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The Basics
How to Use Articles and Related Words
Declension of Nouns
Using Cases
Declension of Adjectives
Comparison of Adjectives
Using Pronouns
Knowing A Nouns Gender

Masculine Forms | Masculine Endings | Foreign Masculine Endings | Masculine Meanings | Days, months... | Weather | Makes of Cars | Male Persons and Animals | Feminine Forms | -in Suffix | Feminine Endings | Foreign Feminine Endings | Feminine Meanings | Trees and Flowers | Dimensional Nouns | Female Persons and Animals | Neuter Forms | Neuter Endings | Collective Nouns with Ge- Prefix | Foreign Neuter Endings | Neuter Meanings | Chemical Elements | Other Parts of Speech | Countries, continents...

Probably the most difficult part about the German language is knowing which of the three genders the noun is, masculine, feminine, or neuter. There are several little tips and certain patterns that the nouns follow though. Of course, there are always exceptions, but for the most part, this lessons patterns hold true. Note though that these are only patterns, so there are exceptions. For the most part the gender of a noun must be learned and remembered, soon you will get a feel for which gender fits a certain noun; this feeling is Sprachgefühl (feeling of the language).
Masculine Forms:
Nouns ending in -ich, -ig, -ing, and -ling are typically masculine:
der Stich stingder Strich line
der Käfig cageder König king
der Ring ringder Hering herring
der Zwilling twinder Lehrling apprentice
Exception: das Ding thing, das Camping camping
Nouns of foreign origin ending with -an, -ast, -ent (except most of which end in -ment), -ismus, -ist, and -or are also masculine:
der Ozean oceander Roman novel
der Palast palaceder Plast plastic
der Akzent accentder Sozialismus socialism
der Komponist composerder Motor motor
Exceptions: das Organ organ, das Tor gate,goal
Masculine Meanings:
Days, months, seasons, and points of the compass are all masculine:
der Mittwoch Wednesdayder März March
der Frühling springder Winter winter
der Süden southder Nordwesten north-west
Weather features are also masculine:
der Regen rainder Schnee snow
der Nebel fogder Wind wind
Makes of cars as der Wagen (car) is masculine:
der Ford, der Porsche, der Mercedes
Male persons and animals are also masculine:
der Mann mander Arzt doctor
der Sohn sonder Hund dog
der Löwe lionder Fuchs fox
Feminine Forms:
Masculine nouns which add as -in suffix gives the female equivalent:
die Ärztin woman doctordie Freundin female friend
die Löwin lionessdie Engländerin Englishwoman
Nouns ending with -ei, -heit, -keit, -schaft, and -ung are feminine:
die Arznei medicamentdie Einzelheit detail
die Aufmerksamkeit attentiondie Gemeinschaft community
die Erklärung explanationdie Forschung research
Nouns of foreign origin which end in -a, -anz, -enz, -ie, -ik, -ion, -tät, and -ur are also feminine:
die Firma firmdie Eleganz elegance
die Intelligenz intelligencedie Melodie melody
die Republik republicdie Illusion illusion
die Qualität qualitydie Figur figure
Exceptions: das Sofa sofa, das Genie genius
Feminine Meanings:
Most trees and flowers:
die Buche beechdie Eiche oak
die Nelke carnationdie Tulpe tulip
Nouns formed from adjectives dealing with dimensions:
from breit (wide) - die Breite width
from dicht (dense) - die Dichte density
from dick (thick) - die Dicke thickness
from fern (far) - die Ferne distance
from groß (big) - die Größe size
from hoch (high) - die Höhe height
from lang (lang) - die Länge length
from schwer (heavy) - die Schwere weight
Female persons and animals are also of course feminine:
die Frau womandie Tante aunt
die Tochter daughterdie Katze cat
die Kuh cowdie Sau sow
Except: das Mädchen girl, das Fräulein young lady
Neuter Forms:
Nouns ending with -lein, -chen, -nis, -tel, and -tum are all neuter:
das Fräulein young ladydas Mädchen girl
das Ergebnis resultdas Drittel third
das Christentum Christianitydas Eigentum property
Exceptions: die Erlaubnis permission, die Kenntnis knowledge
Collective nouns which begin with the prefix Ge-:
das Geschirr crockerydas Gebäck baked goods
das Gemüse vegetablesdas Geschrei shouting
Exceptions: der Geruch smell, die Gemeinde congregation
Names of foreign origin ending with -at, -ma, -ment, -um, and -ium are all neuter:
das Quadrat squaredas Komma comma
das Experiment experimentdas Album album
das Datum datedas Studium study
Exceptions: der Salat salad, der Zement cement
Neuter Meanings:
Chemical elements are neuter:
das Eisen irondas Chlor chlorine
das Jod iodinedas Kupfer copper
der Phosphor phosphorus, der Schwefel sulfur
Other parts of speech and letters of the alphabet when used as nouns are always neuter:
Das Schwimmen macht viel Spaß. - Swimming is a lot of fun.
Das Wichtige siehst du nicht. - You can't see the important thing.
Man muß das Für und Wider erwägen. - One must way the pros and cons.
Er sagte das endültige Nein. - He said the final no.
Das Ob und Wie besprechen wir später. - We'll discuss later whether and how to proceed.
Er hat mir das Du angeboten. - He suggested we call eachother "Du".
Bei Callas war das hohe C unvergeßlich. - Callas' top C was unforgettable
Most countries and continents, and all towns (except den Haag) are neuter:
das alte Wien old Vienna
das heutige Europa Europe today
Exceptions: countries ending with -e, -ei, and -z which are all feminine: die Türkei Turkey, die Schweiz Switzerland, die Simbabwe Zimbabwe
Lesson Four - Declension of Nouns -->