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

Why is 'the girl' 'das Mädchen' and not 'die Mädchen'?

I was just wondering why the girl is 'das Mädchen' and not 'die Mädchen' even though the boy is 'der Junge' and not 'das Junge', I'm just wondering and it might just be me being silly (it most likely is) but I'm curious.

February 28, 2017

15 Comments


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

    To further what others have said about "all -chen words being 'small versions' and grammatically neuter", I'd add that you can add -chen (and often an umlaut) to many many words informally as a way of making them 'cuter'.

    There are even the terms Frauchen, Herrchen and Hündchen, for people who are besotted with their dog.

    Ein Männchen is also "a little man", and while it might not be used as often as Mädchen in the context of children, it is used to describe a drawing or figure of a man, for example a stick-figure (Strichmännchen), self-balancing figurine (Stehaufmännchen), or the little picture of a person on a pedestrian crossing traffic light signal (Ampelmännchen).

    March 1, 2017

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

    The noun endings "-Chen" and "-Lein" are diminutive and therefore neuter.

    February 28, 2017

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

    The "Manlein" mentioned in the legend of the Austrian floods in Kaernten(?) is also a word modified by a diminutive, so he is "Das Manlein". Go figure! This topic could run for ever, but it is typical of German Grammar for you.

    March 1, 2017

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

    In German, "girl" is neuter. All neuter nouns have "the" as "das," all masculine nouns have "the" as "der," and all feminine nouns have "the" as "die."

    March 1, 2017

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

    ... in nominative case.

    March 2, 2017

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

    Thanks, biertopf!

    March 2, 2017

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

    Basic grammar is explained in the web version of Duolingo.
    This is the link to the second skill "the" https://www.duolingo.com/skill/de/The

    Please, read the "Tips and notes" for "Three grammatical genders, three types of nouns"

    February 28, 2017

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

    Wrote an essay some time ago. I always have problems with the gender, so looked up every noun to get it correct. Used Der Fluss, but then decided it was a "little river" so wrote Der Flusschen. Oh dear. T'was then I learned that ALL diminutives are neuter (Der Fluss, but das Flusschen). I lesson I have yet to forget. No wonder English speakers have problems with gender.

    March 1, 2017

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

    Come to think of it. Fraulein was the commonly used term for a young woman not a child but not married and it isn't even in the Duo vocabulary.

    February 28, 2017

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

    Fräulein!

    March 2, 2017

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/team667

    So THAT'S what they mean in the sound of music! That didn't occur to me!

    March 4, 2017

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lola6.0

    The girl=das Mädchen und The Girls =die Mädchen

    I Hope it's help full.

    LG Lola6.0

    March 6, 2017

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FranciscoA698613

    This is because Das Mädchen is the diminutive form of Die Magd ("the maiden", in old german), and diminutive is always neuter. Nowadays the original form is no longer used, only the diminutive form ("the little maiden"). For obvious reasons I supose.

    July 15, 2019
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