Tag Info

Hot answers tagged

64

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).


37

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, ...


29

A major effort from feminist linguistics is achieving equality of men and women in spoken or written language. All terms that discriminate men and women should be avoided. Fräulein (the diminutive of Frau) was especially criticized as it did not only discriminate in sex but also has a strong sexist association by the meaning of Fräulein being an unmarried ...


23

Fräulein is a diminutive ('Verniedlichungsform') of Frau. Diminution is considered an intimate act, used a lot with nicknames couples give each other (Häschen, Mäuschen, Bienchen, Bärchen) or for "lovely little beings" like children and pets. So using Fräulein has a touch of intimacy not convenient to many women. Addressing an unkown woman as Fräulein can ...


23

One reason you are having difficulties finding an adequate dictionary entry is because Kärtchen is what is known as a diminutive form. One of the diminutive endings -chen or -lein, when added to nouns, makes the modified noun smaller, cuter, or (less often) laughable. (Unfortunatley for many words one of the two diminuitives is much more common than the ...


21

"Das Kind" is "the child", regardless of the child's gender. "Das Mädchen" has started its life as a diminutive ("Mägdchen", little maiden) and then became the standard word for a female child. Diminutives are always of neutral gender, and they can be identified by their suffix, which in written German is "-chen" or "-lein". Dialects bring a whole new ...


20

I have never connected dingsbums with bumsen. I don't think this connection is usually made. To me dingsbums is a perfectly fine word to use, albeit very colloquial and hence not necessarily appropriate in serious situations. It's only rude if you keep referring to somebody as dingsbums whose name you should know. ;-) Dingsda, dingenskirchen and ...


19

Eifersucht has a strongly relational connotation, while Neid has a very material and status connotation. So, the nuance is, that if you are jealous that your parents like your little brother more than you, then you are eifersüchtig, but if you are jealous that they give him the bigger piece of the cake then you are neidisch or, less common, neidig. This is ...


18

Capitalization of nouns was introduced in Late Middleages (14th century). The first letter(s) of single words (especially religious terms like "GOtt", but not just nouns) were set in majuscules in order to emphasize these words. Today's capitalization of all nouns was officially introduced in 17th century German. The literary critic und translator Walter ...


18

Neid ist envy und Eifersucht ist jealousy. (Diese Wörter werden in der englischen Laiensprache meistens auswechselbar angewendet. Die beschreiben aber tatsächlich - genau wie im Deutschen - underschiedene Emotionen.) Laut Wikipedia heißt es, "dass ein eifersüchtiger Mensch Angst hat, zu verlieren, was (oder wen) er besitzt und wirklich oder vermeintlich ...


17

It's Scheißhaus It's a composition of the verb scheißen (not the noun Scheiße) and the noun Haus See this or this for more details.


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

Unter Klappe verstehen Österreicher die Durchwahl einer Telefonnummer. Das ist normalerweise eine kurze Gruppe von zwei bis maximal vier Ziffern, die der Hauptnummer eines Anschlusses hinzugefügt werden muss, um die gesuchte Person direkt zu erreichen. Beispiel: Unsere allgemeine Firmennummer ist +43 01 998877. Meine Klappe ist 321. Die Person ist ...


16

Seh ich anders als alle anderen Antwortenden: Erbsenzählerei benutzt zum Beispiel der Steuerberater, der den Aufwand für eine Detailabrechnung fürchtet, während der Pauschalbetrag in der Steuererklärung den gleichen Effekt hätte. Gemeint sind viele einzelne Kleinigkeiten zu unterscheiden und in irgendeiner Form zu quantifizieren. Haarspalterei wäre das ...


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

Heiraten bedeutet eine Ehe eingehen. Man ist also entweder Braut oder Bräutigam. Sich vermählen ist ein Synonym zu heiraten, in meinem Verständis formaler und definitiv seltener verwendet. Trauen bedeutet nicht, dass man selbst den Bund der Ehe eingeht, sondern jemanden ehelich verbindet. Der Pastor traut das Ehepaar. Entsprechend ist das Äquivalent ...


15

Unter einem Wohnmobil versteht man ein Kraftfahrzeug (oder Automobil, kurz Auto) bei dem die Einrichtung fest mit dem Fahrzeug verbaut ist und das sich von selbst fortbewegen kann. Sobald es sich um einen Anhänger handelt, spricht man von einem Wohnwagen (der keinen eigenen Antrieb besitzt, sondern ein Zugfahrzeug benötigt). Deshalb ist ein Wohnwagen ...


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 ...


14

'Fräulein' was mainly used for unmarried women, and therefore for very young women when in doubt. Not being married was often considered a failure, and even a female professor, 50 years old, could have been called 'Fräulein'. "This is Fräulein Meier" is nearly equivalent of telling somebody "This is Mr. Müller. He isn't married yet." Independent from his ...


13

Folgenden Satz We're jumping into a shit storm here. könnte man mit Uns fliegt gleich eine Menge Scheiße um die Ohren. übersetzen. Anmerkung: Beide Redewendungen sind natürlich vulg. :-)


13

I think "wanderlust" and "itchy feet" are the best translations. If you're using it in combination with a specific location, e.g. Wer Fernweh nach Australien hat, ... you could translate it to Anyone with a longing for Australia...


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

Both relate to hoch, although not quite literally. A wedding is a high time, a time of great joy; and Hochmut is a high (nowadays usually: too high) self-esteem. Mut means courage, but there is a older meaning (cf. Gemüt) that can be translated as frame of mind.


12

zufolge is a postposition which can be translated as according to and whose object (here, Presse) is in the dative case, and the dative of die Presse is der Presse. der Presse zufolge therefore translates to according to the press and your whole example sentence translates to: According to the press, the trial was unfair. The translation you gave is a ...


12

The distinction is pretty easy. "Das Mädchen" simply means girl (=female child), "das Kind" means child (= neutral), and for a male child or boy you would use "der Junge" (old-fashioned "der Knabe", southern dialects as well "der Bub(e)"). As far as I can see, the neutral gender for "girl" comes from the ending "-chen". This is a diminutive and always ...


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 ...


11

There's almost no difference, both verbs can be replaced by each other without a significant difference in meaning in most cases. So usually it isn't a mistake to use prüfen instead of überprüfen and vice versa. To narrow down the slight difference: I would prefer überprüfen to prüfen if it's about verifying or double-checking a certain fact. However, if ...



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