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

87 Comments


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

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

December 13, 2011

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.

January 24, 2012

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.

July 13, 2014

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.

June 12, 2016

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)

March 25, 2014

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

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

March 5, 2012

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!

June 9, 2012

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

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

September 26, 2013

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

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

September 26, 2013

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

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

September 30, 2013

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

Lol

October 1, 2013

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

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

February 1, 2014

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.

June 27, 2015

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

Join my German club please: HB83AW

September 3, 2018

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

that's a handy tip. Thanks.

September 26, 2013

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

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

August 31, 2019

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

Join my German club please: HB83AW

September 3, 2018

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

That's why capitalization is impotant:

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

June 21, 2017

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

Great example!

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

August 18, 2017

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

Thank you for this information!

March 25, 2012

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.

February 20, 2013

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

Interesting...

February 27, 2013

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

Thanks for help.

March 25, 2013

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!

May 8, 2013

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

May 21, 2013

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.

December 27, 2014

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.

August 29, 2013

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 ;)

March 9, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dietrich83

Thanks

June 10, 2013

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

I always seem to forget to capitalize the nouns.

June 12, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kaylee832025

Same :/

May 29, 2017

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

okay, danke! :)

June 24, 2013

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

Danke

August 28, 2013

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

Danke :)

October 25, 2013

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

Interesting

November 14, 2013

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

That is a good thing...

November 26, 2013

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

Very helpful, thanks a lot ! :)

December 4, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ahmadi77

yes

January 4, 2014

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.

January 17, 2014

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

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

January 31, 2014

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

Lol, and this be ancient history for you now!

February 27, 2019

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

vielen dank

February 26, 2014

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

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

August 18, 2017

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

Join my German club please: HB83AW

September 3, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/wendsaty17

Thanks

May 1, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/amber930

Thank you

June 30, 2014

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

Dies ist sehr hilfreich!

October 2, 2014

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

All nouns are capitalized in German. :)

July 17, 2016

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

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

January 17, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Germanmaster16

gut

June 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Germanmaster16

thank for helping

June 23, 2018

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

This is so helpful! Thank you for this!

June 30, 2018

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! :)

July 11, 2018

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

Danke!

August 26, 2018

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

Hmmm... I have seen this comment before

June 5, 2019

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

it is important to noun to be capitalised

November 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Double100

Thank you Luis!

December 3, 2015

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

Ja, ich versteht. Danke!

April 17, 2016

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

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

May 29, 2016

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

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

June 23, 2016

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

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

September 28, 2016

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

thanks

January 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RavenKitten12

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

January 25, 2017

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

I didn't know that, thank you!

April 7, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kaylee832025

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

May 29, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ZeppelinSt1

sure

August 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Vasco399431

hello

November 4, 2017

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

Are verbs and Die/Der/Das capitalized?

December 16, 2017

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).

December 16, 2017

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

I never noticed that! Danke!

May 10, 2018

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.

May 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidLanguages63

Thank you!

November 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Oranges64

Dankeschön

February 1, 2019

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

Dam! that is actually very helpful, Danke!

February 17, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SpencerB147393

OK this is epic

March 9, 2019

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

I know that!!!

March 25, 2019

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

thanks good to know

March 26, 2019

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

Thanks for the Tip!!

April 18, 2019

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

Thats so helpful

June 11, 2019

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

thanks this will really help

August 7, 2019

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

December 14, 2011

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 ).

January 19, 2012

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.

December 8, 2014

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.

October 17, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/samuel.smith0122

Yup

November 17, 2015

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

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

March 8, 2016

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

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

June 23, 2016
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