• German grammar
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  • 1 German pronunciation [0/1]
  • 2 German functions of words [0/5]
  • 3 German sentence structure [0/28]
  • Construct a German sentence! (Score -/-)
  • Make a German indirect speech! (Score -/-)
  • 3.1 Sentence structure of main clauses in German [0/4]
  • 3.2 Dependent clauses in German [0/12]
  • 3.3 Negation in German [0/3]
  • 3.4 Questions in German [0/2]
  • 3.5 Indirect speech in German [0/2]
  • 3.6 Conjunctions in German [0/3]
  • 4 German Articles [0/7]
  • 5 German nouns [0/28]
  • Fill in the correct form of the German noun! (Score -/-)
  • Form the correct plural form of the German nouns! (Score -/-)
  • Fill in the correct definite and indefinite article! (Score -/-)
  • Translate these nouns into German (Score -/-)
  • Match the right German word to the sentences (Score -/-)
  • 5.1 Gender of German nouns (substantives) - der, die, das [0/9]
  • 5.2 Plural of German nouns [0/4]
  • 5.3 German declension (N-declension) [0/4]
  • 5.4 Diminutive (-lein, -chen) in German [0/3]
  • 5.5 Compound nouns in German [0/2]
  • 5.6 Adjectives and verbs as nouns in German [0/1]
  • 6 German pronouns [0/19]
  • 7 German cases [0/13]
  • 8 German adjectives [0/29]
  • Exercise for building German adjectives (Score -/-)
  • Determine the form of use of these German adjectives! (Score -/-)
  • Transform these German adjectives to their nominal form (Score -/-)
  • Build the comparative and superlative of these German adjectives (Score -/-)
  • Insert the German attributive adjective! (Score -/-)
  • 8.1 Different types of adjectives in German [0/3]
  • 8.2 How to form German adjectives [0/1]
  • 8.3 German participle as adjectives [0/2]
  • 8.4 Comparative and superlative adjectives in German [0/4]
  • 8.5 Declension of German adjectives [0/2]
  • 8.6 Forming and declension of ordinal numbers in German [0/2]
  • 8.7 Possessive adjectives in German [0/2]
  • 8.8 Demonstrative adjectives in German [0/2]
  • 8.9 Interrogative and exclamatory adjectives in German [0/2]
  • 8.10 Indefinite adjectives in German [0/2]
  • 8.11 List of German Adjectives [0/2]
  • 9 German adverbs [0/13]
  • 10 German verbs [0/67]
  • Match the correct German verb to the sentences (Score -/-)
  • Form the German simple past and participle II form (Score -/-)
  • Exercise to match the right German auxiliary verb! (Score -/-)
  • Choose the right conjugation of the German verbs (Score -/-)
  • Build the German form of politeness! (Score -/-)
  • 10.1 Auxiliary verbs in German [0/5]
  • 10.2 Modal verbs in German [0/8]
  • 10.3 Separable and inseparable verbs in German [0/3]
  • 10.4 Conjugation of regular verbs (weak verbs) in German
  • 10.5 Conjugation of irregular verbs (strong verbs) in German [0/45]
  • Exercise: German irregular verbs (Score -/-)
  • 10.5.1 Conjugation of geben (to give) in German [0/2]
  • 10.5.2 Conjugation of gehen (to walk, to go) in German [0/2]
  • 10.5.3 Conjugation of lassen (to let) in German [0/2]
  • 10.5.4 Conjugation of nehmen (to take) in German [0/2]
  • 10.5.5 Conjugation of fahren (to drive) German [0/2]
  • 10.5.6 Conjugation of essen (to eat) in German [0/2]
  • 10.5.7 Conjugation of lesen (to read) in German [0/2]
  • 10.5.8 Conjugation of sehen (to see) in German [0/2]
  • 10.5.9 Conjugation of kommen (to come) in German [0/2]
  • 10.5.10 Conjugation of trinken (to drink) in German [0/2]
  • 10.5.11 Conjugation of schlafen (to sleep) in German [0/2]
  • 10.5.12 Conjugation of gefallen (to please) in German [0/2]
  • 10.5.13 Conjugation of schreiben (to write) in German [0/2]
  • 10.5.14 Conjugation of helfen (to help) in German [0/1]
  • 10.5.15 Conjugation of laufen (to run) in German [0/2]
  • 10.5.16 Conjugation of treffen (to meet, to hit) in German [0/1]
  • 10.5.17 Conjugation of tragen (to carry) in German [0/1]
  • 10.5.18 Conjugation of bleiben (to stay) in German [0/1]
  • 10.5.19 Conjugation of schwimmen (to swim) in German [0/1]
  • 10.5.20 Conjugation of finden (to find) in German [0/2]
  • 10.5.21 Conjugation of waschen (to wash) in German [0/1]
  • 10.5.22 Conjugation of bekommen (to get) in German [0/1]
  • 10.5.23 Cojugation of bringen (to bring) in German [0/1]
  • 10.5.24 Conjugation of sprechen (to speak) in German [0/1]
  • 10.5.25 Conjugation of heißen (to be called) in German [0/1]
  • 10.5.26 Conjugation of fliegen (to fly) in German [0/2]
  • 10.5.27 Conjugation of backen (to bake) in German [0/1]
  • 10.5.28 Conjugation of steigen (to rise) in German [0/1]
  • 10.6 List of common verbs in German [0/1]
  • 11 German prepositions [0/27]
  • Spot all the used German prepositions! (Score -/-)
  • Match the German prepositions! (Score -/-)
  • Prepositions and German grammar cases! (Score -/-)
  • Determine which kind of German preposition is being used! (Score -/-)
  • Complete the verbs and adjectives! (Score -/-)
  • 11.1 Locative prepositions in German [0/2]
  • 11.2 Temporal prepositions in German [0/2]
  • 11.3 Modal prepositions in German [0/2]
  • 11.4 Causal prepositions in German [0/2]
  • 11.5 German prepositions requiring the genitive [0/2]
  • 11.6 German prepositions requiring the dative [0/2]
  • 11.7 German Prepositions requiring the accusative [0/2]
  • 11.8 German prepositions with either dative or accusative [0/2]
  • 11.9 German prepositions and articles [0/2]
  • 11.10 German prepositions with verbs [0/2]
  • 11.11 German prepositions and adjectives [0/2]
  • 12 Tenses and conjugation of German verbs [0/23]
  • 13 Infinitive in German [0/8]
  • 14 Imperative in German [0/3]
  • 15 Subjunctive in German [0/6]
  • 16 Active and passive voice in German [0/2]
  • 17 Participle in German [0/6]
  • German nouns

    What is a noun in German? 

    In general, nouns are describing creatures, plants, terms and similar things. Hauptwort or Substantiv are other words, for describing a noun in the German language. Nouns come along with their articles, definite and indefinite articles, in most of the time. Additionally, nouns belong to the declinable part of speech. 

    enlightenedKeep in mind: German nouns are always written with a capital letter. 

    Masculine, feminine or neuter nouns in German? 

    There are three different genders in the German grammar. A noun can either be masculine (der Mann), feminine (die Frau) or neuter (das Kind). There are some hints, how to guess the gender of nouns

    Here you can find some examples for masculine, feminine and neuter nouns. 

      Masculine Feminine Neuter
    Articles der / ein die / eine das / ein 
    Examples
    • der/ ein Mann - man
    • der/ ein Löwe - lion
    • der/ ein Schlüssel - key 
    • die/ eine Frau - woman
    • die/ eine Werbung - advertisment
    • die/ eine Universität - university
    • das/ ein Kind - child
    • das/ ein Märchen - fairytale
    • das/ ein Buch - book

    Plural form of German nouns

    What is the plural of Auge (eye) ? Augen or Auges ? There are several rules in order to guide you on plural froms of German nouns. 

    German nouns in the plural are preceded by the definite article die, or by no article because in German there is no indefinite article in plural

    There are five types of transformation from the singular to the plural. Have a look into this table below.

    Transformation in Plural  Example
    • no change

     

    • only Umlaut (ä,ö,ü) on the radical 
    • die Onkel - uncles
    • die Messer - knives

     

    • die Väter - fathers
    • die Äpfel - apples
    • -e ending

     

    • -e ending + Umlaut
    • die Besuche visits
    • die Jahre years

     

    • die Ängste fears
    • die Ärztedoctors
    • -er ending

     

    • -er + Umlaut
    • die Kinder - children
    • die Geister - ghosts

     

    • die Bücher - books
    • die Häuser - houses
    • -n ending

     

    • -en ending
    • die Straßen - streets
    • die Farben - colours

     

    • die Menschen - people
    • die Betten - beds
    • -s ending
    • die Autos - cars
    • die Fotos - photos

    German declension of nouns (N-declension)

    Nouns in German are declined according to their case. Most of the nouns remain unchanged and only the article and the adjective to designate the case and gender.

    The four cases in German are:

    1. Nominative
    2. Genitive
    3. Dative
    4. Accusative

    Table of declension of the four cases

    This table is a summary of the declension of the four cases in German according to the number and gender with the definite and indefinite article.

      Masculine Feminine Neuter Plural
    Nominative der/ein Hund die/eine Katze das/ein Pferd die Mäuse
    Genitive des/eines Hundes der/einer Katze des/eines Pferdes der Mäuse
    Dative dem/einem Hund der/einer Katze dem/einem Pferd den Mäusen
    Accusative den/einen Hund die/eine Katze das/ein Pferd

    die Mäuse


    Translation:

    • der Hund - dog
    • die Katze - cat
    • das Pferd - horse
    • die Mäuse - mice

     

    enlightenedRemember: there is no indefinite article in Germal plural.

    N-declension in German

    Weak and mixed masculine nouns follow a special declension: the N-declension.

    They always take the suffix -n/-en in all cases, except in the nominative singular. The mixed masculine names always take the suffix -n/-en in all cases(except nominative singular), but in addition the suffix -s in genitive singular is added.

    Masculine nouns with the following endings are following the N-declension

    • -e
    • -ent
    • -ant
    • -and
    • -at
    • -ad
    • -urg
    • -oge
    • -ist

    Here you can find some examples in sentences.

    Noun in nominative Example
    der Junge - boy Ich frage den Jungen, ob er Hunger hat. - I ask the boy, if he is hungry.
    der Stundent - student Das Buch des Studenten liegt auf dem Boden. - The book of the student is on the floor.
    der Tourist - tourist Wir geben dem Touristen die Information.Wir geben dem Touristen die Information.

    Diminutive in German

    What does Frau have to do with Mädchen? What is the difference between Haus and Häuslein

    A diminutive is a transformed noun, which expresses a smaller, cuter or younger of the noun. The nouns are transformed by the suffixes -lein or -chen. The diminutive is an informal way of expression. Learn something about the Diminutive in German on our Grammar pages.

    Here you can find some examples.

    • das Haus (house) - das Häuslein (cutehouse)
    • die Maus (mouse) - das Mäuschen (little mouse)
    • die Dose (can) - das Döschen (little can)

    Compound nouns in German

    What happens when two nouns are compounded? Is the gender changing?

    It's quite common in German to form nouns by joining several already existing words (nouns, adjectives, verbs, prepositions). Find out more about it by looking at our Grammar pages for Compound nouns in German. 

    Examples: 

    • der Hausschlüssel (das Haus + der Schlüssel) - latchkey
    • die Weinflasche (der Wein + die Flasche) - wine bottle
    • der Rotkohl (rot + der Kohl) - red cabbage
    • die Lesebrille (lesen + die Brille) - reading glasses
    • der Vorort (vor + der Ort) - suburb

    Sometimes the compound nouns are formed by connecting them with -s or -es or with the plural of the first noun.

    Here you can see some examples:

    • die Mitgliedskarte (das Mitglied + die Karte) - membership card
    • der Geburtstag (die Geburt + der Tag) - birthday
    • das Tagebuch (die Tage + das Buch) - diary
    • der Sonnenstrahl (die Sonnen + der Strahl) - ray of sunlight

    Keep in mind: 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.

    Adjectives and verbs as nouns (substantivized adjectives and verbs) 

    It is possible to form nouns from verbs or adjectives. Just add a capital letter and an article. These type of nouns are called substantivized adjectives and verbs.

    Substantivized adjectives

    Substantivized adjectives are nouns formed from adjectives, without their prefix or suffix. All German adjectives can be used as nouns.

    Here are some examples:

    • das Große - (the) big
    • die Schöne - (the) beautiful
    • der Rote - (the) red

    Substantivized infinitives 

    The substantivized infinitive is formed from the infinitive of a verb. They take a capital letter. The substantivized infinitive describes an action, the act of doing something.

    Substantivized infinitves are always neuter.

    Here are some examples:

    • laufen - das Laufen - (the) walking
    • schreiben - das Schreiben - (the) writing
    • essen - das Essen - (the) eating, food

    Substantivized past and present participle

    You can form a noun out of the present or past participle of a verb. 

    Here are some examples:

    • reisend - der Reisende - traveller
    • schlafend - der Schlafende - sleeper
    • gekauft - das Gekaufte - (the) bought
    • gegeben - das Gegeben - (the) given

     

    smileyThis lesson is closely related to the lesson of German articles.  

    Start improving your German grammar skills with our courses! 

    Exercises

    Fill in the correct form of the German noun!

    Form the correct plural form of the German nouns!

    Fill in the correct definite and indefinite article!

    Translate these nouns into German

    Match the right German word to the sentences

    Next lessons

    1 Gender of German nouns (substantives) - der, die, das Learn how to choose the gender of a noun in German.
    2 Plural of German nouns Guidelines for the German plural.
    3 German declension (N-declension) Discover the German declension of nouns and the N-declension
    4 Diminutive (-lein, -chen) in German Learn about the German diminutives.
    5 Compound nouns in German Discover the compound nouns in German
    6 Adjectives and verbs as nouns in German Discover the substantivized adjectives and verbs in German