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German Articles (der, die, das & ein, eine)

In this lesson, you will learn German articles.

German Articles

German, like English, has an article. However, in German, articles reveal the gender of a substantive (noun). Moreover, all German nouns are assigned to one of the three genders by using articles: masculine (männlich), feminine (weiblich) or neutral (sächlich).

The definite article “der” is for masculine nouns, “die” is used for feminine nouns, and “das” is used for neuter nouns. However, the gender of nouns is quite unpredictable in German. That’s why the best thing is to learn each noun with its article, which goes with it.

There are two types of articles in German:
⭐ the definite article (der bestimmte Artikel = definiter) ➡️ der, die, das
⭐ the indefinite article (der unbestimmte Artikel = indefiniter) ➡️ ein, eine

masculinederein
femininedieeine
neuterdasein
Table 1.1 – Grammatical Gender in German

❗ German articles change their form to indicate the grammatical categories of the nouns (i.e., case, plural and gender).

German Definite Articles: der, die, das

German definite article is “der, die, and das”, which corresponds to the English “the”. The definite article “the” in English always keeps the same form. However, The form of German definite articles changes depending on the case, gender and plural of the noun in the sentence.

The declension of the definite articles is shown in Table 1.2:

CASESMASCULINEFEMININENEUTRALPLURAL
Nominative
(Nominativ)
derdiedasdie
Accusative
(Akkusativ)
dendiedasdie
Dative
(Dative)
demderdemden
Genitive
(Genitiv)
desderdesder
Table 1.2

❗ The plural forms of the definite article are the same for all genders.

❗ Some clues can help you work out or remember the gender of nouns.

der (masculine)

Nouns with the following meanings are usually (There are also some exceptions.) masculine.

⭐ Male persons and male animals

der Mann
der Löwe
der Hahn
Man
Lion
Rooster

⭐ Days of the week

der Mittwoch
der Sonnabend
der Dienstag
Wednesday
Saturday
Tuesday

⭐ Months of the year

der Mai
der Juni
der Februar
May
June
February

⭐ Seasons

der Sommer
der Winter
der Herbst
der Frühling
Summer
Winter
Autumn
Spring

⭐ Points of the compass

der Süden
der Norden
der Westen
der Osten
South
North
West
East

⭐ Kinds of weather

der Wind
der Taifun
der Frost
der Regen
der Schnee
der Sturm
der Hagel
Wind
Typhoon
Frost
Rain
Snow
Storm
Hail

⭐ Makes of car

der Audi
der BMW
der Polo
der Rolls-Royce
Audi
BMW
Polo
Rolls-Royce

⭐ Plant-based drinks

der Kaffee
der Tee
der Saft
Coffee
Tea
Juice

⭐ Most alcoholic drinks

der Cocktail
der Wein
der Wodka
Cocktail
Wine
Wodka

⭐ Most monetary units

der Cent
der Dollar
der Euro
Cent
Dollar
Euro

⭐ Mountains and mountain ranges

der Himalaja
der Ätna
der Montblanc
Himalayan
Etna
Mont Blanc

⭐ Nouns with the following endings are masculine:

-antder KonsonantConsonant
-astder KontrastContrast
-ichder TeppichCarpet
-igder EssigVinegar
-lingder FeiglingCoward
-order MotorEngine
-usder RhythmusRhythm

die (feminine)

Nouns with the following meanings are usually (There are also some exceptions.) feminine.

⭐ Female persons and animals

die Frau
die Kuh
die Tante
Woman
Cow
Aunt

⭐ The names of aeroplanes, motorbikes and ships

die „Bismarck“
die „Bremen“

⭐ Native German names of rivers

die Donau
die Fulda
die Isar

⭐ Names of numerals

die Vier
die Tausend
die Million
Vier
Thousand
Million

⭐ Most fruits

die Birne
die Kirsche
die Erdbeere
Pear
Cherry
Strawberry

⭐ Nouns with the following endings are feminine:

-adie VillaVilla
-anzdie EleganzElegance
-eidie BüchereiLibrary
-enzdie ExistenzExistence
-heitdie GesundheitHealth
-iedie BiologieBiology
-ikdie PanikPanic
-indie Lehrerin(woman) Teacher
-keitdie HeiterkeitMerriment
-schaftdie BotschaftMessage
-siondie ExplosionExplosion
-sisdie BasisBase
-tiondie RevolutionRevolution
-tätdie UniversitätUniversity
-ungdie BedeutungMeaning

das (neutral)

Nouns with the following meanings are usually (There are also some exceptions.) neuter.

⭐ Young persons and animals

das Baby
das Kind
das Lamm
Baby
Child
Lamb

⭐ Chemical elements

das Gold
das Kobalt
das Zinn
Gold
Cobalt
Zinc

⭐ Scientific units

das Ampere
das Volt
das Watt
Ampere
Volt
Watt

⭐ Letters of the alphabet

das A
das B
das Ypsilon
A
B
Y

⭐ Names of hotels, cafés, restaurants and cinemas

das „Hilton“
das „Roxy“
das „Kranzler“

⭐ Names of continents and countries

das alte Bayern
das gärende Afrika
das zerstörte Frankfurt

⭐ Nouns derived from verbs

das Essen
das Hören
das Bellen
Meal
Listening
Barking

⭐ Nouns with the following endings are neutral:

-chendas MädchenGirl
-ichtdas DickichtThicket
-ildas VentilValve
-itdas DynamitDynamite
-leindas BüchleinBooklet
-madas SchemaScheme
-mentdas AppartementApartment
-teldas ViertelQuarter
-tumdas EigentumProperty
-umdas AlbumAlbum

German Indefinite Articles: ein, eine

In German, there is one indefinite article, ein. However, it has two forms: ein and eine. “Ein” is used for masculine and neuter nouns, while “eine” is used for feminine nouns.

German indefinite article is “ein and eine”, which corresponds to the English “a, an”. The form of German indefinite articles also changes depending on the case, gender and plural of the noun in the sentence.

The declension of the indefinite articles is shown in Table 1.3:

CASESMASCULINEFEMININENEUTRALPLURAL
Nominative
(Nominativ)
eineineein✖️
Accusative
(Akkusativ)
eineneineein✖️
Dative
(Dative)
einemeinereinem✖️
Genitive
(Genitiv)
eineseinereines✖️
Table 1.3

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