Older texts would use the appropriate grammatical gender for possessive pronouns, eg,

'Das Weib hat seinen Hut verloren.'

Is this still the best usage, or should we now use the natural gender, ie,

'Das Weib hat ihren Hut verloren'

  • 8
    Still the same, and we have had questions about that. One very recently.
    – Carsten S
    Jul 8, 2020 at 22:55
  • 2
    I only find questions in German. german.stackexchange.com/questions/27770/…
    – Carsten S
    Jul 8, 2020 at 23:03
  • 2
    You wouldn't use Weib in contemporary Standard German. It's derogatory.
    – David Vogt
    Jul 9, 2020 at 5:05
  • There is some nuance in this, so assuming that so far we really have discussed this only in German it would be nice if someone wrote an answer in English. My comment was not intended to discourage this.
    – Carsten S
    Jul 9, 2020 at 9:19
  • Related (German) question targeting articles.
    – guidot
    Jul 9, 2020 at 10:00

1 Answer 1


You'd still say

Das Weib hat seinen Hut verloren

although it's very uncommon today to refer to a women with "Das Weib". You would use "Die Frau" instead.

For "Mädchen",

Das Mädchen hat seinen Hut verloren

would be grammatically correct, although you'll frequently hear

Das Mädchen hat ihren Hut verloren

in colloquial language.

  • 2
    An example from 19th century literary language (Th. Storm): Da zog das Mädchen ihr rotes Händchen aus dem Muff, und ihn zu sich ziehend, wies sie mit dem Finger nach dem Vogelbauer.
    – David Vogt
    Jul 9, 2020 at 20:08

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