In German, we can create new adjectives by taking an existing adjective, verb, or noun and adding a prefix or suffix to it. Each prefix and suffix has a specific meaning, allowing us to express opposites, possibilities, and more.
There are no universal rules, as there are more than 30 different prefixes and suffixes used to create new adjectives. The following forms are the most important and most often used.
With the prefixes "in-," "des-," and "un-" we can create the opposite of the adjective:
There is no universal rule telling you which prefix to use when constructing opposites.
With the ending "-bar" we can show that it is possible to do something. The verb ending "-en" goes away.
We use the ending "-isch" to describe many nationalities. The original ending goes away
But: „der Deutsche“ ⇒ „deutsch“
With the ending "-lich" we can talk about frequency or ownership of something (one-syllable words gain an umlaut).
Ownership: „das Haus der Eltern“ ⇒ „das elterliche Haus“ (seldomly used)
We use the ending "-los" to talk about the absence of something → in the sense of the word "without."
"-los" can be added to nouns only. Sometimes we have to add an "s" before the "-los."
There's no general rule about when you have to add an "-s" or not.
With the ending "-arm" we can express that there is very little of something (only used with nouns):
With the ending "-frei" we can express that there is NOTHING of something (only used with nouns):
With the ending "-reich" we can express that there is a lot of something (only used with nouns):
A detailed explanation of the rules for adjective declension.
An overview of what you have to pay attention to when dealing with adjectives in general.
Adjective declension depends on whether there is a definite article, indefinite article (including possessive determiners or the negative article), or no article at all (the zero article) in front of the adjective.