" (sensitive; sentimental); "enthaltsam" (abstemious); "erholsam" (restorative); "folgsam" (obedient); "furchtsam" (timid); "gewaltsam" (violent); "langsam" (slow); "mühsam" (laborius; tedious); "ratsam" (advisable); schweigsam (taciturn); "seltsam" (strange; peculiar); "sparsam" (thrifty); "unaufhaltsam" (inexorable); "wirksam" (efficacious).

The Suffixes "-wert" and "-würdig":

    "-wert" and "-würdig" denote that something is worth doing:

    "fragwürdig" (questionable); "glaubwürdig" (believable); "hörenswert" (worth listen to"); "lesenswert" (worth reading); "liebenswert" (lovable; adorable); "liebenswürdig" (lovable; kind; agreeable); "merkwürdig" (strange); "sehenswert" or "sehenswürdig" (worth seeing); "vertrauenswürdig" (trustworthy); "wissenswert" (worth knowing).

1 Quoted from a discussion about ethnic minorities at ( ).
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2 R. B. Farrell, Dictionary of German Synonyms, 3rd edition (Cambridge UP, 1977), p. 177.
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3 Note that "-er" also creates the adjectival form of a city. The adjective is capitalized and not inflected (see: "-er" as an adjectival suffix).
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