German Tips & Tricks

Guess the Gender of German Nouns

Genders… Upon hearing that word when learning a new language, a lot of people gets sick. Fortunately, a few smart people figured out a few tips to help us to guess the gender of German nouns when we are unsure.

When I do not know the gender, I find Google Translate quite helpful. I simply type the + noun. For example:

the Dog. Google will then return: der Hund.

Der tells you that the word Hund, is masculine.

But you aren’t here to hear that, are you? You want to know how to guess the gender of German nouns.

Male people and animals have masculine genders, as do most machines that does a task. Days, months, seasons and most weather-related things. Wind directions. Names of the makes of cars. The names of non-German rivers. If a noun ends in -en, -ig, -ling, -ant, -us, -el, -ismus, -ner, -ich and -er will most probably be masculine as well.

Feminine nouns can be recognised as follows: female people and animals, most German rivers, ships and airplanes as well as numbers. The following noun-endings will also indicate a feminine noun, -ung, -schaft, -ion, -heit, -keit, -tat, -age, -enz, -esse, -euse, -ur, -ik, e, -ei, -ie, -anz and -ur.

You can tell if a noun is neuter by the following clues: human or animal babies, most metals, the infinitive verb when turned into a noun, collectives starting with Ge-, nouns ending in diminutive suffixes -chen, -lein, -le, -erl, -el and -li other endings include -ment and -(i)um.

Feminine nous are the most common nouns so if you simply have no idea, simply go with feminine.

Let me know of other ways I might have missed or simply if you want to know something.


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Myths about Germany and its people

Myths about Germany and its people

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