Nomen - Questions on words referring to an entity, person, or concept.

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112
votes
18answers
21k views

How can I better learn noun genders?

One of the things that I really liked about German, as I was studying it in college, was the very orderly grammar, which actually helped me to understand my native English better. As a non-native ...
21
votes
4answers
814 views

For new words which are often nouns who sets the gender?

I think the title sums it up but since every single thing in the universe can be referred to as a noun and German assigns every noun a gender who gets to decide the gender? Furthermore, other ...
42
votes
4answers
2k views

What is the origin of the rules about the capitalization of the first letter of each noun?

To my knowledge, German is the only language which capitalize the first letter of each of its nouns. Why is there such a rule? Meines Wissens ist Deutsch die einzige Sprache, in der der erste ...
39
votes
10answers
42k views

Why is “Fräulein” considered offensive, as opposed to “Frau”?

Does Fräulein imply that the woman being addressed is not fully a Frau? Does it imply a lower class status?
12
votes
3answers
402 views

Nouns with 2 genitive forms (-s/-es). When to use each?

Wiktionary lists 2 genitive forms for a lot of nouns (e.g. Berg, Brauch), -es and -s. For these words and others, are these forms interchangeable or are they regional? Or is one more poetic sounding ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

How is the gender of new words established?

When words are borrowed into German, how is it decided what gender that word should be? I can think of examples with all three genders: der Latte, die Jeans, das Internet. Are there ever ...
22
votes
10answers
5k views

How do Germans refer to people without caring about the gender

In German, a noun always has its own gender. However, there is a case I don't know. Suppose that there is a class with many students, both males and females, and then when I want to refer to all ...
15
votes
3answers
2k views

Neuter gender for nouns referring to children

In German we say der Mann/die Frau, but then we say das Kind/das Mädchen, so I got two questions: Are there particular historic and/or etymological reasons for this? "Das Mädchen" refers to a ...
9
votes
3answers
5k views

How to differentiate Sie (they) or Sie (you)?

Sie haben meine Brieftasche. This sentence has 2 different meanings - They have my wallet. or You have my wallet. How can I know which is intended?
24
votes
12answers
3k views

Is “dingsbums” offensive, rude, vulgar, etc?

I've heard that my favourite word "dingsbums" might not be acceptable in some circumstances due to it being related to "bumsen" which, I'm told, is some kind of a word for intimate relations. Yet ...
2
votes
3answers
865 views

Einsamkeit und Zweisamkeit

I have just encountered the word "Zweisamkeit". Till this moment I knew only "Einsamkeit" und "Gemeinsamkeit". Do you know any other words like this?
13
votes
3answers
2k views

Groß- und Kleinschreibung und Bindestrich bei Substantiv-Adjektiv-Zusammensetzungen

Werden zwei Substantive mit Bindestrich zusammengefügt, wie z. B. im Druck-Erzeugnis, werden beide großgeschrieben. Bei zwei Adjektiven, wie z. B. das deutsch-französische Wörterbuch, werden beide ...
9
votes
2answers
293 views

Gibt es Ideen oder Vorschläge für eine elegantere geschlechtsneutrale Form als das angehängte “In” wie in “BürgerInnen”?

Vielleicht geht es anderen TeilnehmerInnen dieser Plattform wie mir: ich möchte mich häufig in Wort und Schrift auf beide Geschlechter beziehen (und am liebsten auch die diversen anderen biologischen ...
8
votes
2answers
897 views

When, if at all, should I add an e to the end of a noun in the dative case?

In the past, when a noun was in the Dativ case, one would add an e at the end of the verb. This would be an example: Das habe ich zu dem Kinde gesagt. This is obviously not the case anymore, and ...
6
votes
2answers
555 views

Rules for capitalizing adjectives after “etwas, nichts…”?

Why does one write "nichts Gutes", "etwas Besseres" and so on. The rules imply they are nouns. Wiktionary says they obbey an ,,adjektivischer Deklination", there is no plural for them, etc. But ...
2
votes
3answers
446 views

Hyphen for compound nouns: Mathe-Wettbewerb or Mathewettbewerb?

I found a lot of Google results for both "Mathewettbewerb" and "Mathe-Wettbewerb". Is there a guideline that recommends one over the other? More generally, is there a guideline for when to use a ...
0
votes
0answers
74 views

Welche Substantive bilden extrem viele oder wenige Wortformen?

Viele, die bisher nur nicht oder wenig flektierende Sprachen (wie Englisch) sprechen und anfangen, Deutsch zu lernen, scheinen anfangs häufig das Gefühl zu haben, dass jede Kombination von Kasus und ...
-1
votes
3answers
505 views

Why do nouns change gender in plural? [closed]

On this site http://german.about.com/library/anfang/blanfang15.htm nouns have different genders in plural forms, why?Also is there a site where I can check the gender of nouns?
18
votes
5answers
568 views

Gibt es einen Unterschied zwischen “Haarspalterei” und “Erbsenzählerei”?

Die beiden Begiffe Haarspalterei und Erbsenzählerei lassen sich auch als Eigenschaften Personen zuschreiben. Er ist ein Haarspalter. Er ist ein Erbsenzähler. Gibt es Unterschiede zwischen ...
8
votes
5answers
2k views

Unterschied zwischen “Klamotten” und “Kleider”?

Mein Lehrer sagte, dass Klamotten ein anderes Wort für Kleider ist - aber gibt es einen Unterschied? Wann kann ich das Wort Klamotten benutzen, aber nicht Kleider? Beispiele für Klamotten und Kleider ...
7
votes
2answers
840 views

Substantivierung von zusammengesetzten schwachen Verben

Beispiel: fertig machen, bereit machen, zusammen schreiben Wird hier eine Substantivierung ausnahmslos immer zusammen geschrieben? (das Fertigmachen, das Bereitmachen, das Zusammenschreiben) Die vom ...
7
votes
2answers
314 views

Gibt es einen Unterschied zwischen »Variable« und »Veränderliche«?

Wie der Titel schon sagt, will ich wissen, ob es einen Unterschied zwischen »Variable« und »Veränderliche« gibt. In Wikipedia führt beides auf den Artikel »Variable« (Link). Der Duden führt ...
6
votes
2answers
101 views

Traditional grammar on “noun centered” phrases

What does traditional German grammar say about a phrase that (at least superficially) centers on a noun, for example, as in this (from Kafka's Der Verschollene)? »Wer ist auf dem Gang?« ertönte ...
3
votes
1answer
69 views

The grammatical case of a “free-standing” noun phrase

The question is on why den Rücken der Türe zugewendet as occurring in this quote (from Kafka’s Der Verschollene) is in the accusative case. Am Fenster saß an einem Schreibtisch, den Rücken der ...
18
votes
4answers
641 views

What gender has a “Virus”?

In German there is some confusion on the gender of "Virus" where both masculine and neuter are used: Das Influenzavirus ändert jährlich seine Oberflächenstruktur. Ich habe mir den Virus im ...
11
votes
2answers
928 views

What is the difference between Bewußtsein and Bewußtheit?

I came across the following passage reading an English version of Nietzsche's The Gay Science: Consciousness (Bewußtsein)[6] — Consciousness (Bewußtheit) is the latest development of the organic, ...
7
votes
3answers
211 views

“Film” verhält sich zu “Verfilmung” wie “Computerspiel” zu..?

Wenn ein Film produziert wird, der auf einer Literaturvorlage, Comic, Computerspiel etc. basiert, dann nennt man das "Verfilmung". Wie nennt man analog das Produzieren eines Computerspiels, das z.B. ...
6
votes
4answers
151 views

Welche vollständigen Teekesselchen gibt es?

Zwei oder mehr Wörter, die Homonyme sind, werden bei unterschiedlicher Bedeutung gleich ausgesprochen (homophon) oder gleich geschrieben (homograph) oder beides. Die Wörter haben dabei ...
6
votes
2answers
544 views

Is there a way to form a “one who [verb]s” noun?

In English, I can take just about any verb (for example to crush), and form a noun which means "one who [does that verb]" by adding -er (for example, crusher). Is there a similar formulaic alteration ...
3
votes
4answers
919 views
2
votes
0answers
39 views

Guidelines for the formation of compound nouns [duplicate]

When studying vocabulary, I have noticed some variations in the formation of compound nouns: Wirtschaft s wunder - an s is added between the two nouns. (Other examples: Alter s gruppe, Abteilung s ...
2
votes
2answers
146 views

Individuell/Individual- and Generell/General- Phenomena

Can a native German speaker kindly explain this horrible inconsequence in his language? An adjective generell but a noun die Generalprobe Another example... An adjective individuell but a noun die ...
2
votes
1answer
487 views

Is there a rapid online access to “feste Nomen-Präposition bzw. -Verb Verbindungen”?

Is it me, or is it difficult to find online, in dictionaries and so on, all the information about a "feste Nomen-Präposition Verbindungen"? Suppose you are writing in German and, for sake of ...
1
vote
1answer
96 views

Schwache Nomen, n-Deklination [closed]

My question is specifically about the noun Name. I normally see it declined as des Namens in Genitiv, though I would have expected it to be des Namen_ without the s at the end. What is the right ...