Klasse pur!


Senior Member
I'm not sure if I get this right, but I've heard this expression often while watching fragments of German documentaries or shows:

Klasse pur!, or Das ist Klasse pur!

presumably with the meaning of "Wonderful!" or "Unbelievable!"

Have I heard that right? Is the "pur" at the end an adverb or an adjective?
  • Hutschi

    Senior Member
    Hi, you heared it right.
    In German it is an adjective. Duden | pur | Rechtschreibung, Bedeutung, Definition, Herkunft
    In your sentence it belongs to "Klasse!". In German it is seldom that the adjective is behind the noun.

    It is much stronger than "Das ist pure Klasse." "Pure Klasse" is not even very idiomatic in German. Better: Das ist einfach klasse!

    Another (more literal, but not better) translation is: "This is simply excellent."/"This is excellent in pure form."
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    Senior Member
    German, High German
    It is much stronger than "Das ist pure Klasse." "Pure Klasse" is not even very idiomatic in German. Better: Das ist einfach klasse!

    I wouldn't call it "much stronger", but Das ist Chemie pur! - for example - is more idiomatic and indeed sounds a bit stronger and even more unhealthy...


    Senior Member
    Is this adjective used predicatively? Or is it a special form? Is there a name for this construction? I've never seen anything like that in mainstream grammars.
    You won't find this example in canonical grammar because
    it's colloquial
    it's not idiomatic at all
    i made a predicate nominative from "klasse" to show you, that "pur" is an adjective. (It's possible here because the nomen "Klasse" could mean the same as the adjective "klasse" (excellent, outstanding))

    I have to admit, that I probably can't name it grammatically, but I think it's called "untergeordnetes Attribut" (subordinated adjective). So, in your example you used two adjectives predicatively, but that way that it strongly depends on, where each one of them stands, because the second one describes the first one. This is because the first one belongs to a set phrase. It doesn't matter though, if the adjectives are used predicatively, like in your emphasis, or as "real" adjectives. It just depends on the position of the adjectives in the construction. However, the only hint you have, to identify a subordinated adjective, is that there's nether a comma between them. For example

    "Das ist ein schöner alter Baum."

    isn't the same as

    "Das ist ein alter, schöner Baum."

    and neither the same as,

    "Das ist ein schöner, alter Baum"

    because in the first phrase the "alter" describes the "schöner" more detailed than the Baum. "Alter Baum" here is the set phrase.


    Senior Member


    Senior Member
    possibly two adjectives, therefore not inflected
    I don't think so, because 'pur' is also used with other nouns, which are of course capitalized (cf. 'Wohlfühlen pur'):
    (or 'Vergnügen pur')

    To my ears, 'Klasse pur' rather sounds as if there was a comma between the two words: Klasse, pur where the adjective 'pur' is not inflected because it represents a sort of isolated statement or addition.
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    Senior Member
    German - Austria
    I agree with bearded.

    If you're looking at "Das ist klasse pur!", it's clear why the adjectives are not inflected. Predicative adjectives always are uninflected.
    If you're looking at "Das ist Klasse pur!", you have to look at the adjective-noun connection.
    In MHG, postpositioned adjectives were possible in both forms inflected and uninflected, but in modern German we tend to use uninflected forms (e.g. Urlaub de lux, Natur pur, Forelle blau, etc.)

    It seems that marketing and advertising lingo has revived the postpositioned adjective in modern German. It has its place in the German language but with a limited number of adjectives. To me, it also carries a bit of a different nuance than the conventional prepositioned adjective; it's more expressive and draws a stronger focus to the adjective.

    PS: To be honest, I'm not familiar with "Das ist klasse pur" (interpreted as 2 adjectives)
    I'd probably interpret it as "Das ist Klasse pur" and it conveys something like "Now, that's what I call class!" (in the sense of style, sophistication, elegance.)