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How to remember all these forms of articles?

[deactivated user]

    I know there is no logic, but maybe there is some mnemonic rhyme or song or whatever?

    How do you people live with it?

    P.S. Or, maybe, we could compose such song using phrases from duolingo!

    June 30, 2017



    As a non native speaker I remember that we just had to learn rows of them in high school after learning how to compose basic sentences using cases. Sometimes when you write or type them out in rows you can find patterns or tricks that make them easier to remember. I suppose native speakers learn them one at a time from a young age by exposure to people who use them in certain contexts, probably with some explicit teaching by their parents, and then study them once more when they go to school.

    [deactivated user]

      Well, in Russian we do it in such natural way, with our 6 cases and 3 (or 9) paradigms. But this does not help here somehow.


      You can make a table with m f n plural on one one axis and nominative, dative, accusative, genitive on the other, or which order feels natural to you, and fill it with the appropriate articles. Then you can learn the structure of your table by heart and you can memorize the articles in rows. All you need to know then is that f.ex. for masculine words the order is der, dem, den, des because you've already memorized the order of the cases. Make sure that all the tables you end up creating (also for other parts of the language) have the same case/gender sequence. The one thing that remains however is to learn when to use which case.

      The prepositions are quite easy to remember if clustered properly because they sound pretty melodious if spoken in sequence. Again you cluster them by the case to which they belong, use the same format as for your other tables. You can do the same with the contractions, though they tend to be more obvious, and verb-preposition combinations. If I remember correctly which case to use is determined by the preposition.

      Finally you need to practice writing sentences using the tables and lists as reference until you know them.


      Just keep looking at examples and gradually understand it. Looking at the grammar like some comments below can actually hurt your motivation and confuse you. Just keep doing Duolingo and other websites and you will get a feel for it.

      • 1963

      one at a time:

      Das ist ein hund. x Ich habe einen Hund. x Ich gebe es meinem Hund. x Das ist ein Ball meines Hundes.

      and so on und so weiter with other genders and definite articles and pronouns. It really helps to write down short sentences like that for all the cases and learn them. Making new sentences in similar situations will then be much easier and faster for you.

      [deactivated user]

        It's 28 of them (12 for ein, 16 for das). Pretty much to remember.

        Well, just 16 is to consider ein-forms similar to das-forms

        [deactivated user]

          Here what i got:

          Das Tier ist meins. Ich habe das Tier. Ich gebe einen Ball dem Tier. Das ist ein Ball des Tieres.

          Der Hund ist meiner. Ich habe den Hund. Ich gebe einen Ball dem Hund. Das ist ein Ball des Hundes.

          Die Katze ist meine. Ich habe die Katze. Ich gebe einen Ball der Katze. Das ist ein Ball der Katze.

          Die Tiere sind meine. Ich habe die Tiere. Ich gebe einen Ball den Tieren. Das ist ein Ball der Tiere.


          I spotted just a few errors:

          • Das Tier ist meins.

          • Der Hund ist meiner.

          • Die Katze ist meine.

          • Die Tiere sind meine. &

          • Ich gebe einen Ball den Tieren.

          EDIT &

          • Das ist ein Ball der Tiere.

          The issue with the „mein“s here is that they're possessive pronouns instead of possessive adjectives; which is what we see almost exclusively in duolingo exercises.

          To show the difference in English, you would say "That is my animal." („Das ist mein Tier.“), where "my" is a possessive adjective, though to directly translate your first sentence, the English would be "The animal is mine." („Das Tier ist meins“).

          Sorry to add another layer of complexity :P Possessive adjectives decline identically to the indefinite article (ein); but possessive pronouns decline more closely to the definite article (der, die, das).

          P.S. The dative „-n“ is something to watch out for. I know, it's another weird rule, but at least this one isn't too hard. Quite simply, more often than not, nouns in the plural dative get an „n“ at the end.

          [deactivated user]

            crazy stuff! I clearly see that 'mein' ending is the same as for 'das/der/die' I though 'ein' declines the same way as 'das', just it is 'ein' for Nom/sing/M|N


            Not sure how much this will help, but I hope it might.

            In essence, these are the two tables we're looking at:

            • This for possessive pronouns; &

            • This for possessive adjectives.

            [deactivated user]

              Thanks for the link! There is a section about articles as well. I'll hang on there.


              Yes! Hopefully that will make it easier to remember :) and hopefully it won't be too hard to differentiate between the pronouns and the adjectives!

              [deactivated user]

                Yes i've got an idea with pronouns. Still I would like some rhymed version or whatever to remember it easyly... Maybe I gather proper lines from learning.

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