German Articles part 1

 

German Articles – Part 1
 

We use nouns for people, objects, things or ideas. Nouns are normally (not always) preceded by an article. Nouns are always written with a capital letter in German.

 

In German we have three main articles:

der (masculine), die (feminine) and  das (neuter).

 

For example:

  der Mann (the man)

  die Frau (the woman)

  das Tier (the animal)

 

The articles change depending on

–  the gender (masculine, feminine, neuter)

–  the number (singular or plural)

–  and the case (nominative, genitive, dative and accusative)

 

The different forms can be: der, die, das, des, dem and den depending on gender, number and case. We are going to show how to handle the articles step by step – so don’t worry. This site is only part 1.

 

The Gender

The best method to get familiar to the articles is by listening a lot to the German language. We don’t recommend learning words by heart but if you like to memorize words you should never learn just the nouns! Always try to remember also the main articles der, die and das.

The grammatical gender does not follow a logical set of rules but there are some noun endings which give us a hint. But be careful, it does not always work!

By the way, have a look at the English endings too. A lot of English and German words are similar.

The article: „der“ (masculine)

 

-ling

der Häftling (the prisoner)
der Frühling (the spring)
der Flüchtling (the refugee)
der Säugling (the infant)
der Lehrling (the apprentice)
der Zwilling (the twin)

 

-ist

der Optimist (the optimist)
der Pianist (the pianist)
der Polizist (the policeman)
der Spezialist (the specialist)

 

-or

der Humor (the humor)
der Doktor (the doctor)
der Tresor (the safe)
der Professor (the professor)
der Motor (the motor)

 

-ismus

der Egoismus (the egoism)
der Tourismus (the tourism)
der Pazifismus (the pacifism)

 

-er

der Hörer (the receiver)
der Jäger (the hunter)
der Käfer (the bug, the beetle)
der Körper (the body)
der Tiger (the tiger)
der Bäcker (the baker)
der Donner (the thunder)

 

 

The article: „die“ (feminine)

 

-keit

die Müdigkeit (the tiredness)
die Süßigkeit (the sweetness, the candy)
die Fähigkeit (the ability)
die Häufigkeit (the frequency)
die Flüssigkeit (the liquid, the fluid)
die Geschwindigkeit (the speed, the velocity)
die Fröhlichkeit (the joyfulness)

 

-ion

die Portion (the portion)
die Region (the region)
die Station (the station)
die Reaktion (the reaction)
die Situation (the situation)

die Nation (the nation)
die Tradition (the tradition)

 

-schaft

die Erbschaft (the inheritance , the heritage)
die Landschaft (the landscape, the
countryside)
die Kundschaft (the
customers, the clientele)
die Wissenschaft (the science)
die Eigenschaft (the characteristic)
die Freundschaft (the friendship)
die Gesellschaft (the society)

 

-heit

die Feigheit (the cowardice)
die Schönheit (the beauty)
die Klugheit (the cleverness)
die Blödheit (the stupidity)
die Dummheit (the foolishness)

 

-enz

die Intelligenz (the intelligence)
die Konsequenz (the
consequence)
die Frequenz (the
frequency)
die Existenz (the existence)
die Differenz (the difference)
die Tendenz (the
tendency)

 

-tät

die Normalität (the normality)
die Spezialität (the speciality)
die Elektrizität (the electricity)
die Flexibilität (the flexibility)
die Kontinuität (the continuity)

 

-ung

die Änderung (the change)
die Abteilung (the department)
die Einladung (the invitation)
die Anleitung (the instruction)
die Forschung (the research)

 

The article: „das“ (neuter)

-nis

das Schulzeugnis (the school certificate)
das Gedächtnis (the memory)
das Erlebnis (the
experience)
das Geheimnis (the secret)
das Hindernis (the obstacle)

 

 

-ment

das Dokument (the document)
das Sortiment (the assortment)
das Zement (the cement)

das Komplement (the complement)
das Medikament (the medication, the medicine)
das Instrument (the instrument)

 

-lein / -chen

Sometimes these endings are used to „belittle“ a noun.

der Vogel (the bird)  => das Vögelchen (the little bird, the birdie)
das Buch (the book) => das Büchlein (the booklet)

 

 

 

Compound Words

 

If you have a compound word, the gender of the compound word matches the gender of the last word.

Examples:

der Wind + die Mühle = die Windmühle (the windmill)

das Spiel + der Platz = der Spielplatz (the playground)

die Frage + das Zeichen = das Fragezeichen (the question mark)

 

More examples of compound words:

das Wohnzimmer + die Lampe = die Wohnzimmerlampe (the living room lamp)

die Haustür  + der Schlüssel = der Haustürschlüssel (the front door key)

das Klo + die Bürste = die Klobürste (the toilet brush)

die Bank + das Konto = das Bankkonto (the bank account)

der Kredit + der Rahmen = der Kreditrahmen (credit line)

der Wein + die Flasche = die Weinflasche (the wine bottle)

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Datum: Montag, 27. Dezember 2010 21:52
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