German Articles: How so when to make use of der, die, das

While languages are content with two genders, masculine and feminine, you will discover three articles in

German: the masculine article der, the feminine article die, and the neuter article das. Learning


noun with its proper German article is a sure way to learn the genders with the German nouns, but


learners get confused the greater number of they progress and also the more words they do know.

97% of the Nouns Have One Specific German Article

But it’s worth while to master the German articles. In accordance with the dictionary Der Duden, 97% of


German nouns are used with the article, while only .1% nouns don’t need one (e.g.

»Allerheiligen«, All

Saints’ Day). And if you think in numbers, there are many more that might

convince you that mastering

the German articles is a large step forward for many students with the German

language: 98.7% of all the nouns in

the Duden dictionary have one article, 1.3% could have two different

articles and only .02% could take any

in the three articles.

Don’t Ask Why: Most German Submissions are Arbitrary

One easy rule is usually that the gender of your German noun generally follows the natural sex if the noun


to people. But you can find exceptions, like the famous «das Mдdchen», the girl, which is neuter,

and a few

others. When it comes to animals especially domestic animals, things be more

complicated. While

«die Maus» (mouse) and «die Katze» (cat) are feminine, «der Hund» (dog) is

masculine and «das Huhn»

(chicken) is neuter. In addition to this generic name which may be

feminine, masculine or neuter, there

might be an additional good name for the male, the feminine along with the

youngling. The younglings are generally neuter,

yet, you will find exceptions.

The articles of nouns that make reference to objects or abstract ideas are totally arbitrary. Meaning: don’t

ask why «der Tisch» (table) is masculine or «die Schцnheit» is feminine. It is merely the actual way it is.

Rules Assist you in making the proper Choice

The great thing is: There are numerous rules that will help you decide on the best German course. Should you


more of the easygoing kind you could possibly always desire to use the feminine article. Since 46% of all the


nouns are feminine, you can be certain that the option is correct in 46% among all cases. Others

might prefer

more reliable rules.

There are two criteria that pick which article a noun takes: word ending and word category.

Accordingly, human and animal babies are (mostly) neuter; diminutives, metals, verbs used as


collectives beginning with Ge- will also be generally neuter; further, nouns ending in -ment,

-um, -ma and —

lein are neuter and several of the words ending in -nis.

The masculine article «der» is utilized with all the seasons, months, days of the week and compass


with car brands, many rivers in and just outside of Germany (although not all), and nouns ending

in -ig, -ich, —

ling, -or and some others, to call just the most crucial ones.

The feminine article «die» is used for

women, many rivers in Germany and Europe (but not every

them), motorcycles by brands and nouns with

about 20 different noun endings: -ung, -keit,- heit,

-schaft,- ion, -enz, -ik, -дt, -unft, -thek, -ade,

-ine, -ive, -ur and some others.

Just How Do You Learn these Rules?

Three steps allow you to master these many rules and then make them adhere to your memory: The initial step is


understand the rules as well as the exceptions. It seems sensible to keep a record, for example some

sort of

diary, associated with a nouns which you find difficult to learn.


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