You are falling into the trap laid out carefully by German Gender Mainstreaming throughout the years.
No, in German a noun does not have a gender. It has a genus. This genus is a purely grammatical property defined by tradition. By default, it has nothing to do with biological sex or sociological gender.
The word der Student is a masculine noun describing ...
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; apart from that, it is B-au-m with diphthong, not Ba-um. Similar counterexample: der Schaum, der Traum, der Flaum, der Zaum.
(Other endings have their exceptions ...
When I started to learn English, my teacher told me
If you are not going to make at least a hundred mistakes every day, you are not going to improve.
I believe this is true for learning any language.
While in my professional career I came across a lot of German learners, all of them had at least some trouble finding the right gender - I was still ...
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 different words for male, female and neuter but there is only one word: "das".
In your sentence, the word "das" is not used as article but it means "this".
The singular form is das Bächlein and, as you correctly state, this is a neuter diminutive that ends in -lein; die Bächlein is the plural form. For completeness, here is the declension table for the noun Bächlein:
Nom.: das Bächlein die Bächlein
Gen.: des Bächleins der Bächlein
Dat.: dem Bächlein den Bächlein
There is no fixed "rule" to define the gender of a loanword in German. This means that we have to look them up in a dictionary when in doubt.
Still, some principles hold true for many loanwords that have been nicely summarized with some examples in the essay on the "Gender of foreign nouns" from canoo.net:
The "origin principle": Foreign nouns have ...
Die Bowle (punch)
The name stems from the english "bowl" referring the vessel it is served in. Bowle is usually cold, for hot varieties we use the term der Punsch (which is punch)
One exception, though: "Feuerzangenbowle" is hot, so technically not a "Bowle". A special Bowle is die Kalte Ente ("cold duck"), basically a mix of white wine and champagne with ...
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 before the Normans invaded Britain in 1066). English still had three genders up to that point. Once the two languages started to merge they gave up the ...
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) durch das Subjekt gekennzeichnet wird.
Sie ist Professor/Informatiker/Nazi/…
Denn sie war Nazi, geboren in der elitären Naziszene in Bayern. (FAZ)
If you know the name, use the name. That’s the easy part.
You can often still get away with ‘generisches Maskulinum’, i.e. Studenten, but in a university setting, i.e. where you’d actually use Student and Studentin to refer to students (instead of Schüler and Schülerin ‘pupil’ in a school or most other courses), it’s becoming rather common to use ...
First of all, there is no clear scheme after which the genders of loanwords are determined (see also this question). Even with words that are in the process of being loaned right now, native speakers find it hard to agree on the gender (e.g., I have seen any gender for Blog) and even if they do, it’s hard to pinpoint the reason.
But let’s have a look at ...
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.
One good point to direct you in further research of the history of language development:
And one good read on a ...
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 political side because some people might feel offended which may cause problems at a workplace for you.
Generally speaking, German has the ...
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 genders to find an article. And when it's wrong, you just correct it when you've found the right word.
Hast du meinen Schlüsselbund gesehen?
Ja, der liegt ...
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.
Toddlers growing up in a German speaking world do not learn the genders of the nouns by memorizing such rules.
One of the first words a child learns is "...
Hier handelt es sich um ein Lehnwort aus dem griechischen βούτυρον oder dem lateinischen butyrum. Vielleicht war daher das Geschlecht des Wortes nie ganz klar. Siehe dazu auch folgende Fragen hier:
Do Latin loanwords conserve their gender?
For new words which are often nouns who sets the gender?
In unterschiedlichen Regionen Deutschlands wurde ...
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 is the only thing that can be used to identify the case, then sentences may be completely missunderstood.
e.g. in German both sentences (though a little ...
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 -er and are undeclinable:
Adjectives formed from the names of cities and towns (like your example): Die Weimarer Republik. Das Berliner Stadtschloss.
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 erst lernst und die üblichen Ausdrucksformen noch nicht sicher beherrschst.
Diese Ausdrucksform mit "das" gilt sogar, wenn es um Menschen geht:
Ist das ...
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 gerichtet) Du bist ein anderer Lehrer.
Um ihn dennoch zu vermeiden, schlage ich vor:
Du bist eine andere Lehrkraft.
Hier steht eine Femininum sowohl für ...
In der Tat variiert das Genus der Wörter mit dem Stamm „-mut“ stark. Zwar überwiegt das Maskulinum, aber es gibt durchaus auch nicht wenige Feminina, und sogar ein Wort, bei dem beide Genera vorkommen:
Maskulin: Bekennermut, Edelmut, Frevelmut, Heldenmut, Hochmut, Kampfesmut, Kleinmut, Lebensmut, Löwenmut, Mannesmut, Missmut, Opfermut, Unmut, Wagemut, ...
Is the gender important for your statement?
In this case: probably no. So use the "neutral" form which is almost always the male form.
If you want to express that you are going to that type of person (or shop...) who will finally fix that rotten tooth / cut your hair / bake & sell bread... you go
"zum Zahnarzt" / "zum Friseur" / "zum Bäcker"...
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 dative singular. By reanalysis, the new noun mitternaht developed. (See Pfeifer’s Etymologisches Wörterbuch, via DWDS.)
Ein Tandem ist ein Fahrrad für zwei Personen und es ist sächlich:
Andere Definitionen, die alle vom zweisitzigen Fahrrad abgeleitet sind, findet man hier: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tandem aber in jedem Fall ist das Tandem sächlich.
Ich konnte aber keine Definition für »Tandem« finden, bei der eine Person als »Tandem« bezeichnet wird. Der ...
It seems you mixed up several concepts.
There is a feminine word die Lese (meaning the process of collecting, usually grapes for making wine). Its genitive plural is indeed der Lesen.
There is a neutral word das Lesen (meaning the act of reading, sometimes also the act of collecting), the nominalized infinitive of lesen. It does not have a plural.