Grammatical Gender in German
In this lesson, you will learn the grammatical gender in German and why it plays an essential role in the German language.
A noun is a word that refers to a person, place, thing, event, substance, or quality. There are two essential points to know about nouns in German compared to English:
❗ In German, every noun starts with a capital letter wherever in the sentence.
❗ Every noun in German has a gender.
All German nouns are assigned to one of the three genders: masculine (männlich), feminine (weiblich) or neuter (sächlich). However, be careful that grammatical gender is a system for classifying nouns and is not the same as biological gender. That’s why it is essential to know that the gender of German nouns rarely relates to the sex of the person or thing it refers to.
There are three definite articles in German: der, die, and das. These replace the English definite article “the” and identify the gender of the noun they go with. “der” is used for masculine nouns, “die” is used for feminine nouns, and “das” is used for neutral nouns.
Unfortunately, the gender of nouns is quite unpredictable. That’s why the best thing is to learn each noun with its definite article which goes with it:
der Teppich ➡️ carpet
der Mann ➡️ man
die Zeit ➡️ time
die Frau ➡️ woman
das Bild ➡️ picture
das Mädchen ➡️ girl
To use a German dictionary for nouns correctly, you must make sure you know the correct gender before using it. In German dictionaries, nouns can be represented in several ways:
m= maskulin (männlich)
f= feminin (weiblich)
n= neutral (sächlich)
r= der, e= die, s= das