How to remember Type of Gender easily in German?
Hello everybody, It's hard for me to remember gender in German. Do you have any tips to make it easy?
And I got confuse to compare the use of pronoun because some words are the same. please give me tips. Thank you for your kindness
I hope there is not too much information here. If there is, just take it a little at a time as you need it, rather than trying to absorb it all at once.
Engelmeister's comment that you should learn the (nominative definite) article alongside the noun is often recommended.
Other than memorising the definite article ( der die das ) along with the word, there are guidelines (but not strict rules) which you can follow to give you a reasonable chance of getting it right. Please see any of the following (no need to look at them all, just find one which seems readable to you):
Gender memory tips
- If you make your own notes, some people like to use different colours for the different genders.
- You could also make your own flashcards with the article on them before the noun (der Apfel), and perhaps even use different colours on them.
Pronouns - Sie sie and sie
If the problem you have is with whether sie is she You or they:
- Take comfort: In real life situations you will usually find the context resolves this.
- She sie can generally be distinguished from You Sie or they sie by the verb ending, which is -t for she sie (in the present tense). For example: she swims sie schwimmt, whereas Sie / sie schwimmen.
- In writing, combined with the -en verb ending (in the present tense) You Sie is capitalised, whereas they sie is not. So long as it is not at the start of a sentence you can tell them apart - if it has a capital it is You Sie, otherwise it is they sie.
- If it is however at the start of a sentence, on Duolingo Sie schwimmen can be translated as either You swim or they swim and it should be marked correct, and in real life, context or asking should make it clear.
This wasn’t in the original question, but as it necessarily comes up in trying to work out which sie is which, here are a few pages about this:
A fairly clear chart for verb endings is here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/german/grammar/verbspresentrev1.shtml
If you want to see a verb conjugated with its different endings, there are tools online:
Full conjugation: http://www.verbix.com/webverbix/German/schwimmen.html
Pronouns for you
In the nominative case (see link at bottom of this post if you are unsure what the nominative case is):
- du - singular informal
- ihr - plural informal
- Sie - singular formal or plural formal
If the problem you have is with memorising the pronouns themselves: the pronouns become clearer and automatic in time, but it sometimes helps to see them all in one table. Either of these may help (I prefer the layout of the first, but it carelessly omits the formal Sie which is both singular and plural, and is found at the bottom of the second link’s chart):
Those two links necessarily mention case. Here is a short page describing German cases: http://www.deutsched.com/Grammar/Lessons/0201cases.php
For some word groups there are rules. All diminutives ending in -chen and -lein are neuter, all words from Latin in -tion are feminine. The German version of the Lation -tion is -ung, also all nouns with this suffix are feminine. There should be a few more rules like this.
If you know about the etymology of the word you can sometimes make an educated guess. But for the most part you just have to learn the genders by heart, learning the article with the noun as suggested in the other answers.
Hi Okta, yes, it is hard to learn. You are not the first who is confronted with that problem. Perhaps it helps you a little bit when you know as a german I have the same problem with spanish. I use a online vokabulary book and write down the nouns with the artikel. So every time I train vocabularys I see them together. That helps me a lot. I wish there would be a trick to make it easier :-(