You can also use Adjectives and Participles as Nouns. Then they mostly stand for people or abstracts (things you can't touch). They are nouns, but you still must decline them like Adjectives. You usually omit the noun because it is obvious and/or common knowledge. The Adjective then becomes a noun and must be capitalized.
- „Ein fremder Mann klingelt an der Tür.“ = „Ein Fremder klingelt an der Tür.“
- „Ein obdachloser Mensch schläft auf der Straße.“ = „Ein Obdachloser schläft auf der Straße.“
Usually, the following applies: Article + Adjective/Participle + Noun
- „Sandra hat schon wieder einen neuen Freund.“
When using Adjective/Participle as noun, remove the original noun (it must be obvious what we are talking about):
- „Sandra hat schon wieder einen Neuen.“
„Freund“ is obvious here and can be omitted. The Adjective becomes a noun, and you must capitalize it. However, you still have to apply the Adjective Declension. Nouns such as „Mensch“ or „Frau“ are often omitted because we usually know who we are talking about.
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Adjective as Noun
- „Die Deutschen arbeiten viel.“
Participles as Nouns
As described in lesson 4, you can use Participles as Adjectives. Accordingly, we can omit the Noun after them - if obvious - and use them as Nouns, like any other Adjective.
- „Beim Flugzeugabsturz gab es keine Überlebenden.“
- „Der Vermisste konnte noch nicht gefunden werden.“
Other lessons on Adjectives include:
- What is Adjective?
- Adjective Declension
- Adjective Declension (Step by Step Guide)
- Comparison of Adjectives (Comparative & Superlative)
- The Participle as an Adjective
- German Adjective Formation
In order to use Adjective intensification, the Comparative and the Superlative correctly, you must also be familiar with Articles and the German cases:
- Definite Article
- Indefinite Article
- Possessive Article
- Negative Article
- Zero Article
- German Cases (Nominative, Accusative, Dative, Genitive)
You can find an overview of all topics under German Grammar.