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The suffix isch

The suffix isch is one of the most frequently used suffixes to form new adjectives.

Derivation types:  Noun to adjective
Adjective to adjective
Verb to adjective
Neoclassical formative to adjective

Noun to adjective

Alkohol + isch = alkoholisch
Babylon babylonisch
Mörder mörderisch
All derivations

  • Umlaut:
    The stem can be umlauted:
    Argwohn + isch = argwöhnisch
    Stadt städtisch
    Sturm stürmisch
  • Deletion of e and en:
    When the noun ends in e or en (unstressed), the ending is deleted:
    Schule + isch = schulisch
    Schurke schurkisch
    Baden badisch
  • e-deletion with el:
    When the noun ends in el (unstressed), the e of the noun stem is deleted:
    Bibel + isch = biblisch
    Himmel himmlisch
    Teufel teuflisch
  • Deletion of foreign endings:
    Some foreign endings are regularly deleted before isch. For example:
    Melodie + isch = melodisch
    Keramik keramisch
    Rhythmus rhythmisch
    Evangelium evangelisch
    Epos episch
    Sambia sambisch
  • Combined derivation:
    ig can also form new adjectives from combinations of an adjective (or number) and a noun:
    ein + Base + isch = einbasisch
    fremd Land fremdländisch
    alt Vater altväterisch
    All derivations
Cf. the suffix variants that derive adjectives from nouns: alisch, anisch, arisch, atisch, etisch, inisch, istisch, itisch, orisch.

Adjective to adjective

Apart from a few exceptions, the suffix isch is only added to adjectives of foreign origin:

kristallin + isch = kristallinisch
lexikal lexikalisch
planetar planetarisch
All derivations

Verb to adjective

The suffix isch is rarely added to verbs.

keifen + isch = keifisch
misstrauen misstrauisch
necken neckisch
All derivations

  • Umlaut:
    The stem can be umlauted:
    murren + isch = mürrisch
    zanken zänkisch

Neoclassical formative to adjective

elektr + isch = elektrisch
naut nautisch
tox toxisch
All derivations

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