In this lesson, you will be learning the genders of German nouns. First of all, there is one thing we should point out: Grammatical gender is a system for classifying nouns and is not the same thing as “natural or biological” gender.
As it is known, a noun is a word that refers to a person, place, thing, event, substance or quality. There are two important points to know about nouns in German compared to English:
- -All nouns in German are always capitalized, so they are easier to spot in a text.
Genders in German
- -Every German noun has a gender.
In German, nouns can be classified as masculine (männlich), feminine (weiblich) and neuter (sächlich). If you ask what is the way to understand the gender of the words, the answer is looking at their article “der – die das” (the) that comes before the noun. In the German language, “der” is used for masculine nouns, “die” is used feminine nouns and “das” is used for neutral nouns.
First of all, it is important to know that the gender of German nouns does not mean the biological sex of the person or thing they refer to.
Here we are talking about grammatical sex rather than biological sex. That’s mean the gender of a noun indicates the grammatical category to which it belongs. This means that in German, not only people and animals but also objects can be masculine, feminine or neuter gender.
To use a German dictionary for nouns correctly, you must make sure you know the correct gender before using it. That’s why it is recommended that learners of German as a second language learn German nouns with their genders.
The best way to remember the gender of a noun is to memorize the masculine article “der” for masculine words, feminine article “die” for feminine words and neuter article “das” for neuter words is used instead.
As will be noticed, knowing the gender of a noun in German is the key to making correct sentences!
You often can’t guess whether a noun is masculine, feminine or neuter in German. Therefore, we recommend that you memorize the genders of German nouns while memorizing them.