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44 votes
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Why is "Baum" masculine?

The rules don't always apply, esp. when the endings are not morphological. And -um is neuter only if the noun comes from Latin that way (Individuum, Museum). But Baum is "natively" German; ...
Hagen von Eitzen's user avatar
37 votes
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Unexpected use of 'Kater' instead of 'Katze'

you'd normally use Katze instead of Kater in normal conversation, even for a male cat. The only time you'd use Kater is a) if you're a veterinarian or breeder who has a professional interest in the ...
Zac67's user avatar
  • 1,135
31 votes

Why is the sentence "Das ist eine Nase" correct?

In German language, the word "das" is not only an article. It has a second meaning: It can also have the meanings of the English words "this" or "that". If the word "das" means "this", there are no ...
Martin Rosenau's user avatar
27 votes
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Is the word "Unterlagen" masculine or feminine?

The das in the first example is not an article since an article would have to come just before a noun. It's a demonstrative pronoun roughly translatable as "that", although "this/these&...
RDBury's user avatar
  • 11.3k
23 votes

Masculine, feminine, neuter

German inherited its three-gender system from Proto-Indoeuropean, but the reason that language had it is lost in the mists of time. Some languages kept this. Others reduced to two genders (e.g. French ...
David Robinson's user avatar
23 votes
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Wie nennt man einen weiblichen Nazi?

Ganz allgemein gesprochen ist in diesem Kontext, also wenn es um Prädikative geht, Movierung nicht nötig. Viele Sprecher nehmen keinen Anstoß an Sätzen wie den folgenden, wo das Geschlecht (Sexus) ...
David Vogt's user avatar
  • 26.4k
20 votes
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When showing interest in people, how is the gender inferred?

There is no masculine or feminine form of the interrogative pronoun "Wer". It applies to all three genders as long as a person is meant. (Similarly, "Was" applies to all three ...
Tilman Schmidt's user avatar
18 votes

Masculine, feminine, neuter

As is true with all languages all through time, linguistic features are not extant in order to 'serve a purpose', but rather often as remnants of things that once served purposes, then became obsolete....
Megan Holloran's user avatar
18 votes
Accepted

Which genus do I use for neutral expressions in German?

Oh boy, you just opened the box of Pandora as this is part of an ongoing discussion in Germany. I'll give an answer without politics first but I feel that this answer also needs to take a look at the ...
infinitezero's user avatar
  • 18.4k
18 votes

Why is "Baum" masculine?

There are much more exceptions from German gender rules than there are rules. The best way to learn German genders is like German native speakers do: Learn for each noun separately which gender it has....
Hubert Schölnast's user avatar
18 votes

Why is "Mädel" neuter, if it has a feminine referent?

You simply need to accept one of the quirks of German Grammar: biological and grammatical gender aren't connected - grammatical gender is very often not what you would assume and simply needs to be ...
tofro's user avatar
  • 64.1k
17 votes

What definite/indefinite article do Germans use when they don't know/forget the noun they're talking about?

Very often you have a vague idea of what you want to say, and with this idea often comes some words that have similar meanings, but still are not exactly what you want to say. So you often use their ...
Hubert Schölnast's user avatar
16 votes
Accepted

Warum ist das Genus von „Abschwung“ maskulin, obwohl Wörter auf „-ung“ meistens feminin sind?

Die »Ausnahme« ist bei genauer Betrachtung gar keine Ausnahme. Die Regel, dass die Endung -ung automatisch das weibliche Geschlecht verlangt, gilt nämlich nur für das Suffix -ung, das aus Verben ...
Jan's user avatar
  • 38.6k
16 votes
Accepted

Why Mitternacht, not Mittnacht

The word Mitternacht is some centuries younger than Mittwoch and Mittag. Mitternacht derives from 14th century phrases such as vor mitter nahte (‘before middle night’), where mitter is an adjective in ...
chirlu's user avatar
  • 19.7k
16 votes

Would combining all German articles to just one article have a real negative effect on the language?

In cases where the article is nominative and just there to define the gender of the noun: Yes, there would be very small effects to the language. But as stated in the comments: Some times the article ...
Tode's user avatar
  • 9,588
16 votes
Accepted

Why "WeimarER Republik"?

Your question is smart and beautiful. Thank you for raising this issue here. As a non-native speaker, I guess I have your answer. In German, there are two kinds of adjectives formed with the suffix -...
Abdullah's user avatar
  • 1,319
16 votes
Accepted

When would you use "er" or "sie" instead of "es", specifically with the meaning of "it"?

Auf die Frage Ist das deine Jacke? ist die im Deutschen übliche Antwortformulierung: Nein, das ist nicht meine Jacke. Wenn du "Sie ist nicht meine Jacke" sagst, erkennt jeder, dass du Deutsch ...
Christian Geiselmann's user avatar
16 votes
Accepted

I would say: "You are another teacher", but she is a woman and I am a man

Der folgende Satz wird von Sprechern unterschiedlich bewertet (Stichwort: generisches Maskulinum). Als beleidigend kann er aber meines Erachtens nicht aufgefaßt werden.* (an eine weibliche Person ...
David Vogt's user avatar
  • 26.4k
15 votes

Sprechpause bei "Gendergap" - Beispiele für solche Pausen außerhalb des "Genderns"

Ich denke, diese „Pause“ wird tatsächlich eher ein Glottisschlag sein, und der ist im Deutschen häufig. In der Aussprache wäre der Unterschied zwischen Schülerinnen und Schüler:Innen also ähnlich dem ...
Carsten S's user avatar
  • 20.8k
14 votes
Accepted

Warum ist ‘Deutsche Grammophon’ feminin?

Du hast recht, dass Deutsche Grammophon feminin ist. Gleichzeitig ist das Grammophon unbestritten neutral. Des Rätsels Lösung ist, dass die Deutsche Grammophon laut Wikipedia 1898 als die Deutsche ...
Jan's user avatar
  • 38.6k
14 votes
Accepted

What are the relative pronouns of cities?

All nouns have a gender – a couple allegedly even three, but no name is ungendered. You just have to find out which. In this case, cities (and most countries) are regularly neuter. That rule is ...
c.p.'s user avatar
  • 30.7k
14 votes

The grammar about "Du bist der eine"

Eine is the indefinite article but also a count »one«, you have to add a matching noun in your thoughts: Du bist der eine, der immer schwierige Fragen stellt. Du bist der eine Mensch, der immer ...
Janka's user avatar
  • 59.2k
14 votes
Accepted

Adjektiv für Mehrzahl ("liebe Erika und Richard" vs "liebe Erika und lieber Richard")

Liebe Erika und Richard ist weniger ein Grammatik- denn ein Stilproblem Das Stilempfinden deutscher Prägung leidet unter der fehlenden Adjektivkongruenz. Da das Problem nicht lösbar ist, weicht man ...
Christian Geiselmann's user avatar
14 votes
Accepted

Wann wird «das Morgen» statt «der Morgen» benutzt?

Ob Morgen "das" oder "der" ist, hängt von der Bedeutung ab: Wird früher Vormittag gemeint, dann ist es "der Morgen". Wird die Zukunft gemeint, dann ist es "das Morgen".
Eller's user avatar
  • 4,648
14 votes

I would say: "You are another teacher", but she is a woman and I am a man

Es ist nicht immer einfach, in solchen Sachen das richtige Geschlecht zu wählen. Ich empfehle, den Satz anders zu bauen. If you want to say that she prefers a different teaching method: Du bist ...
npst's user avatar
  • 2,407
14 votes

Of nouns that can be one of two genders, are there any that can't be masculine?

das Steuer = steering wheel die Steuer = tax der Steuer doesn't exist
stackzebra's user avatar
13 votes

Why Mitternacht, not Mittnacht

In both etymological dictionaries that I have available (one of them here; as well as Kluge, 24. edition), it is mentioned that Mitternacht is derived from prepositional phrases that were used as ...
spyrjandi og svarandi's user avatar
13 votes
Accepted

Ist eine Stiftung Eigentümer oder Eigentümerin?

Die Verwendung des Wortes "Eigentümerin" für juristische Personen mit femininem Genus ist in juristischen Texten nicht unüblich. Google findet 2350 Links für "Stiftung als Eigentümerin" verglichen mit ...
Uwe's user avatar
  • 10.7k
13 votes
Accepted

Can the noun »Süße« be neuter?

Because here, das Süße, is a nominalization ("Substantivierung") of the adjective süß, which in principle can have any article. There can be two reasons (thanks to @KilianFoth for pointing out one ...
user1583209's user avatar
  • 3,178
12 votes
Accepted

Warum sagt man "Wir haben einen Platten" obwohl Platte weiblich oder sächlich ist?

These are two different things. Wir haben eine Platte. We have a plate/disc/record. Die Platte is a shortening from die Langspielplatte, a 33rpm long play record, as opposed to the older 78rpm ...
Janka's user avatar
  • 59.2k

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