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65

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).


36

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 ...


32

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, ...


26

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 ...


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 ...


24

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).


19

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 der entstandene Genus sich ...


18

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


16

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 ...


16

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 ...


16

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 ...


15

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: ...


15

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.


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

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 ...


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

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 ...


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

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 ...


12

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 ...


12

Die Herkunft des Wortes Weihnachten ist etwas anders. Ich habe hierzu folgendes gefunden: „Die Form Weihnachten beruht auf einem alten Dativ Plural mittelhochdeutsch zu wihen nahten ‘in den heiligen Nächten’. Damit waren ursprünglich die schon in germanischer Zeit als heilig gefeierten Mittwinternächte gemeint”. Off topic, aber in diesem ...


12

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 ...


12

mein Schatz Articles do never change. And it is not uncommon at all to say "mein Schatz" to a woman. Compare to the use of "das Mädchen" :)


12

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, ...


12

It's not that big a deal and you'll be understood perfectly. There are only a handful of cases where using a different article changes the meaning of the word (der/die/das Band, e.g.), and even then there's context. The average German will be impressed by your willingness to learn German ("schwierige Sprache"). Perhaps some people might correct you; accept ...


12

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 ...


10

As a long-time active learner of German language I can tell you that all these rules about how the gender of a certain word can be inferred using its ending or its category: they can help you to come up with a good guess if you don't have a dictionary at hand, but they won't help you much during a conversation or while writing an email. At least I couldn't ...


10

Putzmann exists but is rarely used, indeed. If you talk about cleaners in general you will (almost always) use Putzfrau unregarded if the person could be (or even is) a man. Nach der Party bestellte ich eine Putzfrau. Sometimes when I talk about a male cleaner I want to say instinctively Putzfrau and while articulating I hesitate because I recognize ...


10

First of all the word Deutscher in the sentence Ist Ihr Freund (ein) Deutscher? is a noun and not an adjective.* The proper female version would then be Ist Ihre Freundin (eine) Deutsche? When using an adjective you'd say Ist Ihr Freund deutsch? / Ist Ihre Freundin deutsch? So in this case the word doesn't change. However compare the ...



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