How Do You Use Articles?
Hey guys, I am learning German and I have trouble understanding how and when you use: Der, Die, Das and Ein, Eine, Einen. If you have any idea how you use them, please list a summary in the comments. Thanks
Well, first of all, there are two main catagories of articles: definite (der, die das) and indefinite articles (ein, eine). This should not be too complicated since it is the same in English (the vs. a/an).
Then it starts to become a bit trickier. Which article you use depends on three things:
- the gender of the noun (male, female or neutrum)
- the number (singular or plural)
- the case (Nominativ, Genitiv, Dativ or Akkusativ).
An example for a male noun in singular:
der Hund (= the dog)
Nominativ (Wer?): der Hund (Der Hund spielt = The dog plays.)
Genitiv (Wessen?): des Hundes (Das ist das Futter des Hundes = This is the food of the dog.)
Dativ (Wem?): dem Hund (Er gibt das Futter dem Hund = He gives the food to the dog)
Akkusativ (Wen?): den Hund (Er wäscht den Hund = He washes the dog)
Unfortunately there are no patterns that apply to the genders and which words they belong to without there being a slew of exceptions. So you will have to memorize the gender with the word as you learn them. Practice will make these very easy over time so just stay consistent with practice.
This chart should help if you just need to know which article to use with which gender. https://image.slidesharecdn.com/articlesforprinting-131010140930-phpapp02/95/german-articles-and-cases-3-638.jpg?cb=1381414222