Deutschland ist 357 375 km² groß.

Er/sie hat 16 Bundesländer.

So my question is, what is the correct pronoun to use in that context, is it "er" or "sie" ?

  • to the reopen wish user: I see an accepted answer with upvotes, I see a duplicate nonetheless - why reopen? Where does it differ from the duplicate - the answer here is better/complete? Commented Jun 4, 2020 at 14:20

1 Answer 1


If a country doesn't have an article, it's referred to as a neutral:

Deutschland ist 357 357km² groß.

Es hat 16 Bundesländer.

Otherwise it's referred to by the same gender as the article is:

Die Mongolei ist riesig, aber sie hat nur wenige Einwohner.

  • 1
    One special case: Die USA are always plural -> "Die USA kämpfen mit Covid-19, sie haben die weltweit meisten Fälle."
    – miep
    Commented Jun 4, 2020 at 7:08
  • 4
    Wouldn't it be more accurate to say if the countries gender is neuter, instead of "does not have article"? We can say "das Deutschland, es hat 16 Bundesländer", "die Schweiz, sie hat 26 Kantone", "die USA, sie bestehen aus 50 Einzelstaaten".
    – jay.sf
    Commented Jun 4, 2020 at 7:47
  • 2
    @miep Not quite that special: die Malediven, die Seychellen, etc. are always in plural too, and let's not forget die VAE.
    – Annatar
    Commented Jun 4, 2020 at 7:53
  • 2
    @RHa I might argue with you there, since "das Deutschland der * Jahre" yields around 488,000,000 Google search results.
    – jay.sf
    Commented Jun 4, 2020 at 9:15
  • 1
    You should probably mention that the first sentence is not complete. It should be something like "Deutschland ist 357 375 km^2 groß."
    – user6495
    Commented Jun 4, 2020 at 10:09

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