About this sentence:

Der Motor des Autos hat viel zu wenig Öl. Infolgedessen ist er kaputt gegangen.

Why it is er not es?

As I know er means he in English. So, es should be used as it in English.

  • 3
    I think this question should be closed due to not consulting a general reference. Any textbook will mention this within the first chapters. Mahmoud, FYI: German nouns have genders.
    – Gerhard
    Jul 3, 2016 at 11:29
  • 2
    English and German are different languages, with different grammars.
    – chirlu
    Jul 3, 2016 at 11:42
  • I think answering my question, rather than closing it, would be more helpful. By the way, German, is not my mother tongue and that is why I asked this question. Thanks for c.p. for answering my question professionally...
    – Mahmoud
    Jul 3, 2016 at 12:07
  • 2
    Mahmoud: the suggestion to close was not intended as a personal slight. Much more advanced questions get closed around here, when the OP has not shown that he has not performed some prior research. Furthermore: i actually gave you an answer.
    – Gerhard
    Jul 3, 2016 at 15:47
  • @Mahmoud While of course it would be helpful to you to answer the question, the site aims to be helpful to more expert users. Hence why we require questions — especially those that can be answered easily by a grammar book — to show prior research. Thus, closing is the correct choice here.
    – Jan
    Jul 3, 2016 at 16:15

1 Answer 1


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.

  • es would be correct, too, if one wanted to refer to the car or the oil (das Auto/Öl).
    – Crissov
    Jul 3, 2016 at 15:19

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