I was thinking about how to ask a question like

Wo ist der nächste McDonald's?

and I thought initially this was the correct way of going about it, but then I was left wondering what would the article of stores with real names e. g. McDonald's?

I don't know if the above article is correct, so it may be wrong.

What is the article of specific popular stores in Deutsch (oder auf Deutsch)?


5 Answers 5


Store names are almost exclusively masculine.

Wo ist der nächste Lidl?

Wo ist der nächste McDonalds?

But pubs, hotels, ballrooms etc. are often neutral:

Wo ist das nächste Fuller's?

Wo ist das nächste Hilton?

  • For let's say a hotel this could be because it is "das Hotel" in german so it becomes "wo ist das nächste Hilton (Hotel)?". For stores I am not sure how this could be derived.
    – puck
    Mar 8, 2019 at 5:38
  • 3
    @puck, ich denke sofort an "der Laden"
    – Iris
    Mar 8, 2019 at 9:08
  • @Iris: Der Laden (Markt), das Geschäft (Kaufhaus), die Lebensmittelhandlung (Zweigstelle, Niederlassung). Übersetzen hilft oft nicht weiter. Mar 10, 2019 at 2:12
  • Can you source this claim? I beg to differ, concurring with @puck. There is no general rule, though a majority for masculine gendering might be appreciable, it's not overwhelming, and I would accept neuter inflection any day.
    – vectory
    Mar 10, 2019 at 15:20
  • 2
    @vectory: das Lidl, das Netto or das Burger King sound wrong, to me. Mar 10, 2019 at 17:17

This is not determined in any way and may differ dependent of whom you speak to. Example: There's a convenience Store called REWE. I say "der REWE", a friend of mine "die REWE" and another friend "das REWE". And that has nothing to do with the Region or regional language varieties.

  • I've never heard someone say "die" or "das" Rewe.
    – Iris
    Mar 11, 2019 at 10:30
  • Interesting, on their website, I can't find an anwser to the right article, they only use combinations like "Ihrem REWE Markt" and "Ihrer REWE Filiale"
    – Iris
    Mar 11, 2019 at 10:33
  • To me both sound wrong (die/das rewe). But I also say DER Blog instead of DAS Blog, because it sounds right to me... Mar 11, 2019 at 11:40
  • Der REWE, as it is an acronym for "Revisionsverband der Westkauf-Genossenschaften" (der Verband), but correctly die EDEKA as this stands for "Einkaufsgenossenschaft der Kolonialwarenhändler" (die Genossenschaft)! Mar 13, 2019 at 16:38
  • Yeah, sure, but you could use LIDL as a short form for DER LIDL-Laden. Which probably most People do in one form or another. there is probably a short form for every Genus, you can use the article whichever you want probably. Mar 13, 2019 at 16:56

When the gender of a proper name/company name isn't clear you usually complete it (in your mind) with a fitting term and use this terms gender (see this thread).

For McDonald's there is no official article and therefore it's up to each person which one to use, as you can think of a McDonald's restaurant as e.g.

Das McDonald's Restaurant

Die McDonald's Filiale

Der McDonald's Laden

McDonald's calls them McDonald's Restaurant, so "Das" is most likely, but "Der" seems to be more colloquial as in another forum 60,8% said they use "Der" and 39,2% "Das". Maybe because McDonald's is seen a person or place.

Another example is "Der Aldi" as you can complete it as

Der Aldi-Markt / Der Aldi-Discounter


For these company names that come from English and end in an s, they are often mistaken for plurals as we treat companies as plural (McDonalds sell hamburgers) although they are singular when talking about the building (Where is the next McDonalds). However they are derived from genitive singulars e.g. McDonald's restaurant and McDonald's always spell (note my plural verb) it this way so in German it is clearly short for McDonalds Etwas although I agree it is not clear what masculine word Etwas might be! Not sure if it helps but McDonald or Mac Donald is Scots Gaelic for Donaldson so is logically masculine.

  • 1
    The last line would be a worthy comment. The rest of the post is almost incomprehensible, because of multiple changes of opinion in the middle of the paragraph. If the corp. itself would refer to "das McDonalds Restaurant" and if you have not asserted that the name were most often dictating masculine inflection, then it's not clear why you would look for a masculine "Etwas".
    – vectory
    Mar 10, 2019 at 15:39
  • Compare the bulk-seller "Metro". I would say either "die Metro", simply because the public transport "Metro" is also feminine. That's begging the question why that is female (n. in French and Slavic languages, f. in Italian; It. metrum "measure" is m., but n. in Latin; Metropolis is f., and rightly so as it derives from "mother", and even polis is f., as is Ger. Stadt), but the ugly truth is, that gender has to be learned, not inferred.
    – vectory
    Mar 10, 2019 at 15:51
  • @David: "we treat companies as plural". AFAIK, Brits do treat companies and organizations as plural (e.g. "The police/Microsoft are searching for..."), but Americans don't ("The police/Microsoft is searching ..."). Mar 10, 2019 at 17:26
  • Aside from what has been said, I don’t see how a mistake speakers of English make is relevant to answer this question.
    – idmean
    Mar 10, 2019 at 18:15
  • @vectory I'm not clear where I am contradicting myself. I'm saying that if we are going to use logic (and I know languages don't actually work like that!) then we find that McDonalds must originally have qualified some other noun, whose gender would be the logical one to use. The question starts with a masculine example, which is why I suggest that there must have been some masculine noun understood. Mar 11, 2019 at 13:18

Just think about what it is:

"Wo ist der nächste Lidl?" - der Laden. This also applies to McDonalds.
Also most other other terms for shops are maskuline:
"der (Super)markt", "der Händler", "der Discounter", "der (Schreibwaren)Handel", additional to this in German exists the "Generische Maskulinum" which leads to most locations to be masculine, too. (Metzger, Bäcker, Krämer, etc...) On pubs and restaurants it is most times das for "das Restaurant". It's different if the Restaurant has a classical "zum"-Name: zum Adler, zum Grünen Baum, zum Ochsen... in this case it's "der". This list goes on:
"wir gehen in das Hilton" - das Hotel

  • 1
    Der Laden, das Geschäft, die Einzelhandlung. Mar 10, 2019 at 2:15
  • The use of articles is old. "Das Geschäft" and "Die Einzelhandlung" are rather new words in use. So yes, it's der from der Laden. If you go even firther back in language history you would find "der Krämer" which is also masculine. And to "das Hotel" would the older form be "das Gasthaus" though in this case it's "das Hotel" that's making the difference, as names are normally associated with the hotel-company
    – miep
    Mar 10, 2019 at 17:57
  • @userunknown reading the other answers and comments I think my point was confirmed. Nearly everyones first thought is "der Laden", so your word-collection is simply not applicable and feels forced.
    – miep
    Mar 14, 2019 at 15:44
  • Oder der Discounter, der Supermarkt, die Kaufhalle. Nearly everyone ist wer? 3 Hanseln im Internet, oder kennst Du eine qualifizierte Studie? Mar 15, 2019 at 2:03
  • Oh good lord, cut the toxicity. The sheer consistency of shops being maskuline has obviosly a totally different reason, that you can define and verify? I don't know from which part in Germany you're come, but through all my my life shops were refferred to as der Laden, which always lead to the fact that when the name was used it still kept the der. My point stands, your examples feel forced.
    – miep
    Mar 16, 2019 at 3:33

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.