Since years, I'm always looking up when you use Teil als a masculine noun and when it's used as a neutral noun. Is there any word combination, image, or phrase that would help us to remember the gender correspondence more easily?

I know that there are several differences between the two; any would do, but, of course, the more differences your phrase/image/sentence will cover, the better.


There is a verse coined by he 1850s pedagogue Theodor Hemmweiler that has since been used to memorize the use of der Teil / das Teil:

Der Teil ist auf die Menge stets bezogen,
Das Teil (das Stück, das Ding) wird einzeln nur gewogen.

I hope this helps you, as it has helped ten thousands of German students.

Note that for "der Teil" (which is "a partial quantity of something", the "der" constrasts with the "die" of "Menge" (quantity), whereas in the second line the neutral "das" of "das Teil" (which is a separate object; a thing that one can catch and carry away) corresponds with the neuter of "das Ding" and "das Stück" which can be seen as synonyms of "das Teil"; or short: where you can say "das Teil", you usually can also say "das Ding", "das Stück".

People playing with a jigsaw puzzle:

"Wir sind fast fertig. Es fehlt nur dieses Teil (= dieses Stück) hier, und dieses Teil (= dieses Stück) dort."

Shopkeeper of a grocery market:

"Gestern sind fünf Kisten Äpfel gekommen. Ein Teil (= eine bestimmte Menge davon) ist angeschlagen, die können wir nicht verkaufen. Aus diesem Teil (= dieser Menge) machen wir am besten Saft."

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