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Gender of "Das" , "Madchen"

Das Madchen Vs Die Madchen ? I thought Das was neutral gender.. Please clarify.. Thanks..

December 17, 2011



The ending "chen" and "lein" indicate something being small. For example, the word "Fraulein" (The "a" would normally be an umlaut but I don't have my German keyboard right now.) literally translates to "a little Frau", or in other words, "miss".


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 diminutive comes in very handy when you don't know the gender. Eine oder ein Tasse Kaffee? Don't worry about it, ein Taesschen Kaffee solves the problem.


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".


In this case it's "das" becuase Mädchen is neuter. On the other hand this could help you. Words ending with: tum-chen-ma-men-tum-lein, match to neuter. Of course this has its exceptions, but it helps.


It is "Das Mädchen" (yes, Mädchen is neuter). The gender of a word is not necessarily the gender of the thing it refers to.


"das Mädchen" is n. singular., "die Mädchen" is n. plural.


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.


Es heißt "der Computer". Es ist in der Tat "das Frauchen" und sogar "das Fräulein" mit einem anderen Suffix.


"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.



No, "ein Mädchen" is not always a child. But a young female adult is now often called "eine junge Frau".


This makes me wonder where you live.


In Switzerland. But Swiss usage does not differ much from German usage.


In diesem Fall scheint es sich doch vom deutschen Sprachgebrauch zu unterscheiden.

The omniscient Duden has as the first listed definition: ein Kind weiblichen Geschlechts.



Kind weiblichen Geschlechts

(veraltend) junge, jüngere weibliche Person

(veraltend) Freundin (eines jungen Mannes)

(veraltet) Hausmädchen, Hausangestellte, Hausgehilfin



wow i finally understand why, thanks


das madchen means "the girl," while die madchen is the plural of that, so it means "the girls"


"Mädchen" is spelt with umlaut (ä); if you cannot write that letter on your keyboard, you might write "ae" for "ä". The two dots on the "a" are a symbolic "e" written over the "a"; this spelling goes back to the Middle Ages.


Das grammatische Geschlecht (neutrum) muss nicht mit dem natürlichen Geschlecht (feminin) übereinstimmen.


In which language? Not always so in German.

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