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ON GERMAN GRAMMATICAL GENDER The other answerers have already highlighted numerous aspects of how a preference for a particular grammatical gender may come about. However, you actually asked a different question, namely who sets the gender. I believe this has indeed a clear answer: All speakers set the gender, subconsciously influenced by the ...


Cities are always neuter. Unlike countries, where a few exceptions exist (der Iran, der Sudan, die Slowakei etc.) I can't think of any off the top of my head.


All nouns have a gender –a couple allegedly even three, but no name is ungendered. You just have to find out which. In this case, cities (and most countries) are regularly neuter. That rule is stronger than the rules of compound noun (as @Crissov stated, der Berg does not influence Heidelberg not masculine). One could, for instance, say Das schöne ...


In Bezug auf die Rechtsform (Gesellschaft mbH, Aktiengesellschaft, Kommanditgesellschaft) wird meistens die feminine Form verwendet (i.S.v. die Firma/Gesellschaft) Die häufigste Gebrauchsform (bsd. bei Unsicherheit) ist jedoch meistens eine ohne bestimmten Artikel. Die Siemens Aktiengesellschaft hat ... Der Siemens-Konzern hat eine PM veröffentlicht....


Whilst German and English grammars share many features, you face now something which is radically different: gender. Motor, in your example, is masculine. Therefore the pronoun should be also masculine, er (alternatively der). German does not quite obey English-pronoun rules regarding whether you treat an object or a person.

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