What is the rule about articles when it comes to abbreviations? Let’s say I have a noun der Professor (for a female it would be die Professorin, but that is irrelevant here). I would like to use abbreviated form — would I get der Prof. or just Prof.?

  • Depends on the context. Can you give an example?
    – Robert
    Commented Oct 19, 2016 at 15:23
  • @Robert, I answer with a question -- do you have an example of the sentence where you have "...... der Professor...." and after abbreviating it you get the same sentence reading " ...... Prof. .... " (i.e. without "der")? Commented Oct 20, 2016 at 6:18

2 Answers 2


The article is determined by the abbreviated word (der Prof.), or the main/last word in a compound (die NATO, der EuGH, etc.)

When the abbreviation becomes a word in its own right, so to speak, the article is often dropped (AIDS, not das AIDS).


It depends on the circumstances.

If you are addressing somebody, e.g. in a letter or an email, there is no article in the first place. It would be Herr Professor Mayr or Hr. Prof. Mayr — although the latter is typically not acceptable at all. (‘If you’re going to write it, have the decency to write out the title’ is the general rule.)

If you are writing in a text where an article is required, it will of course still be there and determined by the word in question.

Der Prof. besucht die Einrichtung.

Die Prof./Prof.in besucht die Einrichtung.

However, I would still argue that that is an unlikely case. If you have the need to abbreviate, you may just want to go all the way:

D. Prof. bes. d. Einricht.

  • Thank you but you added too much story to my question. Say I have a sentence or whatever and the text is "....... der Professor.......". When I use abbreviation instead of entire noun, do I drop gender particle or not? Commented Oct 19, 2016 at 13:50
  • 1
    @greenoldman Is ‘Der Prof. besucht die Einrichtung’ not enough of an example? (Also, it is not a ‘gender particle’; please stop calling it that. It is a (definite) article.)
    – Jan
    Commented Oct 19, 2016 at 13:51
  • it is, that's why I upvoted your answer :-) I only pointed out that I have the text already with nouns (full) so there is no such case as "If you are addressing somebody...". Commented Oct 19, 2016 at 13:53
  • @greenoldman Ah! I wasn’t sure from your question what exactly you have :)
    – Jan
    Commented Oct 19, 2016 at 13:54

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