https://www.duolingo.com/Luis

All nouns are capitalized in German!

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In English only proper nouns such as people's names are capitalized. In German, however, every noun is capitalized: Mann, Frau, Mädchen, Apfel, etc. The good news is that this helps you tell nouns apart from other types of words.

7 years ago

67 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Rintastic

Thanks for the heads up Luis! This really helped me grasp the language better.

7 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/csi
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More on German capitalization rules: http://german.about.com/library/weekly/aa020919a.htm Apparently it has been up for debate in the past.

7 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/fechter
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Maybe I'm stating something obvious here that has already been discussed at length, but in the descriptions/summaries for the German lessons (for English speakers) all the nouns are shown with small letters (e.g. business - "bestellungen, laden, kleinanzeigen, beitrag, beratung, artikel, kasse"), which is plainly wrong and would not occur under any circumstances.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ErinWoodell

to be fair, under one circumstance: "laden" as a verb is undercase, but that's obviously not the situation here.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/12345ann

In German (and Luxembourgish), all nouns are capitalized. This was also practiced in Danish before the spelling reform of 1948, and in English during the 18th century (as in Gulliver's Travels, and most of the original 1787 United States Constitution). (wikipedia, capitalization)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lingua
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Thanks. That's extremely helpful and very enlightening. It certainly makes learning the language a lot less confusing.

6 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/yunier.soad

Yeah, that's great news for beginners. I'm really enjoying my first week with German!!!

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jonasblomkvist

Thank you for this information!

6 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/juliettelaurier

Wow, thank you, now I understand that I won't have to memorize every word that has a capital letter :P I really thought I would have to!

6 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/OneBagTravel

It's hard to keep up with it on the practice sessions since you're timed. I'm glad they don't take off for it.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Doitsuki

Interesting...

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/betorush

Thanks for help.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/amazingell

I like that the program told me that. The other one i used just had me memorizing sentances, It wasn't teaching to me like i was going to ectualy use it. It was hard because it didn't teach me grammar rules for german!

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/duoderSie

There are some awkward ones though. I seem to remember Adjectives used as nouns are usually capitalised eg das Rote= the red one but there are times when it's not

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/narion_k
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Indeed, nominalization generally merits capitalization! It's German Orthography Rule 72!

That link is only available in German, but here I've translated the most relevant part:

Adjectives and participles used as nouns are usually capitalized.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/uname22

I only started learning german today, but I think that Rote, although it's used as an adjective in that phrase, is also a Noun, so it makes sense.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/muffelhupfer

When I was in school, I used as a rule of thumb that anything that is accompanied by an article is capitalized. Did not work always, but often enough ;)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dietrich83

Thanks

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Mr_Camera71

I always seem to forget to capitalize the nouns.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Kaylee832025

Same :/

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lyzure

okay, danke! :)

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jeromepicardo

Danke

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jaminunit

Anything you can touch are capitalised in German, as well as things ending in ung for some reason.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/duoderSie

You can touch me but I isn't capitalized in German :-)

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jaminunit

You cant touch the Queens bum but it is still capitalised in German :D

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/savourtardis
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-ung seems to be loosely equivalent to a gerund-making -ing (and such words are feminine). Some nouns are abstract--I think the grade school rule in English gets extended to person, place, thing, or idea. You can't touch die Chemie, for example, but it is nevertheless a noun.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SuperLearner007
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Join my German club please: HB83AW

5 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LanaSubaLanaBaja

that's a handy tip. Thanks.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SuperLearner007
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Join my German club please: HB83AW

5 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tapankavasthi

Danke :)

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Prosecutor

Interesting

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dexter0340

That is a good thing...

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RafaelVescia

Very helpful, thanks a lot ! :)

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ahmadi77

yes

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Gavra87

English language also had capitalized Nouns in 17th and 18th century. But not before. It seems to have been a fad for some time.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/anasthiab

vielen dank

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/narion_k
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In the phrase vielen Dank, "Dank" is a noun – so be sure to capitalize it!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SuperLearner007
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Join my German club please: HB83AW

5 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/wendsaty17

Thanks

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/amber930

Thank you

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MarcusAColeman

Dies ist sehr hilfreich!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/swptrnl
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All nouns are capitalized in German. :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Tink629986
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In that spirit: it would be nice if the android app respected that fact, too.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ridemulino

That's why capitalization is impotant:

Der gefangene Floh. The trapped flea. Der Gefangene floh. The prisoner escapes.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/narion_k
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Great example!

Just one correction: "floh" is the past tense form of "fliehen": "The prisoner escaped."

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sana_Ahmad

it is important to noun to be capitalised

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Double100
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Thank you Luis!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jasminyoo.

Ja, ich versteht. Danke!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Monika-E

Ja, ich verstehe. versteht is 3rd person singular. Er, sie, es versteht

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/amariallister

Thanks Luis. I've been wondering why nouns are capitalized in German

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LupineGirl

Thanks for the tip! I just started Duolingo, and sometimes the nouns are kinda annoying!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mollywinbow

thanks

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RavenKitten12

Danke! I'm learning Deutsch so I need all the luck, and concentration, I can get.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EllieVaughan1

I didn't know that, thank you!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Kaylee832025

I noticed that when i started learning the language. I've never known why though...

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Vasco399431

hello

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/IWannaLearn3
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Are verbs and Die/Der/Das capitalized?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/narion_k
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No, verbs and articles are not capitalized (except in special cases, such as if the verb or article is the first word in the sentence).

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/OliviaHoff12

I never noticed that! Danke!

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SirLingualot

So why has this not been addressed in... 6 years? See https://www.duolingo.com/comment/27360605. As your own comment here attests, noun capitalization in German must be enforced in the written language.

8 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Germanmaster16

gut

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Germanmaster16

thank for helping

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DakotaDraws

This is so helpful! Thank you for this!

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JuanitaMarita

Thanks! I was wondering why there was so much capitalization for words that seemingly didn't need to be capitalized... this makes so much more sense! :)

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jorge-A-Vasquez

Danke!

5 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DavidLanguages63

Thank you!

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Oranges64

Dankeschön

1 week ago
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