2 – The Definite Articles

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In German we generally use nouns together with their articles. The article tells us the gender (masculine, feminine, neuter), number (singular, plural), and case (nominative, accusative, dative, genitive) of the noun.

There are  definite articles (der, die, das) and indefinite articles (ein, eine)

Quiz Time

Don’t forget to take the quiz after learning the lesson, you will find a button in the end of this lesson “Quiz Time”, click and test yourself.

The Definite Articles

The definite article tells us three things about the noun depending on how it is used in the sentence:

  • The gender: either der (masculine)die (feminine) or das (neuter).
  • The number: singular or plural.
  • The case: it is something typical for the German language, we have for cases: nominative, accusative, dative. or genitive.

Nouns are used to give names to people, objects and things. The nouns are written always with a capital letter in German:

 

The grammatical gender does not follow a logical set of rules. So always learn German nouns and articles together. Luckily, there are a few simple rules applying to certain kinds of nouns that can help you remember.

Masculine are:

 

Male Persons, male jobs / occupations:

 

Days of the week, months, seasons:

 

Most nouns with the following endings:

 

Neuter are:

 

Many nouns with the prefix Ge-  at the beginning:

 

The infinitive forms of verbs acting as nouns:

 

All diminutive forms of nouns ending in:

 

A lot of nouns ending in:

 

Feminine are:

 

Female persons, female jobs/occupations:

 

Many flowers and trees:

 

Most nouns ending in:

 

As in English, German has different kinds of articles “Indefinite articles”.

Forms of the Article

In German articles change their form depending on how the nouns they belong to are used in the sentence. They indicate gender, number and case. We have different forms: nominative, accusative, dative and genitive.

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