Skip main navigation

How are adjectives used in Frisian grammar?

Frisian grammar is a practical tool for structuring the ideas and thoughts you want to express through your own words
Let’s start this section with some adjectives. “Moai, nij, grut, lyts, lekker, goed.”
Here are some sentences from the dialogues. “It is in moaie baan.”
It’s a nice job. “In lytse krante.” A small newspaper. “In goed idee.” A good idea. “Hiel grut.” Very big. “Oare moanne.” Next month. Sometimes, we add an extra -e to the adjective; but sometimes, we don’t. First, a situation when we don’t. When the adjective is not immediately followed by a noun, we don’t add this extra -e. Look at the examples.
“It stadion is grut.” The stadium is big. “De wenkeamer is sinnich.” The living room is sunny.
“De baan is moai.” The job is nice.
“It idee is goed.” The idea is good. When the adjective is followed by a noun, the main rule is an extra -e is added, but there is always an exception. When the adjective precedes a de-word, an -e is always added. It’s “de moaie baan” and “in moaie baan”.
When the adjective precedes an it-word and “it” is used, an extra -e is added as well. “It goede idee.” But when the adjective precedes an it-word and “it” is not used– for example the indefinite article “in” is used instead– no extra -e is added. It’s “in goed idee”.
The rule is: a singular indefinite it-word generates an adjective without an -e. Here is another example. “Dat is in grut teater,”
meaning: that’s a big theatre. “Teater” is an it-word: “it grutte teater”, because the definite article “it” is used. But “in grut teater”, when the indefinite article “in” is used. Since plurals always have the article “de”, the adjective with a noun in plural use always gets an extra -e. In definite and in indefinite form. It doesn’t matter. So, it is– “De bern, de lytse bern, lytse bern.”
–small children. “De foto’s, de nije foto’s, nije foto’s.” New photos.
“De bisten, de grutte bisten, grutte bisten.” Large animals. Here are some more examples with it-words and an adjective. “It hûs.” The house. “It nije hûs.” The new house. “In nij hûs.” A new house.
“It wykein.” The weekend. “It noflike wykein.” The nice weekend. “In noflik wykein.” A nice weekend.
“Noflik wykein!” Nice weekend!

Frisian grammar is a practical tool for structuring the ideas and thoughts you want to express. Grammar is not a goal in itself, but it can be a great help.


Here are some adjectives you heard in the video above or read in the words below:

It is in moaie baan. It is a nice job.
In lytse krante. A small newspaper.
In goed idee. A good idea.
Hiel grut. Very big.
Oare moanne. Next month.


Form of the adjective

In some cases, an -e is added to an adjective.

When the adjective is not followed by a noun, when it is used independently, no -e is added.

De baan is moai. The job is nice.
It idee is goed. The idea is good.


When the adjective is followed by a noun, the main rule is that an -e is added.

It is in moaie baan. It is a nice job
Oare moanne. Next month


In one case, no -e is added — this is when the noun is a singular, indefinite it-wurd.

For example:

It idee

it goede idee in goed idee

It appartemint

it moaie appartemint in moai appartemint

So, when the noun is a de-wurd, an -e is always added.

De pizza

de lekkere pizza in lekkere pizza

De baan

de moaie baan in moaie baan


Practise with Quizlet

To practise Frisian grammar, visit our grammar section on adjectives on Quizlet.

This article is from the free online

Introduction to Frisian

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now