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  5. "Das Mädchen, der Junge"

"Das Mädchen, der Junge"

Translation:The girl, the boy

October 14, 2015



How to know when to use das, die n der? Its too confusing.


"Das" is used for neuter nouns such as Mädchen (because it has the -chen suffix, it is not considered feminine)

"Der" is used for masculine nouns such as Jungen

"Die" is used for feminine nouns such as Frau (Die Frau)


'Madchen' is a girl, that is, a feminine gender. Why do we use 'das' for it?While 'Junge' is a boy and we use 'der' for it.Why? Why not 'das' for Junge?? This is so confusing!! Please help..


Girls have female natural gender. But the word Mädchen has neuter grammatical gender.

Words are not the same as the thing they describe! (As another example, the word "table" has five letters but no legs. But a table has four legs and no letters.)

All nouns have grammatical gender in German. For nouns that refer to living beings (which often have a natural gender), the grammatical gender may match the natural gender (a masculine word for a male animal, for example), but not always.

With Mädchen, for example, it doesn't match: a neuter word for a female person.

Whereas with Junge, you have a masculine word for a male person: here, it matches.

Ultimately, the gender of nouns is arbitrary. Why are forks feminine, spoons masculine, and knives neuter?


If a noun has a suffix then it takes the gender of that suffix, namely "chen."

"Chen" is a diminutive. It makes something cute.


This helped alot, copied and saved thank you =D


I have been learning German for 4 years. The various forms of "the" will become second nature after a lot of memorization. One German program explained that the only fail-safe way of ensuring that you are about to use the correct gender of a German noun is to learn the gender and plural of a noun along with the noun itself.


Hii!! It depends their nature.

There are three articles in german, masculine definite article, femminine definite article and neutral definite article.

So, in masculine we use der.

In feminine article we use die. And so as in neutral article we use das..

For ex das Auto, der Mann, Die Frau etc..


Das refers to males der means the and die refers to females


It's not that easy, unfortunately -- grammatical gender does not always correspond to natural gender.

das Mädchen "the girl" refers to a female but is grammatically neuter.

die Person "the person" is grammatically feminine but could refer to a male or a female person.

But with nouns referring to people, it's true that ones referring to males are most often der (grammatically masculine) and those referring to female are most often die (grammatically feminine).

With nouns referring to objects, grammatical gender is essentially arbitrary, so you can't say that das "refers to objects", for example.


are all feminine words considered neuter words cause i speak italian and they are called feminine and i am confused. and if not, why is Machden neuter


German has grammatically masculine, feminine, and neuter words.

"Mädchen" is grammatically neuter because it has the diminutive ending -chen; all words with that ending are neuter. The basic word is "die Maid" (the girl) which is grammatically feminine, but that word is no longer used widely.


Thanks! Now it becomes clear


The diminitive endings (Diminutivsuffix) "-chen", "-lein", "-el" transform the gender of the word into neuter. So the original middle-age word die Magd becomes das Mädchen or das Mädel; die Frau becomes das Fräulein; der Mann becomes das Männchen. Note that the diminuitive changes the "a", " u", "o", " au" in the syllabe close the suffix respectively in : "ä", " ü", "ö", "äu".


My phone won't let me do the two dots above the a


Try long-pressing the A key.


Hey Philip Newton can you explain the reason why ein is used for madchen and not eine, if the word is neutral


Because ein is the form of the indefinite article before neuter nouns.

There's nothing special about the neuter noun Mädchen; ein is used before all neuter nouns (in the nominative and accusative cases of the singular), e.g. ein Pferd, ein Kind, ein Messer, ein Thema, ....

eine would be feminine, e.g. eine Frau, eine Gabel, eine Blume.


does das Mädchen mean "the girl"or "the girls"

  • das Mädchen = the girl
  • die Mädchen = the girls

The word doesn't change in the plural, but the article does (from neuter singular to plural).


thank you so much, but is "die" feminine and plural?


Yes, die is used for feminine singular nouns, and it's also used for all plural nouns.

(Later you will come across the dative case. There, plural and feminine singular have a different article.)


There is an extra box


Das madchen

No. das Mädchen with capital M followed by ä.


i put die junge why is that wrong


Nouns in German have gender - masculine, feminine, or neuter.

die is the definite article for feminine nouns (or plural ones), but Junge is masculine gender, so it needs the masculine article der.

(Strictly speaking, those are the articles in the nominative case - in the other cases, you'll need other forms. But you'll be taught those in due time.)


In the earlier exercises Junge was being translated to "young". How did it became boy in this exercise?


The adjective jung means "young"; before a noun it needs an ending and that ending is sometimes -e, e.g. die junge Katze "the young cat".

But der Junge (capitalised - noun) is "the boy".


How do you say "The girls"? I thought the 2 dots above the a was how to make some words, like 'Madchen,' plural. .


the girl = das Mädchen, the girls = die Mädchen

Some nouns do form their plural with an umlaut (or with an umlaut and an ending, e.g. Land - Länder, Hand - Hände), but Mädchen has one in the singular already and doesn't change form int he plural.

Madchen is not a word but if it did exist it would mean "little maggot" (from Made "maggot"), not "girl".


How do you know if a word is masculine or feminine or neuter


In general: you can't tell just by looking at the word and just have to learn it.

When you learn a new word, best to memorise it not as (say) "Hund = dog" but instead "der Hund = the dog" so that you remember that the word Hund is masculine.


Okay, i got it. Succinctly explanation and great learning tips. Danke.


I think that Mädchen is both singular and plural, so could this mean 'The girls, the boy' too? Or am I missing something?


das Mädchen is singular; the neuter (singular) article das tells you so.

“The girls” would be die Mädchen.


Thank you, it's obvious now you say.


Why we can't use die with madchen??


Why we can't use die with madchen??

die Mädchen is plural -- the girls.

die is used with all nouns in the plural, and also with grammatically feminine nouns in the singular, e.g. die Frau "the woman" or die Gabel "the fork" or die Person "the person".

As you can see, grammatical gender often has little to do with real-life gender: forks aren't female, and a person could be male or female.

Mädchen is grammatically neuter, so when it's just one girl, it's das Mädchen with the neuter article das.


How to pronounce junge


Why is it that on every other question the comma wast required except this one?


Why is it that on every other question the comma wast required except this one?

Commas are ignored on Duolingo. You must have made some other mistake.

If you have a screenshot, please upload it to a website somewhere and paste the URL here, then we can help you further.


empty spot to choose


The use of 'das' and 'der' is tricky but I believe as i progress learning german, it will become clearer. Thanks Mazinamo you help to clear things up.


If we use 'das' for girl, 'der' for boys and 'die' for woman, what do we use for man?


If we use 'das' for girl

We don't use das for "girl" -- that's an English word, not a German one.

The German articles are connected to German words, not to abstract concepts or to English words. One English word can have several translations into German, sometimes with different articles, e.g. "the region" might translate to das Gebiet or to die Region or perhaps even der Bereich.

So it's

  • das Mädchen "the girl"
  • der Junge "the boy"
  • die Frau "the woman"
  • der Mann "the man"

'der' for boys

No. der Junge for "the boy", but die Jungen for "the boys". All plural nouns take the plural article, regardless of the gender of the singular word.


The is tricky for me. Do I use Das for female/proper noun and die for noun and Der for male? #confused


The is tricky for me. Do I use Das for female/proper noun and die for noun and Der for male? #confused

Use die for feminine nouns, der for masculine nouns, das for neuter nouns.

The grammatical gender of a noun is simply something you have to memorise when you learn the noun.

You might have a neuter noun referring to a female (e.g. das Mädchen = the girl) or a feminine noun referring to a male (e.g. die Person = the person [male or female]) or a masculine noun referring to an abstract idea (e.g. der Schmerz = the pain). It's mostly arbitrary.

So don't go by "male / female" (what the word refers to) but by "masculine / feminine / neuter".


That is what I thought mizinamo


Sounds like "die Junge" with slow playback.

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