I read the following title in one of the newspapers:

Neue Parkvorschriften im Simbacher Ortskern

In my workbook it says that town names do not have a definite article if they are unmodified - so why does it say im Simbacher? Shouldn't it be in Simbacher?

And another question:

Spittal an der Drau


Frankfurt am Main

What's the difference (I assume it has something to do with the exact location of the place)?

  • 8
    "im" refers to "Ortskern", not to the town name "Simbach". Drau and Main are rivers, not lakes, and rivers have their own gender.
    – IQV
    Commented Jun 7, 2018 at 13:24

1 Answer 1


Your first assumption would be correct, if there wasn't that last word of the sentence...

The sentence reads:

Neue Parkvorschriften im Ortskern

and Simbacher is only a descriptive attribute to the noun Ortskern

And regarding Drau and Main: There are complete dissertations that try to find out the rules, why some rivers in Germany are male and some are female.

Just read this thread here for more details about that question

  • Thank you very much, I just discovered it: der Main, but die Drau. Thank you again for the explanation!
    – podlasica
    Commented Jun 7, 2018 at 13:28
  • @podlasica Did you know that you can mark an answer as accepted, if it satisfies your question? You just have to click the check mark next to the up- and down-arrows.
    – Arsak
    Commented Jun 8, 2018 at 16:27

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