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 -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

Word-Formation

Grammar Review Home

Dartmouth German
    Studies Department


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".

 
  Long-Lasting Hair Removal
 

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"

1 Quoted from a discussion about ethnic minorities at ( http://www.politik.de/forum/mittelmeer/167062-sprach-29.html ).
back to text 1

2 R. B. Farrell, Dictionary of German Synonyms, 3rd edition (Cambridge UP, 1977), p. 177.
back to text 2

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).
back to text 3