Grammatik
 

Exercises

Gender of German nouns

German nouns fall into three groups: masculine (der), neuter (das) and feminine (die). Grammatical gender may coincide with biological sex (e.g. nouns referring to male persons are always masculine) or with specific noun forms (e.g. all words formed with the diminutive suffix -chen are neuter). There are no fail-safe rules for determining the gender of German nouns, but below are a few helpful guidelines. The best way to master gender is to memorise the article together with the noun.

Masculine (der):

Nouns referring to male persons

der Mann man,
der Onkel
uncle,
der Junge boy

Names of seasons, months, days of the week, of day der Frühling spring,
der Januar
January,
der Samstag
Saturday,
der Abend
evening

Common exceptions:
das Frühjahr
spring,
die Nacht
night

Directions der Süden south,
der Nordwesten
northwest
Alcoholic beverages

der Wein wine,
der Sekt
sparkling wine,
der Cognac
cognac,
der Likör
liqueur           

Common exceptions:
das Bier beer

Car makes der Mercedes,
der Mazda,
der Fiat
Most nouns ending in -e denoting animate beings

der Finne Finn,
der Experte
expert,

der Löwe
lion

Nouns ending in -er denoting professions, nationalities and equipment/tools

der Techniker technician,
der Österreicher
Austrian,
der Computer
computer,
der Drucker
printer,

Common exceptions:
das Messer
knife

Nouns formed with the foreign suffixes
-ant-, -ent-, -eur- -ist-, -ismus and -or
der Praktikant trainee,
der Student
student,
der Ingenieur
engineer,
der Tourist
tourist,
der Realismus
realism,
der Direktor
director


Neuter
(das):

Nouns referring to children and young animals das Baby baby,
das Kind 
child,
das Kalb
 
calf
Names of many metals and chemical compounds

das Metall metal,
das Gold gold,
das Uran
uranium,
das Chlor
chlorine

Common exceptions:
die Bronze
bronze,
der Stahl
steel,
der Sauerstoff
oxygen

Nouns formed with the suffix -chen or -lein das Mädchen girl,
das Brötchen
bread roll,
das Fräulein
young woman
Collective nouns formed with the prefix Ge- das Gebirge mountains,
das Gemüse
vegetables
Nouns formed from infinitive verbs das Treffen meeting,
das Rauchen
smoking
Nouns formed with the foreign suffixes -(i)um  and -(m)ent das Studium studies,
das Praktikum
traineeship

das Sortiment assortment,
das Dokument
document


Feminine (die):
 
Nouns denoting female persons die Mutter mother,
die Schwester
sister,
die Tante
aunt
Names of ships die Titanic,
die Otto Hahn
Names of most trees, flowers and fruits

die Birke birch,
die Kiefer
pine,
die Tulpe
tulip,
die Rose
rose,
die Birne
pear,
die Banane
banana

Common exceptions:
der Wacholder juniper,
der Apfel apple

Most nouns ending in -e denoting concepts or inanimate objects

die Frage question,
die Stunde
hour,
die Schule
school,
die Straße
street

Common exceptions:
der Name
name,
das Interesse
interest,
das Ende
end

Nouns formed with the following suffixes:

 
-ei die Datei computer file,
die Druckerei
printing house
-heit die Neuheit novelty,
die Gelegenheit
opportunity
-in die Chefin (female) boss,
die Freundin
female friend
-keit die Möglichkeit possibility,
die Schwierigkeit
difficulty
-kunft die Zukunft future,
die Herkunft
origin
-schaft die Wirtschaft economy;
die Eigenschaft
property
-ung die Ausstellung exhibition,
die Prüfung exam

Nouns formed with the following foreign suffixes:

 
-anz die Toleranz tolerance,
die Distanz
distance
-enz die Konkurrenz competition,
die Differenz difference
-ie die Theorie theory,
die Industrie
industry
-ik die Technik technology,
die Fabrik
factory
-ion die Organisation organization,
die Produktion production
-ur die Reparatur repair,
die Natur
nature
-tät die Qualität quality,
die Universität
university


Compound nouns and abbreviations

The gender of compound nouns coincides with that of the suffixed noun:

die Arbeit + der Platz der Arbeitsplatz
das Geschäft + die Reise die Geschäftsreise
die Woche + das Ende das Wochenende

The gender of abbreviations is usually the same as that of the word they stand for:

der PC der Personalcomputer
der VW der Volkswagen
der Krimi der Kriminalroman/ -film
das Info das Informationsblatt
die EU die Europäische Union
die Uni die Universität