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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cluney2

Er es and Sie.

I have a question. So Er is normally used as a synonym of he, es-it and sie-her. However I've noticed in my studies that often in inanimate objects that have no gender are sometimes called er or sie. Is this something I just have to learn like each words die, der and das? Does it have something to do with the 'the' of the work? eg. der Aunzug would be Er?

Plz explain.

August 2, 2017

33 Comments


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

Im not sure if I am understanding your question but it would take the gender of the object. Der Aunzug would be er because it is masculine, die Tür would be Sie and Das essen would be es. It is the same for animate objects


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cluney2

OK. yes you did understand me. Sorry if it was a bit confusing but that's very helpful. Does this count for animals aswell? Animals have genders unlike doors or windows. So if you knew a cat was a boy would you say Er läuft or would you say sie läuft because die-sie?


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

Yes and no, It has to be clear what you're talking about, if it is clear then you can say "Er läuft /im Garten/im Haus etc." if we talk about a male cat (der Kater)

If we talk about a female dog (die Hündin) it would be "Sie läuft...."


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

The idea of gendered nouns have nothing to do with gender. Das Mädchen means girl yet is netur not feminine. So with animals no matter what the gender of an animal is it will always take the grammatical gender, for example my female dog will still be Er because it is Der Hund. So to answer your question it would be sie lauft


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cluney2

thankyou that makes alot of sense. This whole question arose when in my german someone asked if The suit fitted and they asked 'passt er?' The guy buying the suit said 'Ja, er passt.


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

Yes in a situation like that you can use it :)


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

"es" always translates to it. It can be used for masculine, neuter, or feminine nouns. However, you can also use "er" for masculine nouns and "sie" for feminine nouns.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cluney2

So what your telling me is I could say. (excuse me if I get my Deutsch grammar a bit wrong) ''Es ist geschlossen'' talking about a door. Die Tür. However I could also say ''Sie ist geschlossen''. Is that what you mean when you say that?


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

er = he sie = she (not her, her would be "ihr" in German) es = it

Der, Die, Das are the three definite articles (like "the" in English, "la" and "le" in French and so on).

If I understood your question correctly you wanted to know why you can refer to an inanimated object with "no gender" as Er, Sie or Es, right?

First of all, EVERY noun has a specific grammatical gender.

Der Anzug (m) - the suit Die Arbeit (f) - the work Das Kleid (n) - the dress

We don't often refer to objects as er, sie, es, that was the reason why I had to think a really long time to find a proper example, but I've found one.

Example:

Q:"Wie war dein Tag?" (how was your day) A:"Er war furchtbar" (it was terrible)

But even in that situation a native speaker would just say "Furchtbar" not "Er war furchtbar"

For example :

Wo ist der Anzug? (Where's the suit)

You can answer with :

Der Anzug ist im Schrank. (The suit is in the closet)

Or

Der ist im Schrank

You can also say:

Er ist im Schrank

But be aware that it is clear what you're talking about, because everybody would think there is a person in the closet.

If you want to use : Der ist im Schrank. Die ist schön.

Etc.

Be aware that the object you're referring to has already been mentioned in some way within the conversation before

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