What are nouns?
Nouns are words used to name living creatures, objects, abstract qualities or concepts:
German nouns – three genders
In German, all nouns are classed as having one of three genders: masculine, feminine or neuter and are written with an initial capital letter. In dictionaries, the gender is usually indicated with m for masculine nouns, f for feminine nouns and nt for neuter nouns.
Working out the gender
Often there seems to be no obvious relationship between a noun and its gender in German: Rock ‘skirt’ for instance is masculine, Hose ‘trousers’ is feminine and Kleid ‘dress’ is neuter. However, there are two main ways that can help you to work out the gender:
• certain endings indicate the gender
• some groups of nouns, usually linked by meaning, tend to be masculine or feminine or neuter.