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Don't quite understand this

So, I've started learning German, and I recently came across a table looking like this:

----------------------Masculine-----Feminine----Neutral--Plural-- SUBJECT | Der | Die | Das | Die ------------------------------------------------------------------ DIRECT OBJECT | Den | Die | Das | Die ------------------------------------------------------------------ INDIRECT OBJECT | Dem | Der | Dem | Den ------------------------------------------------------------------ POSSESSIVE CASE | Des | Der | Des | Der ------------------------------------------------------------------

I didn't really understand this table. Someone told me it was the article changing form because of it's place in the sentence, but how do I know when to use them and when to not use them? Thanks

May 13, 2017



A table is no good without explanation... to understand why, when and how the definite articles change (and it has not much to do with where they are in the sentence), check this out:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/german/grammar/definiteindefinitearticlesrev2.shtml (explanations in the text below)

Actually, you might first want to look at this:



what's your native ? what's your native language?


I'm Norwegian (norway) :)


sorry, i didn't know Norway language also I couldn't find enough data.. I tried to compare with Germany ToT


okay, if it helps, of course my explanation isn't correct (...) but I'll try.

  1. find verb
  2. there is two types of object in English : DIRECT OBJECT, INDIRECT OBJECT

ex. I give you a book the 'verb' is "give" the 'subject' is "I"

the rest one is essential, if you omit one of them, the sentence is wrong. these are object. (there is complementary, but just don't think about it) (Imagine someone tells you 'I give you', then you would ask 'give me what?') that 'what' thing can be 'direct object', which is the direct, literally, object.

but Imagine someone tells you 'I give your hat', then you would ask 'to whom? are you kidding?(-)'. that 'who' thing can be 'indirect object', which is not direct object.

Let's have another example.

ex2. I didn't really understand this table. didn't really understand is verb. I is just subject. then "this table" is the only object, then it must be direct object.

ex3. Someone told me it was the article changing form told is verb. someone is subject. then "that it was the article changing form" is direct object - while it doesn't require any article. me is the indirect object.


German articles are based on gender of the noun. Hence: der Mann, die Frau, and das is neutral (das Tier). These change depending on the case. So a masculine noun der Ball become den when the ball is the indirect object (I threw the woman the ball..."the ball" is the indirect object and I don't know the German for it! but der Ball becomes den Ball) You can also see changes in the article based on plurals, and some prepositions change the case. It can be downright confusing, and it's a pain, but a lot of the noun genders are arbitrary, so that "girl" is a neutral noun (das Madchen) and frankly, they're just something you sort of memorize. It gets to where you say "wait, that's not the right article" because it just doesn't seem correct.

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