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  5. Das Mädchen hat Durst, aber s…


Das Mädchen hat Durst, aber sie/es trinkt nicht.

Is "sie" or "es" correct here? As I have seen "Der Käse ist alt, aber er ist gut." Thank you

February 14, 2018


  • Das Mädchen(n.) hat Durst, aber es(n.) trinkt nicht. (You'll hear it wrong sometimes because the biological gender doesn't match the grammatical gender. So sometimes people say "..., aber sie trinkt nicht", but it's wrong....)
  • Der Käse(m.) ist alt, aber er(m.) ist gut. (No problem at all)


Grammatically correct would be 'es' but colloquially I would always use 'sie' with 'Mädchen'. :)


Interesting :D. For me it's totally natural to say "es", because both in the region where I live and where I was born, the regional dialects use "es" for every girl or woman. "Das Petra hat heute Geburtstag"... To the learners: just for your information, not to be used ;-). PS: limited to personal contacts like friends and acquaintances, partly relatives, because it's a type of diminutive.... it sounds cute. I would never say "Das Kanzlerin Merkel".


That is indeed interesting. :) I guess it must be regional then, I'm from the north and would definitely not use 'es' for a girl. :)


North Hesse and Rhineland.... I know it from nowhere else....


Useful to know.Thanks, Max.Em.


No offence, but I wouldn't use sie. I always cringe a little when people do that.


Just how I feel when I hear 'es' being used for a girl. :) (To all learners out there, 'es' is correct though.)


Mark Twain wrote about this in his essay, "The Awful German Language" :

"Every noun has a gender, and there is no sense or system in the distribution; so the gender of each must be learned separately and by heart. There is no other way. To do this one has to have a memory like a memorandum-book. In German, a young lady has no sex, while a turnip has. Think what overwrought reverence that shows for the turnip, and what callous disrespect for the girl. See how it looks in print -- I translate this from a conversation in one of the best of the German Sunday-school books:

"Gretchen: Wilhelm, where is the turnip?
Wilhelm: She has gone to the kitchen.
Gretchen: Where is the accomplished and beautiful English maiden?
Wilhelm: It has gone to the opera."

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