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Indefinite Quantity Adjectives (Unbestimmte Zahladjektive)

Let’s take a look today at adjectives that define quantitative amounts without actually resorting to the specifics of numbers. The most common of them, viele (“much” or “many”) and wenige (“little” or “not many”), are used irregularly, however, so let’s check them out first. When viele and wenige occur as a definite article or after a definite article, they are conjugated as normal adjectives: 

Für die vielen amerikanischen Soldaten im amerikanischen Sektor…

For the many American soldiers in the American Sector...

Caption 9, Berlin: der alte amerikanische Sektor

But when viele or wenige occur without an article before a singular noun, they are usually left unconjugated: 

Aber dafür bleibt wohl wenig Zeit.

But there seems to be too little time for that.

Caption 25, Fußball: Torwandschießen

As you can see above, a normal adjective for the feminine word die Zeit would, in the nominative case as here, end with an “e.” Wenig is a little different!

Here are some examples of more typical indefinite quantity adjectives, which are conjugated as normal adjectives. We can start will alle (“everything”):

Natürlich stehe ich hinter allen Songs.

Of course I'm behind all of the songs.

Caption 62, Deutsche Bands: Luxuslärm

And then wind up with keine (“none” or “no”): 

Bisher allerdings ist noch keine Schildkröte in Sicht. 

Up to now though there's still no turtle in sight.

Caption 43, Ausgrabungen: Auf den Spuren der Dinosaurier

Some other common indefinite quantity adjectives to look out for are: beide (both), einige (some), einzelne (single, individual), ganze (whole), gesamte (entire), manche (some), sonstige (other, further), übrige (the rest), weitere (further), zahllose (innumerable), and zahlreiche (numerous). 

Learning suggestions:

Keep your eyes out in every Yabla video for the many ways that indefinite quantity adjectives are used, and pay particular attention to the way that viele and wenige are conjugated, because the irregular usage will take some training and getting a feel for! For a further foray into the world of indefinite quantity adjectives written in German, take a look here and here. Ich wünsche euch viel Spaß beim Lernen!

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