Nouns and Gender


German nouns – three genders

German nouns – three genders

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. W... »

Endings indicating the gender

Endings indicating the gender

Masculine endings The following endings usually indicate that the noun is masculine: An exception is das Labor ‘laboratory’. Feminine endings Some exceptions are: das Sofa ‘sofa’, das Genie ‘genius’, das Abitur ‘A levels’. Note that about 90 per cent of nouns ending in -e are also feminine: Exceptions include: das Auge ‘eye’, das Interesse ‘interest’, der Käse ‘cheese’, der Name ‘name’, and all ma... »

Groups of nouns

Groups of nouns

There are also certain groups of nouns, usually linked by meaning, which tend to be masculine or feminine or neuter: »

Compound nouns

Compound nouns

The last noun defines the gender – Compound nouns usually consist of two or more nouns. The gender is defined by the last noun: der Computer + das Spiel → das Computerspiel der Bauch + der Tanz + die Lehrerin → die Bauchtanzlehrerin Adding -s When joining noun + noun together an extra -s is often inserted to link the components and to make the pronunciation easier. This usually happens when ... »

Nouns in use

Nouns in use

Determiners and nouns Determiners and nouns When used in sentences, nouns normally appear with determiners such as der, die, das etc. Depending on the function of the noun within the sentence the determiners can change. For example, the definite articles der, die, das and die for plural nouns are used when the noun is the subject of a sentence (nominative case). These articles change to dem, der, ... »

Weak nouns

Weak nouns

About 10 per cent of masculine nouns, usually referring to male people or animals, add -(e)n to all forms apart from the nominative singular. Der Junge spielt mit seinem Gameboy. (nom., sing.) Siehst du den Jungen dort? (acc., sing.) Er kauft dem Jungen eine Flasche Wasser. (dat., sing.) Other examples include: Architekt ‘male architect’, Student ‘male student’, Herr ‘Mr’, ‘gentleman’, Tourist ‘ma... »

Adjectival nouns

Adjectival nouns

Adjectival nouns are derived from adjectives: krank → ein Kranker, eine Kranke ill, sick person reich → ein Reicher, eine Reiche rich person verwandt → ein Verwandter, eine Verwandte relative Adjectives used as nouns follow the pattern of adjectival endings. As an example, here are all forms of Verwandte/r ‘relative’ with the indefinite article: Ein Verwandter von mir wohnt in Bonn. (nom., masc.) ... »