Adjectives

Adjectives are words that describe nouns. They can describe the physical appearance of a noun: 'lange - long'; the quality of a noun: 'halig - holy'; or the quantity of a noun: 'manig - many'. Adjectives decline (take different endings) in agreement with the case, gender and number of the noun or pronoun that they modify. However, they also decline differently depending on how they are used in a sentence.

Weak Adjectives are preceded by a demonstrative pronoun or possessive pronoun: Se haliga abbod.

Strong Adjectives are not linked to a noun with a demonstrative pronoun: Halig abbod.

For example, look at 'eald - old' in the two sentences below. In the first sentence, there is no demonstrative pronoun before the adjective, so it is strong. In the second sentence, the adjective follows the demonstrative pronoun 'se', so 'eald' gains the suffix 'a' to show it is weak.

Alfred cyning
Singular
Subject
is
Verb
 
eald
Strong
Adjective

Se
Demonstrative
pronoun
ealda
Weak
Adjective
cyning
singular
subject

Adjectives do not belong to a certain type of declension, and most adjectives can be either strong or weak depending on the syntax of the sentence. Let's take a closer look at the differences between how strong and weak adjectives decline.

Return to Pronouns Overview Continue to Weak Adjectives