Combining words

The German Language is notable for the extensive use of compound words. Nouns, verbs, adjectives etc are combined to make new words without use of hyphens. This index page gives common combinations and some idea of the gender and meaning of the resulting words.

Eventually each item below will link to a page of info and examples, but none is ready now.

Noun + Noun ==> Noun

Noun + noun is the most frequent combination. Note that the compound takes its gender from the last component:

der Vater das Land ==> das Vaterland
the father the land ==> the native country

The first component is frequently a noun in the genitive singular:

der Geist die Kraft ==> Geisteskraft
the spirit the power ==> intellectual power

Adjective + Noun ==> Noun

The adjective usually remains uninflected:

jung die Frau ==> die Jungfrau
young the woman ==> the maiden

Verb + Noun ==> Noun 

The first component is a verbal stem:

kaufen der Preis ==> der Kaufpreis
to buy the price ==> the purchase price

[Adverb, preposition, or particle] + Noun 

ja das Wort ==> das Jawort
yes the word ==> the assent

Noun + Adjective ==> Adjective 

The first component is the noun in either the nominative or genitive:

das Apfel rund ==> Apfelrund
the appel round ==> as round as an apple

Adjective (or Adverb) + Adjective ==> Adjective

hell grün ==> hellgrün
bright green ==> bright-green


Written by Harold Eddleman, Ph. D., President, Indiana Biolab, 14045 Huff St., Palmyra IN 47164

Suggestions, corrections, and comments are appreciated: Contact Harold Eddleman indbio@disknet.com