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

All nouns are capitalized in German!

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.

December 13, 2011

121 Comments


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

That's why capitalization is impotant:

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


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

Great example!

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HaNa-languages

Haha, that´s true :) I´m Native German but I never remarqued this example :P


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


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

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


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

that's a handy tip. Thanks.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MoritzB7

a handy tip or a Handy-Tip? Now, I am confused! :-))


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

Join my German club please: HB83AW


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

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


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

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


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

If you were her physician or her husband, you could...


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

-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.


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

Join my German club please: HB83AW


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HaNa-languages

True! But also feelings like the love= die Liebe (feelings)


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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tylerweil1

I am quite late but are you sure you aren't just thinking about the proper nouns?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Qeis584227

If you take a look at Assassin's Creed 4's subtitles, then you might be curious of its capitalization. Every noun there is capitalized.


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

Thanks. That's extremely helpful and very enlightening. It certainly makes learning the language a lot less confusing.


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

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


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


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

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.


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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/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 ;)


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

In the phrase vielen Dank, "Dank" is a noun – so be sure to capitalize it!


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

Join my German club please: HB83AW


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

Dies ist sehr hilfreich!


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

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


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

Thank you for this information!


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


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


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

Thanks for help.


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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mr_Camera71

I always seem to forget to capitalize the nouns.


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

okay, danke! :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dexter0340

That is a good thing...


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

Very helpful, thanks a lot ! :)


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

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


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

Lol, and this be ancient history for you now!


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

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.


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

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


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

All nouns are capitalized in German. :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tink629986

In that spirit: it would be nice if the android app respected that fact, too.


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

This is so helpful! Thank you for this!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/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! :)


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

Hmmm... I have seen this comment before


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

Someone I know recently told me that! I thought thats cool but could they do that for adverbs and verbs in English as they are still hard for me!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/shlokmehta128

This information deserves 10 lingots!


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

it is important to noun to be capitalised


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

Ja, ich versteht. Danke!


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EllieVaughan1

I didn't know that, thank you!


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

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IWannaLearn3

Are verbs and Die/Der/Das capitalized?


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

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).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OliviaHoff12

I never noticed that! Danke!


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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Majdi.J

Dam! that is actually very helpful, Danke!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WangHua49501

thanks good to know


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Noah447719

Thanks for the Tip!!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gaia1118

Thats so helpful


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JacobStill9

thanks this will really help


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

is there any German Class room?


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

this was 7 years ago, but its still helfpul


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/shlokmehta128

i had to give a lingot


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/creeperzoid64

Yes. This is very true.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lucid888190

Why did I make it through two checkpoints in duolingo without being corrected on this? Setting me up for failure.


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

I guess I never noticed that


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/yellowlion22

Why is this so important?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Amy880272

Ok, this explains a lot. I thought Duolingo was just doing this as a learning tool and was typing everything how I would capitalize in English. But since I want to learn correctly, I'll make this change. Thank you, this has been so helpful!!!


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

Thank you, this helps so much. It was always so confusing figuring out what and what wasn't a noun when I couldn't remember!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/softeis2010

Congratilations! 1174 Likes!!!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sandeepkum371637

Thanks for the useful information, It helps me a lot with learning german and it makes our life easier, thanks!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Madison877024

How do you see what level German you are?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SaraLindqu4

thanks that is really helpful


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

Ja, du hast recht


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/no.justno.2

sadly duolingo doesnt help reinforce this grammatical rule so i keep forgetting to capitaliza


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Grant.1.2

your one of the top likes of all ti me


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

Thanks for help! yes is very different from English or Spanish but is true that is very helpful for non-German-speakers ( or half :P ).


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

"The good news is that this helps you tell nouns apart from other types of words."

I hadn't thought about it that way. But you are right: it might actually be the one and only feature of German grammar that makes it easier and not harder.


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

It is nice to know that all nouns are capitalized in German! I would like to know the origin or reason for that...could be the people from German, usually are very tall!!!

Leo. Maguana, Santiago Rodriguez


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

I don't believe that capitalized all the nouns are a good thing. It may mess up a little bit when you need to find the somebody's name. If you don't know brazilian names, for instance, you can search on a portuguese text for the Capitalized words.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gnf07

Where are you from? I thought you don't speak english becauase it says you're learning it.


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

actually gnf07, according to Luis's profile Luis is not learning English

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