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understanding the difference in meaning

Can you help me understand the difference and when we use the following words? dis das diese dieses and the rest showing something alle, alles viel viele

we are asked to answer questions but we were not given a clue about the use of certain words or phrases. Do you have the same problem ,too? Thank you in advance. Maria

January 11, 2018



In German, as in French, the articles and adjectives have to agree with the grammatical gender (type) of word. You have to remember whether each word is a der, die or das type.


If you told me your native tongue, I could assist a bit better.

===== dies ===== (1) reference to a proposition just referred or alluded to. "Dies ist der Grund, warum ich Duolingo mag." (This is the reason why I like duolingo.)

(2) [colloquial] short form of "dieses". "Dies Auto ist flott." (This car is fast/stylish.)

===== dieser/diese/dieses =====

(1) German 1:1 equivalent to "this". "Dieser Typ ist stark." (masculine; This guy is strong.) "Diese Frau ist schwanger." (feminine; This woman is pregnant.) "Dieses Kind ist laut." (neuter; This child is loud.) Be aware that both "dieser" and "diese" can also be other declension forms of "dieser, diese, dieses" (look for cases and numbers).

===== der/die/das, der/die/das dort, der/die/das da, jener/jene/jenes =====

(1) German 1:1 equivalent of "that". "Der Opa hat einen weißen Bart." "Der Opa dort hat einen weißen Bart." "Der Opa da hat einen weißen Bart." "Jener Opa hat einen weißen Bart." (masculine; all read: That gaffer (over there) has a white beard.) Be aware that these demonstratives are homonymous (sounding and written the same) with the definite articles. This makes learning especially easy: Just learn the definite articles "der/die/das" ("the" in masculine/feminine/neuter respectively) for your own language production.

===== alle =====

(1) German 1:1 equivalent of "all", "they all", "all of them". "Alle wissen das." (literally: All know that; in English: Everyone knows that)

(2) all-quantification of a set to be specified after "alle". "Nachts sind alle Katzen grau." (At night all cats are grey.)


And "viel" may be translated by "much" or "many", "viele" or "vieles" being variants necessitated by number or gender constellations.

There are two things you need to learn. First, along with every noun, learn its so-called gender. In German the sun is a female while in English or Romance languages it is a male, as opposed to the moon (which is a male in German and a female in Romance languages). Second, learn those cases. This will take a bit. And then you will find that adjectives or modifiers of nouns in general will follow basically the same rules as the nouns themselves, yielding those different endings.



Hallo Maria 1952, I understand your frustration, as I have had quite a few problems myself. The simple answer is no 1 app is going to get the serious learner where they want to be. This, I found out, by the good people on the discussion forum. I love DuoLingo. The website has hints, tips and advice , that the app does not. I use the website to grow the tree, and search the Discussion forum for answers. Then use the app for practicing, as well as a club. I would recommend a club for extra motivation. Along with DL, I use readlang, lingvist, youtube and probably the best of all https://www.lsa.umich.edu/german/hmr/Grammatik/Gender/Gender.html

Good luck

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