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I cannot get gendered articles for the life of me.

I spend 20 mins on a lesson because i keep getting simple minor changes like gender wrong. Any tips for remembering gendered words and their respective articles?

December 13, 2017



This is a common complaint, so remember the gender with the nouns.


The general advice given is to always remember the gender along with the word when you learn nouns in German. Some people say that using color-coded flash cards helps; if we go with the stereotypical childhood color associations of blue with masculinity and pink with feminity, then you can use blue post-it notes for masculine nouns, pink post-its for feminine nouns, and some other color (probably yellow) for neutral nouns. I never did this personally, though... It really is just something you have to drill. Every time you learn a noun, use it in a sentence so that you can see and practice using the gendered article with it.


These are what I try to remember: If in doubt, guess feminine because that is the commonest! Nouns ending in "ung, shaft, heit, keit, ik, ie, ur" are usually feminine. Nouns ending in "chen, lein, um" are often neuter. Nouns ending in "e" are often feminine. Nouns ending in "en, ig, ling, ant, us" are often masculine. Hope this helps Sadly, that still leaves quite a few to memorise... If anyone can give me any more rules of thumb, that would be great...


Yeah, it's a real pain and there are no shortcuts other than making certain that you learn the gender along with the noun. German is made more difficult because how the noun is used in a sentence (Case: subject, possessive, direct or indirect object) will often change the definite or indefinite article (Masculine der to des or dem or den; ein to eines or einem or einen) as well as changing the form of the noun. In addition, a host of prepositions and verbs require that a particular case be used. The ending of some nouns are predictive. See the following for help: https://www.thoughtco.com/masculine-feminine-or-nueter-in-german-4068442


I lived in Germany for two years, but i still do not understand why "das Messer" is nuder and "die Gabel" is feminin. Please tell me I am not the only one.


My high school german teacher taught me this: Think of a fat mat guzzling ice cream with a spoon (der Löffel)

A fat lady guzzling fancy cake with her fork (die Gabel)

Anyone can stab somebody (das Messer)

It was pretty weird, but it obviously worked, because I picture those people everytime I mention cutlery (das Besteck)


"Nuder" gave me a moment's pause. I think you meant "neuter". :)


It gets easier: eventually you develop an intuition based on soaking up thousands of examples.

A good way to get started is to focus on making the gender-determining rules second nature (e.g. "words ending in -ion are usually die" or "names of compass directions are der" ). There's a free app called German Grammar Spy for Android and iPhone that teaches you all these rules: https://www.producthunt.com/posts/german-grammar-spy-der-die-das/


flash cards and memory games on quizlet


Yeah I feel like I just use flash cards and have to memorise it! Lots of study and repetition!

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