Gender of "Das" , "Madchen"
Das Madchen Vs Die Madchen ? I thought Das was neutral gender.. Please clarify.. Thanks..
AndrewCorby said this all very nicely but I just wanted to point out as well as that it seems (as my Germany teacher pointed out) that the German language cares more about the rules of the language then it being gender correct. This is nice in the fact that ALL things ending in "chen" will be "das". There are a few other rules that follow this as well.
The suffix "chen" creates the diminutive form of a noun. Mädchen is the diminutive of Magd which means maiden, so Mädchen means 'little maiden', or girl. All the diminutive nouns ending with 'chen' have a neuter gender, irrespective of the gender of the original noun, hence the use of 'das'. However, the plural of Mädchen is also Mädchen (no change) so you can see "die Mädchen" which means "the girls".
Vielen Dank! It really helped out, I've been stuying german for 6 years but my teachers never told me the thing about diminitives and the article das. I guess it is Das Frauchen then, and I kind of can see the sense in it.
Theniknik, that more words follows that rule? I know that english words, for an example das Computer has the article das and also ends with -s in plural.
"Mädchen" is a neuter noun, but watch the use of pronouns: Das Mädchen las lange in seinem spannenden Buch. Doch dann hörte sie einen Ruf von draußen... The personal pronoun referring back to "Mädchen" is often the feminine form of the third person singular. By the way, as a result of changes in society, what used to be called "ein Mädchen" is now often referred to as "eine junge Frau".
Ein Maedchen is a child, as in the question: ein Junge oder ein Maedchen? What was replaced is "Fraeulein" with Frau. Fraeulein used to describe an unmarried woman.
Nouns with the diminutive ending "chen" as in Huendchen, Haeuschen and Tellerchen are always neuter. Maedchen (girl) probably was derived from Magd (maid) and therefore maintained the neuter.