noun genders
feminine nouns

In the examples above, the man is acted upon by the dog, so he receives the action of the subject . To give a few more transitive verb examples, when you buy something or have something, the “something” is the direct object. Reflexive pronouns are used when a subject and object are the same, as in Ich wasche mich “I wash myself”. The definite articles (der, etc.) correspond to the English “the”.

You need to always know the gender of every noun you learn — otherwise, you won’t be able to use it correctly in a sentence. BUT there are still patterns behind whether the noun you’re learning is paired with a der , die , or das . What you need to know to start getting the hang of der die das.

German Definite Articles Der, Die, Das: Everything You Need to Know about Definite Articles in German

I hate talking about definite and indefinite articles. Then, we’ll touch base on how the case system ties together with noun gender to give you the patterns to follow when plugging der die das into a sentence. But if you want native German speakers to enjoy interacting with you , then I would suggest getting a handle on der die das, which is partially about noun gender.

  • The adjective endings for thegenitivecase follow the same pattern as the dative.
  • It is like the weak inflection, but in forms where the weak inflection has the ending -e, the mixed inflection replaces these with the forms of the strong inflection .
  • But there are a lot of German words, many of which do not have these endings.
  • Since the genitive only has two forms , you only need to learn those two.

Every noun is categorised as either masculine (männlich), feminine or neutral (sächlich). Indefinite articles is “grammar-speak” for ‘a’ — all the different ways of saying ‘a’ in German. The most frequent German nouns, with gender and plural forms.

Whether you play the Grammar Challenge or just the Fast Track, you’ll get plenty of exposure to how German definite articles are used in context. The most successful language learners know that learning to speak a language isn’t about memorizing lots of tables by heart, but about having fun with it. So go out there, have some fun with German, and definite articles will follow suit. It’s ok to learn their declension, the noun suffixes, etc., I stand by all of the advice I have given in this article. But even if you work really, really hard, study all the cases and endings, always write down the article when learning a new word, you will inevitably make mistakes. Learning a language is all about making mistakes.” is feminine, “Der” masculine and “das” neutral. Even though the native speaker and know with ones to use instinctively, they can’t really tell you which ones are used when, sorry. For example “the girl” translated to “das Mädchen”, which is a neutral article. In fact, even native speakers can get in trouble with that when there are words like “Nutella”, for which you can use more than one article. Picking out the correct form of ‘the’ to use at the right time is a matter of knowing the gender & case of the noun.

Adjective Nouns [Substantivierte Adjektive]

So, imagine the two conventional articles charts from above … but with another 8 charts on top of them with just itty bitty changes that somehow you have to remember. This is how the definite articles are conventionally taught. In German, the definite article is much more important than it is in English. An English-speaker might say “nature is wonderful.” In German, the article would also be included to say “die natur ist wunderschön.”

This exercise will opDer die das chart in a new window, as its navigation buttons will take you to a web worksheet on art, and not back to this page on adjective endings. Ein-word endings are not the same as adjective endings! Other than that, the articles are pronounced how you’d expect based on the spelling. The only thing to watch out for is the difference between -e and -er (as in eine vs. einer), which can be tricky.

  • But they change according to the case in which they’re used.
  • You will find the reasoning behind this seemingly senseless and illogical feature of the German language in the following section.
  • Fun-loving Irish guy, full-time globe trotter and international bestselling author.
  • Add der/die/das to one of your lists below, or create a new one.
  • They work a little bit differently to English adjectives, because the ending changes based on certain rules.

Unfortunately, the majority of nouns in German do not have a naturally occurring biological gender. But this doesn’t mean that you have to curl up in a ball in the corner of the room and cry. DeterminersDetermine whether or not the adjectives in these statements about determined people are preceded by determiners. Have you spotted the similarities between German case declensions and certain features of English?

Is it der, die or das?

Once you notice the parallel and the agreement of the lettersr,e,swithder,die,das, it becomes less complicated than it may seem at first. So why does the indefinite article chart have a “plural” column? Well, the entries in this column aren’t real articles. Instead, they tell you how to construct the plural forms of certain related words like kein and mein.

Working with the All-In-One Chart is all about learning German smarter, not harder. Coming up, after we talk about how to use declensions with the same All-In-One Declensions Chart you discovered above. The word Chart is , therefore the correct article is . The Dativ case is used, in a sense, when talking about movement, the passage of time and the relationship between static objects. When you drive with a car, you’d talk about it in the Dativ case. When you work somewhere, because time passes, you’d talk about it in the Dativ case.


You can have a pretty decent and grammatically correct conversation in German without ever using the genitive case. Try the first one of the practice exercisesabove to practice recognizing determiners. IF YOU GET A QUESTION WRONG, KEEP TRYING UNTIL YOU GET IT RIGHT. THE PROGRAM WILL ONLY CALCULATE YOUR SCORE IF YOU HAVE ANSWERED ALL THE QUESTIONS. Incorrect guesses will reduce your score. When you are finished, click “Submit” if you are satisfied with your score. Remember you need a score of at least 80% in order to get a “check” for this assignment. Become well-versed in at least the nominative, accusative, and dative cases .

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The case of each noun in a sentenceindicates what role it is playing in the sentence and therefore also shows its relationship to (i.e. how it’s interacting with) the other nouns in the sentence. The words that come in front of nouns need declensions. In the German language, the gender and therefore article is fixed for each noun. The word ending has a lot to do with the article, so memorize those and practice, practice, practice. However, when writing in German, it’s best to use the Genetiv “des.”It replaces the word von (“of” in English).

Let’s look at what happens when the definite article is still around. The Fluent in 3 Months guide to German articles has a great summary of noun cases in German. By the time you’re finished this article, you’ll know how to choose the right German adjective ending every time.

Other parts of speech used as nouns (gerunds, colors, languages, English -ing forms). All nouns — from tree, to dishtowel, to mansion, to unicycle — all have an assigned gender. By the way, have a look at the English endings too. If you want to start even easier, visit the page where I explain the German alphabet. Add der/die/das to one of your lists below, or create a new one.

Some Logic Behind der, die and das

The third-person pronouns follow the rule that only the masculine gender shows any change in the accusative case. In German, neither the neuteresnor femininesiechanges. But in the dative case, all of the pronouns take on uniquely dative forms. The dative case is a vital element of communicating in German.

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The masculine gender is the only one that looks any different when the case changes from nominative to accusative . Notice how the feminine and neutral articles haven’t changed. It’s only the masculine gender where there’s a visible difference between the nominative and accusative article.

The following chart shows the adjective endings for theaccusativecase with definite articles and the indefinite articles . The following chart shows the adjective endings for thenominativecase with the definite articles and the indefinite articles . Two German pronouns use the same form in both the accusative and the dative .

Since the genitive only has two forms , you only need to learn those two. However, in the masculine and neuter, there is also an additional noun ending, either -esor -s. In the examples below, the genitive word or expression is in bold.


When a noun is formed from several other nouns combined into one word, the last noun in the word determines the gender of the entire word. Some verbs in English and German can be either transitive or intransitive, but the key is to remember that if you have a direct object, you’ll have the accusative case in German. On the other hand, if you do this with an intransitive verb, such as “to sleep,” “to die” or “to wait,” no direct object is needed. The indirect object is usually the receiver of the direct object . In the first example above, the driver got the ticket.


Adjectives are really useful for making descriptive, rich sentences in German. They work a little bit differently to English adjectives, because the ending changes based on certain rules. I learned more about gender, articles and nouns from this article than I had learned from several other sources.

In English, this is expressed by the possessive “of” or an apostrophe with an “s” (‘s). This case is probably the easiest one to get your head around because the noun is in place of the subject. List “I want to go to that school where I learned how to write.” ‘Where’ describes ‘the school’. When an article is present, however, the adjective doesn’t need to do as much work. The only one that doesn’t follow the nice, logical pattern is des, which becomes -en.

All of the relative pronouns will mean either that, who, whom, whose, or which. But they change according to the case in which they’re used. To fix this, these adjective endings “borrow” from the strong endings to preserve the distinction between nominative masculine and nominative/accusative neuter. One last shortcut to help you with your noun genders and articles is to learn certain categories of meaning that are always the same gender, such as the following.