In the sense "salary; wage; stipend", the word Gehalt can be either masculine or neuter. dict.cc writes this as

das/[österr. auch] der Gehalt

What is the difference between the word in these genders? Do they carry different connotations? Could I use the neutral form in Austria and the masculine in Germany?

  • 2
    I never heared "der Gehalt", it sounds kind of weird to me.
    – FUZxxl
    Commented May 28, 2011 at 8:07
  • 2
    Only in the other meaning of "concentration"
    – FUZxxl
    Commented May 28, 2011 at 8:42

3 Answers 3


Like you said, Das Gehalt means the salary. Der Gehalt means salary in Austria, and it means the content (in a mixture). (wiktionary, duden)

Das Gehalt ist Tarifgebunden

Der Fettgehalt der Milch is 3,8 %.

The masculine form just doesn't work, if you're talking about Salary, in Germany. Austria uses both forms, but drifts towards using the neutral form.

  • Leaving aside whether they're understood properly: they don't carry different connotations.

Switzerland, southern Germany, and - to a lesser extend - Austria also use Salär.

  • "The neutral form just doesn't work, if you're talking about Salary, in Germany." neutral?
    – splattne
    Commented May 28, 2011 at 8:19
  • I know Austrians speaking of Salär instead of Gehalt.
    – bernd_k
    Commented May 28, 2011 at 8:47
  • Salär kommt wohl von französisch salaire.
    – starblue
    Commented Jun 1, 2011 at 12:11
  • 1
    "Salär" in southern Germany? Never heard of it in Bavaria. Here its called "Lohn, Gehalt"
    – Fraggles
    Commented Mar 18, 2014 at 10:52

der Gehalt = content, proportion, percentage, concentration

das Gehalt = salary, pay, remuneration

As a German, I'm not informed about the above mentioned Austrian variants, but in Germany, "der Gehalt" has nothing to do with getting paid for work.

  • That's why I clarified that I meant the sense "salary; wage; stipend". Good to know that a German has never heard the masculine form.
    – Tim
    Commented May 28, 2011 at 8:22

There is no semantic difference.

If you're primarily communicating with people in Germany I recommend using the neutrum version "das Gehalt".

In Austria both forms are common. I'm pretty sure that the neutrum form is the predominant gender too.

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