I have a list of quite a few words with such ending and all of them have this Artikel:
der Widerstand
der Bestand
der Verstand
der Abstand
der Zustand
der Gegenstand
der Stand
der Vorstand
der Erkenntnisstand

  • 1
    instand is an adverb and does not take an article.
    – user57303
    Feb 4 at 11:51

2 Answers 2


It's all derived from one word "Der Stand". So every other word with whatever prefix gets the same gender.

Gender always is determined by the last word in a compound. The gender also doesn't change when the first part of the compound is not a noun in its own right, but a preposition used as prefix.

For example die Erkenntnis + der Stand --> der Erkenntnisstand.

If both parts are nouns, one can possibly create different compound nouns with different meanings, e.g. Die Phantasie + das Auto --> das Phantasieauto (=phantasy car) / die Autophantasie (=car phantasy).

If the first part is a preposition one cannot swap the order and from the meaning it can 'feel' like an entirely new word only very loosely related to the original: Gegen + Stand -> Gegenstand

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    @wonderbear yes-ish. However they are compound in the sense of prefix + noun to a new compound noun. Does that have a different name than 'compound' to name it separately? I was seaching for a word to describe that, but didn't find one. Feb 4 at 8:47
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    As I understand it, this rule also extends to suffixes which aren't words on their own, e.g. words ending "-chen" are always neuter, explaining why "das Mädchen" is not grammatically feminine.
    – IMSoP
    Feb 4 at 19:17
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    @IMSoP Diminuitves are always neuter, and "Mädchen" is the diminutive of "Maid/Magd". Feb 5 at 8:55
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    @rexkogitans I think diminutives are neuter because it's the suffix that declines. Editors of Wiktionary clearly think so, producing a list of suffixes by gender; for instance, nouns ending -heit -schaft are feminine. There are a handful there which have multiple genders, but the majority are consistent.
    – IMSoP
    Feb 5 at 9:31
  • 2
    @IMSoP I'm not sure the rule stated above holds for suffixes. E.g. -nis does not have a unique gender (though -heit, -keit, -tum) do. Feb 5 at 9:36

Yes, and that's a general rule. The more letters at the end match, the more likely two nouns have the same gender.

  • der Band
  • der Brand
  • der Sand
  • der Stand
  • der Tand
  • der Rand

BUT there are of course exceptions:

  • das Band

  • das Land

  • das Pfand

  • das Gewand

  • die Band

  • die Hand

  • die Wand

So this rule isn't too useful for the and ending. But it is for example useful for the tand and rand endings, as you can see from the above example. And it's also useful for the other four-letter combinations but wand and band. You can't see that from the examples above but let me assure you it is.

And this is the trick how to guess noun genders. With four or more letters at the end matching, you can be pretty sure the two nouns have the same gender. There are only a very few exceptions to that, e.g. der Bericht vs die Pflicht vs das Licht. This is obviously because ch is a digraph that is only one consonant in reality. So it's a "three-sound" combination. Those may still differ in gender. Or the die Wand vs das Gewand from above. Those two differ because the two words are actually not related but their writing converged over the centuries. And it's similar for Band as well. Those are three different nouns whose writing fully converged.

In your examples, the reason why those letters match is of course because those nouns are all derived from der Stand. They are prefixed versions of it, and der Erkenntnisstand is a compound noun.

  • 15
    I am not sure whether teaching learners a formal criterion (number of letters) when it the actual criterion is lexicological (whether the ending is a word of its own or not) is a really good or a really bad idea. Feb 4 at 21:56
  • This is interesting from the perspective of the history of the German language, but it is not useful for anyone learning German.
    – EvilSnack
    Feb 5 at 17:46

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