I want to clarify something about nouns that resemble actions in German. For instance, "Bücherlesen". First, what gender is ascribed to such nouns? Furthermore, if I were to say in reference to "Bücherlesen" something alongs the lines of "This is my favourite thing to do on weekends.", then what type of a pronoun should I be using to match "This"? Thanks in advance.

2 Answers 2


While there are more ways of having nouns which resemble actions, you are specifically talking about substantivized verbs - nouns being produced by using the inifinitive form of a verb and making it a noun. Those are always neuter. In accordance to that, the pronoun to use would be das / es.


Substantivierte Verben - verbs made nouns - are always built with the infinitive form and are always neutral (neuter). Notice that, like any proper noun in German, they are written capitalized:

das Lesen - the reading
das Schreiben - the writing
das Laufen - the running

The grammatical gender of Komposita (nouns consisting of two or more nouns, like "Bücherlesen") is always that of the last part. In "Bücherlesen" this is not noticed, because both, "Buch" and "(das) Lesen" are neutral. But it is i.e. "der Essensrest" (the food leftover), because "der Rest" (remainder, residue) is maskulin whereas the "das Resteessen" (a meal consisting of leftovers, this is sometimes celebrated after big festivities including opulent meals) would be neutral because "das Essen" is the last part.

  • Note that here the nouns are not proper nouns.
    – tofro
    Jun 15, 2023 at 9:52

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