How do I tell?
I am doing OK at German, but my massive stumbling block is how to tell when to use die, das, der, ect ect. same with magst. so, in plain english, as plain as you can please, tell me what the defining factors are.
There are some guidelines for when you wanna use "der", "die" or "das" as a grammatical gender for a German noun. Check this out: http://german.about.com/library/blgen_der.htm http://german.about.com/library/blgen_die.htm http://german.about.com/library/blgen_das.htm
Beyond that, it is mere memorization, but you will develop a feeling for it. The wrong gender will begin to "feel" wrong ...
And please know that we will soon offer the grammatical gender information with each word that you learned on Duolingo, so that you can practice this directly in our vocabulary/practice lessons.
As for "magst". Again, memorize the six regular endings for verbs and you got it. For instance, second form singular most likely will always have the letter "-s" in its conjugated verb ending (also true for other Roman languages).
Great source, Julika, I will try to remember it! To make a long story short... NOMINATIV DER = masculine DIE = feminine DAS = neutral DIE = plural AKKUSATIV DEN = masculine DIE = feminine DAS = neutral DIE = plural There are two more cases, but for the beginning it should be enough. :)
In general speaking you used it if it refers to something already mentioned (Da steht ein Junge. Der Junge hat einen Ball.), if it refers to something generally noun (die Sonne, die Erde, die Luft), if it refers to something definite (Das Haus der Schmidts steht in der Heizergasse.)