It seems that Lese is a feminine word. However, its genetive (plural) seems to be des Lesens instead of der Lesen. I’ve read in my grammar book that for feminine words the Genitive should be in the form of der alten Tanten. So has my grammar book made a mistake? Or is it I got the example wrong. Or is there some exception to this rule?

  • The seemingly unrelated words reflect the etymology from Latin legere, "collect" and "read". We "pick up" words and grapes. Both can be a joy when fermented ;-). Oct 5, 2015 at 23:05

1 Answer 1


It seems you mixed up several concepts.

  1. There is a feminine word die Lese (meaning the process of collecting, usually grapes for making wine). Its genitive plural is indeed der Lesen.

  2. There is a neutral word das Lesen (meaning the act of reading, sometimes also the act of collecting), the nominalized infinitive of lesen. It does not have a plural.

  3. Des Lesens is the genitive singular of das Lesen.

  • Cool. I searched for Apple's dictionary for Lese, and it seems the only match is die Lese for some reason
    – xji
    Oct 3, 2015 at 13:08
  • 1
    @Xiang Ji: The dictionary will likely have an entry for the verb lesen at least. Derived forms aren't usually given separate entries.
    – chirlu
    Oct 3, 2015 at 13:18
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    It took me up to your answer to remember that Lese is, in fact, a German word, too. I was so stuck on OP meaning das Lesen that I forgot about the first step of wine-making … and that with my parents coming from the largest wine-growing region in Germany ^^'
    – Jan
    Oct 3, 2015 at 13:26

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