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  5. Das, Der or Die?

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TheInfinitesimaI

Das, Der or Die?

I've been pretty confused about the word 'the' in German. I don't know which to use when.

May 6, 2016

27 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/uress

Den is used
1. when a sing masc is the direct object in the sentence, e.g. I saw the man. = Ich sah DEN Mann.
2. when a plural noun is the indirect object in the sentence, e.g. I give a book to the men n the women n the children. = Ich gebe DEN Männern und DEN Frauen und DEN Kindern ein Buch.
3. after certain prepositions, e.g. I m going INTO the forest WITH the men. = Ich gehe IN DEN Wald MIT DEN Männern. A little prep help: https://aclery.files.wordpress.com/2009/12/prepositions.jpg

May 6, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TheInfinitesimaI

Okay, thanks a lot!

May 6, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ParvBhardw1

Thanks:)

October 3, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/matfran2001

There are some "rules" (though all of them have exceptions), so you just better memorize the whole package: "Der Hund", "Die Katze", "Das Mädchen", "Der Junge", "Das Kind", "Der Mann", "Die Frau", "Das Wasser", "Die Milch", "Die Zitrone", "Der Tisch", "Das Hemd", etc....

May 6, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TheInfinitesimaI

Is there any rule or something like Die is used in feminine words and Der in masculine or something like that?

May 6, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/uress

Yes: der - masc, die - fem, das - neutr. But endings n meanings not always help to find out which one. At the beginning u must learn it with the word.
N.b. The die is plural, too.

May 6, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TheInfinitesimaI

So do I have to memorize which the will go on which word unlike French?

May 6, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/uress

Exactly :) Later u can learn some smaller rules about the gender if u like but they r more for linguists, not for beginners. Then u can start with the suffix rules (in, chen, lein, ung, heit, keit, nis, etc...)

May 6, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TheInfinitesimaI

Oh, OK! Thank you! I just wanted to ask one more question—when do you use den?

May 6, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/quis_lib_duo

den is the definite masculine article in accusative case, i.e. when the masculine noun is the direct object of the sentence.

Example:

Der Mann liest. = The man reads.
(man is subject = nominative case)

Ich sehe den Mann. = I see the man.
(man is direct object = accusative case)

May 6, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Eya666

Hey, you said that to each rule there's an exception. Wouldn't learning the exceptions easier? they must be fewer than the ones with rules.

July 22, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/matfran2001

DEN is the definite article for masculine nouns in the Accusative case:

Ich esse den Apfel = I eat the apple.

DEN is also the definite article for plurals in the Dative case:

Ich spiele mit den Hunden = I play with the dogs.

May 6, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LoveK1969

A few tricks that may help:

  • A majority of nouns are male. When in doubt, use "der".

  • Some nouns gender can be recognized according to the spelling. All nouns ending with -ung (die Ordnung, die Rechnung, die Heizung, die Bildung, etc...) are female. So are nouns ending with -eit (die Freiheit, die Wirklichkeit, die Gelegenheit, etc...), -schaft (die Wissenschaft, die Eigenschaft, etc...), -statt (die Werkstatt), -ion (die Version, die Diskussion, die Information, die Kommunikation, etc...), -tät (die Qualität, die Spiritualität, etc...), -ie (die Biologie, die Chemie, die Akademie). Similarly, all words finishing with -ug (der Flug, der Zug, der Anzug), -trag (der Antrag, der Beitrag), or -weis (der Hinweis, der Nachweis) are male. And all words finishing with -ment (das Engagement, das Management), or with -nis (das Ergebnis, das Verständnis, das Verzeichnis) are neutral.

  • Words with similar roots have similar gender. Die Stadt is female, so will be die Hauptstadt, die Innenstadt. Das Buch is neutral, so will be das Handbuch, das Wörterbuch, das Taschenbuch, etc... Das Zeug gives das Fahrzeug, das Spielzeug, das Feuerzeug, etc... Das Haus gives das Krankenhaus, das Ferienhaus, etc... Das Gebot gives das Angebot, das Stellenangebot, etc... Der Hof is male, so will be der Bahnhof.

I may have forgotten a few, but I think you get the picture.

Viele Glück mein Freund.

May 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/artisancreek

For your third point, I believe the rule is that the gender is based upon the last word in the combined word. So for example, Das Englisch, Das Buch, Das Wort, Das Englischwörterbuch (ok, they all happen to be Das, but I think you get the point) :).

May 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/uress

Exactly, this is the correct definition for compound words gender.
See: das Vaterrecht - das Mutterrecht - das Kinderrecht
but: der Rechtsanwalt - die Rechtslage - das Rechtswort.

May 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JamesMR2003

you just explained to me in 3 paragraphs what my German teacher couldn't in 3 years.

Danke!!

February 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/aberomo9

Hello KrishaJain1! My suggestion is that you do not memorize rules about which gender to use (that will confuse you), do not learn single words, learn full expressions and with practice you will know them without realising. That is what I am doing.

May 8, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JaimeI2

Hello there! The word "the" in German depends on whether the word that follows is masculine, feminine, or neuter. For example, If I were to translate the phrase "The Man" in German, it would be "Der Mann" as Mann is a masculine word. If it were "The Woman", then it would be "Die Frau" as Frau is feminine. Lastly, if it were "The Child", then it would be "Das Kind" as we are unsure if the child being referred to in the phrase is a boy or girl. In short, "der" is for masculine words, "die" is for feminine words, and "das" is for neuter words. If you would like a guide that could further assist you, I came across this website, which may help you as you learn German (https://www.lsa.umich.edu/german/hmr/Grammatik/Gender/Gender.html). Happy Learning!

May 6, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Delta1212

Yeah, I would avoid associating actual gender with grammatical gender. That's how it works in some cases, but in the majority it does not. Most things are masculine or feminine even though most things don't have a physical gender, and others use das even though they do have a gender in reality.

The grammatical gender of a word is usually more closely associated to the structure and sound of a word than to the 'natural gender' of what it refers to, although even then there aren't always hard and fast rules for why every word is the gender it is, and when there are rules, they are slightly more complicated than in French and Spanish.

There are just more noun endings and semantic categories in German for determining gender and they can sometimes be a little fuzzy around the edges. They're useful to know (like words ending in -chen always being neuter) but it's more work to learn them all when you're just starting out than to simply memorize which article goes with which noun as you learn the vocabulary.

May 6, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TheInfinitesimaI

So would it be "Die Mädchen" and "Der Junge"?

May 6, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/uress

NO! It is DAS Mädchen! (*-chen is always neutr > das.)
/No, Jaimel was not really right, his examples r correct but meaning doesnt really helps in German./

May 6, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JaimeI2

Thank you, Uress, for the correction. I forgot to mention that there are exceptions to what was mentioned above, and one of them was "madchen." However, as mentioned on the link posted, those are how the German words are usually divided (masculine, feminine, and neuter), and do make sure to check for exceptions. Lastly, I have also forgotten to mention "den", but it has been explained very well by matfran2001. Thank you again, and have an excellent day/night!

May 6, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/uress

I wouldnt say das Mädchen is an exception, it just belongs to another -"stronger"- rule.
However, the rule "grammatical gender corresponds with the "natural" gender" is appliable only for humans n animals but not for things. Its not a big help, especially coz other rules -such as certain suffixes e.g. -chen- r ab ovo stronger.

May 6, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/StineDemosthenes

Das Mädchen = the girl

Die Mädchen = the girls

May 6, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/codygelb

Der, die, das..

May 6, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EverlaWang

Oh, I asked a question on that too.

December 5, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/keslervaz

You would use Der, Die oder Das depending on the noun. Der would be used when the noun is masculine, like Der Mann (the man) Die when the noun is feminine, like Die Frau (the woman) and Das when is noun is neuter, like Das Kind (the child)

There are more words for 'the'. They are used in other cases; you will study them in future lessons.

April 9, 2018
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