Easy Learning German

Using nouns - Easy Learning Grammar German

  • In German, all nouns are either masculine, feminine or neuter. This is called their gender. In English, we call all things – for example, table, car, book, apple – ‘it’, but in German, even words for things have a gender. It is important to know that the gender of German nouns rarely relates to the sex of the person or thing it refers to. For example, in German, the word for “man” is masculine, but the word for “girl” is neuter and the word for “person” is feminine.
der Mannman
das Mädchengirl
die Personperson
TipGerman nouns are always written with a capital letter.
  • Whenever you are using a noun, you need to know whether it is masculine, feminine or neuter as this affects the form of other words used with it, such as:
  • adjectives that describe it
  • articles (such as der or ein) that go before it
  • pronouns (such as er or sie) that replace it
  • You can find information about gender by looking the word up in a dictionary – in the Easy Learning German Dictionary, for example, you will find the definite article (the word for the) in front of the word. When you come across a new noun, always learn the word for the that goes with it to help you remember its gender.
  • der before a noun tells you it is masculine
  • die before a noun tells you it is feminine
  • das before a noun tells you it is neuter
  • For more information on the Definite article, see Articles.
  • We refer to something as singular when we are talking about just one, and as plural when we are talking about more than one. The singular is the form of the noun you will usually find when you look a noun up in the dictionary. As in English, nouns in German change their form in the plural.
die Katze cat → die Katzen cats
  • Adjectives, articles and pronouns are also affected by whether a noun is singular or plural.
TipRemember that you have to use the right word for the, a and so on according to the gender and case of the German noun.

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