"The girl and the boy, the woman and the man"
Translation:Das Mädchen und der Junge, die Frau und der Mann
-chen is a neuter suffix despite the actual noun "girl" being feminine.
Any foreign language ive learned does this, you can't think of words as male and female, just masculine and feminine words. Doesn't make sense at first but feminine seems to mean something else when discussing language.
It just happens to be one of the many cases in German where grammatical gender is (or at least seems) arbitrary. However, as Ly_Mar had said yesterday as of this comment, Mädchen contains the suffix -chen, which I would refer to as a neuter suffix since it always makes the noun neuter.
That does not make sense. If Mädchen is neuter why not the Junge is neuter too?
‘Mädchen’ is an exception in the pattern: nouns referring to people generally take that person's natural gender. There is one grammatical rule, however, which trumps all the other on the matter of grammatical genders: the diminutive suffixes ‘-chen’ and ‘-lein’ always make a noun neuter, and ‘Mädchen’ is historically the diminutive of the now obsolete word ‘die Magd’, cognate of English ‘maiden’.
I got the words right and it was marked wrong do you have to capitalize them each?
Duolingo doesn't mark it wrong because they're not capitalized (although you're right, it's a rule in German). Penny504757 must have accidentally made a typo for it to be maked as incorrect.
There are many exceptions to these rules, but here are a few ways to tell whether a noun is Masculine (using der) or Feminine (using die).
Male people and animals.
Most nouns ending in the following are Masculine:
Most instruments or things that do stuff that end in "-er" or "-or".
Nouns derived from verbs ending in "-er" are masculine.
Car brands are masculine.
Months and seasons, days, points on the compass, and most weather elements are masculine.
Most names of alcoholic drinks are masculine.
Most non-German rivers.
Female people and animals.
(exceptions include das Mädchen)
Nouns ending the following endings are feminine:
The -e rule has many exceptions to it.
Foreign words that are used in German with the following endings are feminine:
Most of the German rivers are Feminine.
Cardinal numbers have a feminine article.
Whenever you learn a noun, the best would be to learn the article with the noun, and, prefferably, also the plural form.
Knabe is more like "lad", although it means basically the same thing as "boy" = Junge.
The first assessment you have to make is what gender and number the noun you're trying to add an article to is: the ‘der’ declension is used for masculine nouns, ‘die’ for feminine and ‘das’ for neutral, while plural for any gender is also ‘die’.
The second step is understanding the role of the noun in the sentence, this will dictate the case: is it the subject (nominative) or the direct (accusative) or indirect (dative) object? Is it the owner or possessor of something (genitive)? Is it introduced by a preposition? The last case is the hardest because certain prepositions prefer certain cases and you will just have to learn which one, but there is one logical rule: prepositions indicating location take the dative when referring to position but the accusative when indicating aim/direction of movement or when not used in a literal sense (for example ‘ich bin stolz auf dich’, ‘I'm proud of you’, where ‘auf’ doesn't literally mean ‘on’).
After answering these question you can apply the declension as found, for example, here.
Correct. der, die, das can each mean "the" or "that" or, often, "this".
The dictionary hints were wrong and they said that it was der but it really was die.
The hints often get confused when the same word (such as "the") occurs several times in the same sentence but has to be translated in different ways each time.
Don't rely on the hints.
Every noun in German has a grammatical gender, a class that determines what set of endings the articles and adjectives modifying the noun must take. There are three grammatical genders in German: masculine, feminine, and neuter (from Latin ‘neuter’, meaning ‘neither (of the two)’, in reference to the fact that it refers to things that are neither masculine nor feminine).
Masculine and feminine generally agree with sex/gender of human referents (with some exceptions, for example ‘das Mädchen’), and they often agree with sex of animal referents (at least when different options are available for male and female, like ‘lion’ and ‘lioness’), but nouns denoting non-living things and concepts also have a grammatical gender in German, and not necessarily neuter. Certain groups of nouns prefer one gender (for example alcoholic beverages are often masculine, with the exception of ‘das Bier’) and suffixes have fixed gender (but sometimes multiple fixed genders, like ‘-tum’—equivalent to English ‘-hood’ or ‘-dom’—, which can be masculine or neuter but never feminine).
Since a noun's gender is essentially arbitrary, it's common among German learners to memorise new nouns together with their nominative definite article (der, die, or das) as a shorthand for that noun's gender. If, for example, I told you that ‘wall’ in German is ‘die Wand’, you would immediately now that ‘Wand’ in German is feminine. Neuter nouns take the nominative definite article ‘das’ and the nominative indefinite article ‘ein’.
This would be alot easier to learn if they explained the differences between das die and der instead of throwing it at you.
They do -- have a look at https://www.duolingo.com/skill/de/Basics-1/tips-and-notes .
Always read the tips and notes before starting a new lesson.
To do so, visit the website https://www.duolingo.com/ (in a browser). Then click on the lesson unit and then on the lightbulb:
If you're using a mobile app, tips and notes for German are not yet available. So you'll have to visit the website.
How can the concept of diligence be masculine (‘der Fleiß’)? How can heating be feminine (‘die Heizung’)?
This has already been addressed above—multiple times—grammatical gender doesn't mean biological sex, and, without any historical insight at least, is essentially arbitrary. The suffix of a noun always dictates the gender of that noun in German (like the last noun in a compound does, because it is the ‘noun-iest’ of the nouns in the compound, the one we're actually referring to), in this case the diminutive ‘-chen’, which is always neuter.
ı think, this is wrong Das Mädchen = Die Mädchen
Yes, that is indeed wrong - das Mädchen does not equal die Mädchen.
das Mädchen is singular (the girl) while die Mädchen is plural (the girls).
The two are not the same.
Pick an explanation:
1) Mädchen ends in -chen, Junge does not.
2) Don't try to look for logic in German grammatical gender
If you're on a mobile device, try long-pressing the a o u s keys to get at ä ö ü ß.
I really think there should be tge explanation of when to use which article. This is a beginner's course! I actually had to google why Mädchen is neutral. This should be in the app!
Why we use the article Das for Madchen (girl).
Because the word Mädchen is grammatically neuter, we use the neuter article das.
Should not be 'der'?
No; that would be the masculine nominative article.
Also, you have a spelling mistake: Madchen should be Mädchen -- with two dots over the a.
If you can't type that letter, then replace it with ae, as in Maedchen.
But you can't just leave out the dots. schon and schön are two different words, for example, as are Apfel and Äpfel.