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Gender of German nouns (substantives) - der, die, das

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This topic is about the three different genders in the German language. These are the different genders.

  • masculine (der Mann - man)
  • feminine (die Frau - woman
  • neuter (das Kind - child)

In the following you will find various rules that can give you hints about the gender of a noun.

Masculine nouns in German (der)

Masculine nouns in German use the definite article der or the indefinite article ein before the noun.

masculine nounsThere are several criteria that indicate if a noun is masculine.

For example: 

  • Male persons: der Mann (man), der Onkel (uncle), der Opa (grandpa)

  • Professions: der Lehrer (teacher), der Koch (cook)

  • Days and months: der Montag (monday), der Dienstag (tuesday), der September (september), der Oktober (october)

  • Seasons: der Winter (winter), der Sommer (summer), der Herbst (autumn), der Frühling (spring)

  • cardinal points: der Norden (north), der Süden (south), der Osten (east), der Westen (west)

  • some weather conditions: der Tau (dew), der Schnee (snow), der Regen (rain)

  • currency: der Dollar, der Euro 

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Ending of a masculine nouns 

Ending of the nounExample
-antder Diamant (diamant), der Elefant (elefant), der Mandant (mandator)
-ärder Bär (bear), der Sekretär (secretary)
-eurder Amateur (amateur), der Friseur (hair dresser)
-ich der Rettich (radish), der Teich (pond), der Bindestrich (hypen)
-igder König (king), der Honig (honey), der Teig (dough)
-ikerder Musiker (musician), der Techniker (technician)
-istder Spezialist (specialist), der Artist (artist)
-lingder Feigling (coward), der Liebling (darling), der Schmetterling (butterfly)
-order Marmor (marble), der Senior (senior)

You can find more information about masculine nouns in following chapters.
Exception of the rule number one

Feminine nouns in German (die)

Feminine nouns in German use the definite article die and the indefinite article eine before the nouns.

There are several criteria that indicate if a noun is feminine.

Here are some examples:

  • Feminine persons: die Frau (woman), die Tante (aunt), die Oma (grandma)
  • Name of tree species: die Buche (beech), die Tanne (fir)
  • Name of flowers: die Tulpe (tulip), die Rose (rose)
  • Name of fruits: die Birne (pear), die Erdbeere (strawberry), die Banane (banana)
  • female signNumbers used as nouns: die Eins (one), die Zwei (two), die Drei (tree)

Ending of feminine nouns

Ending of the nounExample
-eidie Fischerei (fishery), die Malerei (painting), die Bäckerei (bakery)
-in die Asiatin (asian), die Lehrerin (female teacher)
-keitdie Helligkeit (brightness), die Ähnlichkeit (resemblance), die Haltbarkeit (durability)
-ungdie Änderung (change), die Begabung (aptitude), die Lösung (solution)
-iondie Station (station), die Funktion (function), die Auktion (auction)
-inedie Blondine (blonde), die Gardine (curtain), die Mine (mine)
-schaftdie Gesellschaft (society), die Botschaft (message), die Wirtschaft (economy)
-ade die Marinade (marinade), die Olympiade (olympics), die Fassade (facade)
-ettedie Kette (chain), die Manschette (wristband), die Limette (lime)
-ikdie Kritik (critisicm), die Politik (politics), die Elektrik (electrics)
-urdie Struktur (structure), die Archtiketur (architecture), die Prozedur (procedure)
-sisdie Skepsis (scepticism), die Basis (base)
-tätdie Identität (identity), die Aktivität (activity), die Realität (reality)
-heitdie Freiheit (freedom), die Gewohnheit (habit), die Dummheit (foolishness)
-iedie Anatomie (anatomy), die Fantasie (fantasy), die Chemie (chemistry)

You can find more information about feminine nouns in following chapters.

das Fräulein, das Mädchen

Neuter nouns in German (das)

Neuter nouns in German use the definite article das and the indefinite article ein before the nouns.

There are several criteria that indicate if a noun is neuter.

  • young person or animal: das Rehkitz (fawn), das Kind (child)
  • letters of alphabet: das A, das B, das C
  • colours used as nouns: das Gelb (yellow), das Rot (red)
  • languages: das Deutsch (German), das Französisch (French)
  • words of English origin: das Baby (baby), das Handy (mobile phone)
  • names of cities and country accompanied by adjectives: das schöne Bayern (beautiful bavaria), das große Russland (big Russia)
  • chemical elements: das Gold (gold), das Silber (silver)

Ending of neuter nouns

Ending of the nounExample
-chendas Anzeichen (indication), das Mädchen (girl)
-lein das Krönlein (little crown), das Männlein (little man)
-tum das Datum (date), das Christentum (Christianity), das Wachstum (growth)
-odas Auto (car), das Radio (radio)
-ettdas Brett (board), das Bett (bed)
-mentdas Apartment (apartment), das Element (element), das Kompliment (compliment)
-madas Klima (climate), das Thema (topic), das Drama (drama)
-um das Aquarium (aquarium), das Basilikum (basil), das Zentrum (centre)

You can find more information about neuter nouns in following chapters.

enlightenedKeep in mind: there are a lot of exceptions in the German language. You can find some of them in the following chapters.

Which gender do compound nouns have?

Compound nouns are nouns that are composed out of two or more words and then build a new word with sometimes a new meaning.

The last word always determines the gender, the number and the case of the compound noun. It is also the only one to decline depending on the case.

Compound nouns can be formed out of 

  • Noun + noun: die Wasserflasche (das Wasser + die Flasche) - water bottle
  • verb + noun:  das Esszimmer (essen + das Zimmer) - dining room
  • adjective/participle + noun: die Großstadt (groß + die Stadt) - big city
  • invariable preposition + noun: der Aberglaube (aber + der Glaube) - superstition

You can find a detailed explanation in future chapters. In addition, do the exercises to anchor your knowledge.


yes It is way more easier to learn the plural form by heart. Test your skills with challenging exercises of the three German genders.


  1. Determine the gender of German nouns
  2. Exercise of German gender and articles
  3. Decide about the German gender

Determine the gender of German nouns

Exercise of German gender and articles

Decide about the German gender

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Next lessons

1 German masculine nouns list Learn the German masculine nouns here with a fun and interactive lesson!
2 German feminine nouns list Learn the German feminine nouns with a fun and very interactive lesson.
3 German neuter nouns list Learn the different German neuter nouns with a fun and interactive lesson!