Tag Info

Hot answers tagged

75

One obvious way (still worth pointing out) is always learning vocabulary with the "der, die, das" prefix. If you memorize Der Hund Die Rose Das Haus instead of Hund Rose Haus you learn the gender automatically along the way — not unlike Latin (Rosa, Rosae, Rosam).


44

You are falling into the trap laid out carefully by German Gender Mainstreaming throughout the years. No, in German a noun does not have a gender. It has a genus. This genus is a purely grammatical property defined by tradition. By default, it has nothing to do with biological sex or sociological gender. The word der Student is a masculine noun describing ...


34

Generally I think we have to just learn them, but here are some patterns I've been told: Word ends with "a" -> feminine (die Sauna) Word ends with "e" -> feminine (die Tasche, die Küche) Word ends with "ung" -> feminine (die Entscheidung) Word ends with "chen" -> neutral (das Mädchen, das Märchen) Word comes from a foreign language -> neutral (das Hotel, ...


27

When I started to learn English, my teacher told me If you are not going to make at least a hundred mistakes every day, you are not going to improve. I believe this is true for learning any language. While in my professional career I came across a lot of German learners, all of them had at least some trouble finding the right gender - I was still ...


26

According to the Duden, both feminine and neuter genders are possible. My personal experience is that indeed most people use die E-Mail in Germany; according to the comments, people tend to say das E-Mail in Austria and Switzerland. Note that the Duden lists the word as E-Mail, not Email (the latter being also a German word for enamel).


25

The singular form is das Bächlein and, as you correctly state, this is a neuter diminutive that ends in -lein; die Bächlein is the plural form. For completeness, here is the declension table for the noun Bächlein: Singular: Plural: Nom.: das Bächlein die Bächlein Gen.: des Bächleins der Bächlein Dat.: dem Bächlein den Bächlein ...


22

Die Bowle (punch) The name stems from the english "bowl" referring the vessel it is served in. Bowle is usually cold, for hot varieties we use the term der Punsch (which is punch) One exception, though: "Feuerzangenbowle" is hot, so technically not a "Bowle". A special Bowle is die Kalte Ente ("cold duck"), basically a mix of white wine and champagne with ...


21

Eine allgemein gültige Regel gibt es meines Wissens nicht. Ich vermute, dass viele eingedeutschte Bezeichnungen ihren Artikel von der üblichen Übersetzung oder dem ähnlichsten deutschen Begriff bekommen. Weiters vermute ich, dass die Häufigkeit der Verwendung eines bestimmten Geschlechts ausschlaggebend ist. Damit meine ich, dass das entstandene Genus sich ...


21

Wie Stefan Walter in seiner Antwort bereits erläutert hat, existiert die Regel nicht. Allerdings stimmt es, dass viele deutsche Flussnamen weiblich sind. Es gibt einige wenige männliche Flussnamen. Sie sind meist vorgermanischen Ursprungs: "der Rhein", "der Main", "der Inn", "der Neckar", "der Eisack", "der Lech", "der Regen". Diese Namen haben ein ...


20

Der Grimm bestätigt dies (Auszug, Hervorhebungen von mir): antwort schwankt von altersher zwischen n. und f. goth. andavaurdi, alts. andwordi, nnl. antwoord, fries. ondwarde, onderde sind stets neutral, auch bei den meisten ahd. antwurti, nur schweift O. ins f. (Graff 1, 1023); mhd. lassen die stellen das geschlecht oft ungewis, doch hat man den stumpfen ...


18

It really is learning-by-heart, for the most part. There is no clean method to guess your way though, and no reliable pattern to learn. There is one simple rule though to determine the gender of a composite noun - it always has the gender of the last noun in the composition der Donaudampfschifffahrtsgesellschaftskapitän ...


18

As the others have said, at the end of the day, you really just have to memorize them. I found a little list of generalizations regarding regular, genitive, and plural noun endings and their associated genders, but I stress that they are no more than generalizations. That does not mean that there are no exceptions! I'll go ahead and copy them below, but ...


18

In German every cheese name is male: "der Parmesan", "der Mozzarella", "der Ricotta", "der Gouda", "der Camembert", and so on.


16

I'm sure this is a misunderstanding. Two points: The "-e"-ending appears to be a relict from times when German still formed the Dative with a suffix. It's retained in phrases like "im Jahre xxxx", in quotations like "dem Manne kann geholfen werden". Perfectly correct, if not extremely common. Secondly: Where does it say feminine on the LEO page? Edit: ...


16

Als Ergänzung und weitere Quelle sei noch das Etymologische Wörterbuch des Deutschen (nach Pfeifer) zitiert: Antwort f. ‘Erwiderung’ (auf eine Frage, auf das an jmdn. gerichtete Wort), ahd. antwurti (8. Jh.), mhd. antwürte, antwurt ist eine Kollektivbildung zu dem unter Wort (s. d.) behandelten Substantiv mit dem Präfix ant- ‘(ent)gegen’ (s. ent-). ...


16

It's "die Nacht" in the standard nominative case, but Rammstein's line is using it in the dative case, which is "der" for feminine nouns. Remember that there are 4 cases for nouns, and that the article and adjective declinations change depending on what case you are using. See here for all the different cases for Nacht.


15

As a tip or trick, it may be worth considering the technique proposed by Dominic O'Brien in his book How To Develop A Perfect Memory. The basic idea is that you take advantage of the natural human ability to memorize locations and spatial relationships. Specifically, you choose a town that you know very well and divide it into three 'districts,' each of ...


15

If you know the name, use the name. That’s the easy part. You can often still get away with ‘generisches Maskulinum’, i.e. Studenten, but in a university setting, i.e. where you’d actually use Student and Studentin to refer to students (instead of Schüler and Schülerin ‘pupil’ in a school or most other courses), it’s becoming rather common to use ...


15

Is the gender important for your statement? In this case: probably no. So use the "neutral" form which is almost always the male form. If you want to express that you are going to that type of person (or shop...) who will finally fix that rotten tooth / cut your hair / bake & sell bread... you go "zum Zahnarzt" / "zum Friseur" / "zum ...


14

It is largely true, but there are exceptions with false etymologies or old words that have been modified a lot or words that look like the opposite Latin gender to a non-expert. For example: fenestra (Latin, female) -> Fenster (German, neutral), both mean window. arcubalista (Latin=archer, male) -> Armbrust (German=crossbow, female, false etymology ...


14

Das Substantiv Ruderer ist eine männliche Personenbezeichnung, die aus dem Verbstamm ruder (vom Verb rudern) und der Endung -er gebildet wird. Weibliche Bezeichnungen werden mit dem Suffix -in zur männlichen Form gebildet. Da das Doppel-er in der Mitte eines Wortes jedoch schwer auszusprechen ist, wird es zu einem er zusammengefasst. Das ist im Deutschen ...


14

From Duden: (durch bestimmte [positive Charakter]eigenschaften charakterisierter) Mensch Beispiele ein patenter Kerl sie ist ein feiner, netter, prächtiger, guter Kerl ein lieber, goldiger, tapferer Kerl (Junge) It is mostly used for male persons, but may be used for women as well. Be careful though, because in addition to this ...


14

In der Tat variiert das Genus der Wörter mit dem Stamm „-mut“ stark. Zwar überwiegt das Maskulinum, aber es gibt durchaus auch nicht wenige Feminina, und sogar ein Wort, bei dem beide Genera vorkommen: Maskulin: Bekennermut, Edelmut, Frevelmut, Heldenmut, Hochmut, Kampfesmut, Kleinmut, Lebensmut, Löwenmut, Mannesmut, Missmut, Opfermut, Unmut, Wagemut, ...


14

First of all, there is no clear scheme after which the genders of loanwords are determined (see also this question). Even with words that are in the process of being loaned right now, native speakers find it hard to agree on the gender (e.g., I have seen any gender for Blog) and even if they do, it’s hard to pinpoint the reason. But let’s have a look at ...


13

According to a footnote in this study (Warning: PDF file): The distribution of the three genders in German is as follows. There are 4164 monomorphemic nouns listed in the CELEX database (Baayen, Piepenbrock, & Gulikers, 1995). Fifty-one of these have multiple genders (e.g., der See [the lake]vs. die See [the sea]). Of the remaining 4113 ...


13

Your confusion is effected through the plural form: der Sinn, die Sinne. In diesem Sinne is only one Sinn, not many Sinne. The dative of der Sinn is built up with dem and not der as in feminine nouns. So it is correct to say In diesem Sinne. (Regarding the -e take notice of Mac's answer)


13

Da das Dock in der Schifffahrt schon existiert, wüsste ich nicht, warum man etwas Neues erfinden muss. Am Dock legen Schiffe an, an der Schnellstartleiste kann man genauso Programme anlegen (lassen). Die Metapher könnte doch gar nicht besser sein! Ich würde sagen, dass die Dock oder der Dock schlicht falsch sind.


13

Die falsche Verwendung von Kommentar mit das statt der in Texten deutschsprachiger Internetseiten ist auch der Redaktion des Atlas zur deutschen Alltagssprache aufgefallen. Ein regionales Muster dieser Verwendung konnte jedoch nicht festgestellt werden.


13

How are kids taught this? I'm guessing it is just repetition and memorization but any other exercises? Kids pick it up through osmosis, just like everybody learns their mother tongue, no additional exercises required. They just hear people talk, repeat and imitate what they said, perhaps get corrected once in a while, and that's that. Also, I wanted ...



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible