"The girl and the boy, the woman and the man"

Translation:Das Mädchen und der Junge, die Frau und der Mann

March 19, 2018

This discussion is locked.


What is the difference between das, die and der?


Das is neuter, die is feminine, Der is masculine I think.


But Mädchen is a girl and so feminine then...?


Girls are female.

But the word Mädchen is grammatically neuter, not feminine.

Grammatical gender is not necessarily related to natural gender -- words are arbitrary. (Like how the word "monosyllabic" has more than one syllable, for example.)

die Person is always feminine, even if persons can be male. das Mädchen is always neuter, even if girls are female. der Löffel is always masculine, even though spoons have no (natural) gender.

So: Das Mädchen ist weiblich. Das Wort „Mädchen“ ist sächlich. (The girl is female. The word “Mädchen” is neuter.)

You have to distinguish between words and the things that the words refer to.


This comment is really good, explaining the subject very well! I gave you a Lingot for it!

The only thing missing here, for ultimate convenience of course, is a link to a (wiki) page explaining masculine, feminine and neuter forms and when they apply like the -chen trick explained.

Here is a general page about Grammatical Gender and a specific page about German cases.


@RobvanderL1: I disagree as the explanation for "das Mädchen" is missing the (essential) point about diminutives being neuter always. (Aug. 2020)

[deactivated user]

    Thanks for the explanation, this makes so much sense now


    Thank you that helps alot


    Very Informative. Thank you!


    I was just looking for this comment. The Mädchen is neuter had me worried a little but you explained well. Thank you


    im not sure if this helps but in most languages the word 'girl' is neuter for some reason, it dosent make sence, but i guess thats how history shows it to be


    Thank you for the lesson it's nice to know im new to learning German and i wanna get good at it !


    You are explaining in French??


    @JakeMusgrove: But only in nominative singular case. (Aug 2020)


    Die Frau, der Mann, das Kind


    One is for boy man gril and woman


    How comes Mädchen is neuter and Junge is masculine?


    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’.


    @MdErfan2: Makes perfect sense .. because as has been explained a dozen times at least on these pages, in German words ending in -chen or -lein are diminutives and THEREFORE are neuter. Fräulein, Bübchen (little boy) and Häuschen also are neuter. (Aug 2020)


    I got the words right and it was marked wrong do you have to capitalize them each?


    Yes, capitalization matters in German.

    [deactivated user]

      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.


      Nope. I just got marked wrong for not capitalizing. Double, then triple check all other spelling and punctuation and the capitalization is the only difference between my answer and the correct one.


      I'm only new, but have learnt that all nouns are capitalised.


      Did i get this wrong because i didn't capitalize the words


      Did i get this wrong because i didn't capitalize the words

      No. Duolingo (unfortunately) ignores capitalisation.

      If your answer was rejected, there will have been some other mistake.


      Hpw can you lose a streak with i letter wrong


      If one wrong letter turns the word into a different but valid word, it's considered a full mistake rather than a typo.

      For example, if you type "men" instead of "man", or "grau" instead of "Frau".


      I kept on getting this ssentence wrong because I get confused with die, der,and das. Did anyone else?


      I wrote it exactly the same but it got wrong


      Hiw do yiu tell when to use der and when to us die

      [deactivated user]

        Hi Unicornlover208,

        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.

        Good luck!


        @Desert-Rose: "Mädchen" is NOT an exception of "die" as it is a diminutive and THEREFORE by definition is neuter. All words ending in -lein or -chen are diminutives. (Aug 2020)


        All words ending in -lein or -chen are diminutives.

        • der Kuchen
        • der Rachen
        • die Seuchen
        • die Küchen

        You'll have to be a bit more specific than "all words ending in -lein or -chen.


        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!


        How can i tell which the to use in a sentence? There are so many


        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.


        Does 'das'mean both this and that?


        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.


        Can someone please explain what neuter means. Thank you


        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’.


        if 'girl' is diminutive(neuter) why isn't 'boy'


        Pick an explanation:

        1) Mädchen ends in -chen, Junge does not.
        2) Don't try to look for logic in German grammatical gender


        It looks that Jungchen is diminutive(neuter) just like Mädchen.


        How do you type the umlaut on top of the vowels?


        If you're on a mobile device, try long-pressing the a o u s keys to get at ä ö ü ß.


        When you already suck at basic English but now you realize how much you need it now


        Why are there so many "the"s?! There are 4 different "the"s!


        There are 4 different "the"s!

        No, six: der die das des dem den.

        Because German has three genders (well, sort of four: plural acts a bit like a separate gender of its own) and four cases.


        Wats d difference between die nd das


        Wats d difference between die nd das

        No difference in meaning -- which one you have to use depends on the grammatical gender of the noun it accompanies, which is something you simply have to memorise.

        For example, die Person (the person) is a feminine word, das Mädchen (the girl) is a neuter word.


        i keep getting them right - whos checking these anyways?


        My phone only does the letter a and therefore marks spelling of Madchen as wrong


        If you're doing Duolingo on a phone, try long-pressing the a key to access accented forms such as á à â ä ã.

        Otherwise, replace ä ö ü ß with ae oe ue ss, respectively, as in das schoene Maedchen heisst Guelbahar instead of das schöne Mädchen heißt Gülbahar.


        I have typed this several times. I keep getting it wrong because the hover information is incorrect. It doesn't take into consideration the articles are different based on gender. Needless to say, I am not happy.


        the hover information is incorrect.

        It sounds as if you are treating the hints as "suggestions" or "recommendations".

        They are not intended to be that and are not fit for that purpose.

        They are merely hints, intended to jog your memory -- not to supply the correct answer immediately.

        The system tries to order the hints so that the most relevant ones are near the top, but it gets confused easily, especially when the same word (e.g. "the") has to be translated differently in different parts of the sentence.

        You still have to learn German yourself and memorise which noun goes with which article. You cannot just type what the hints say.


        It doesn't recognize my der as der! ;/


        It should allow the word Maedchen, extra points for effort!


        I thought die was for men? Idk I just started today.


        I thought die was for men?

        die can be for feminine nouns or for plural nouns.

        Feminine nouns are ones such as die Frau (the woman), die Person (the person), die Gabel (the fork), die Zukunft (the future), ... -- as you can see, feminine nouns don't generally have anything to do with females.


        What is the purpose of accents?


        What is the purpose of accents?

        To show that the pronunciation of the vowel has changed.

        In ä, the vowel was raised; in ö and ü, the vowel was fronted.

        So schon (already) and schön (beautiful) are not pronounced identically, for example -- the vowel sound is different.


        Di germans always capitalise Mann, Frau, Junge, Mädchen, Kind?


        Di germans always capitalise Mann, Frau, Junge, Mädchen, Kind?

        Of course, since those are nouns, and nouns are always capitalised in German.

        Have you not been reading the tips and notes? Capitalisation of nouns is mentioned in the tips and notes for the very first lesson.

        On the web site https://www.duolingo.com/ , click on the light bulb icon to access the tips and notes:


        I wrote the same answer as duolingo corected me! What's wrong? I don't understand


        I wrote the same answer as duolingo corected me!

        What exactly did you write?

        Did Duolingo perhaps give you two or more options and you entered them both at once?

        Do you have a screenshot?


        I did that though. Is it because, I didnt capitolise the F in Frau....


        Duolingo ignores capitalisation (unfortunately for the German course, where this can be significant). So if you got marked wrong, you probably made some mistake.

        Do you have a screenshot showing your rejected answer?


        Why is it "und DER junge" and not :und DAS junge"?


        Why is it "und DER junge"

        It isn't. It's und der Junge with a capital J.

        And it's der because Junge ("boy") is masculine, not neuter.


        I'm pretty sure that's a run-on sentence. It should be with a semicolon not a comma. Like this, "The girl and the boy; the woman and the man."


        can i say 'das ......' or is 'das' exclusive for the word 'madchen'


        is 'das' exclusive for the word 'madchen'

        das is only for neuter nouns.

        Mädchen is a neuter noun. (Note: capital M, since it's a noun; and the second letter is ä, not a. If you can't make the letter ä, use ae instead: Maedchen. Do not just leave out the dots over a letter entirely.)

        Similarly with other neuter nouns: das Fahrrad (the bicycle), das Messer (the knife), das Opfer (the victim), das Pferd (the horse), ....

        Junge and Mann are masculine nouns, which is why it's der Junge, der Mann

        Similarly with other masculine nouns: der Fernseher (the television set), der Löffel (the spoon), der Hund (the dog), ....

        Frau is a feminine noun, which is why it's die Frau.

        Similarly with other feminine nouns: die Gardine (the curtain), die Gabel (the fork), die Katze (the cat), die Person (the person), ....

        As you can see, grammatical gender is mostly arbitrary. You have to memorise which gender a given word is.


        I wonder if maiden and madchen have a close etymology?


        I wonder if maiden and madchen have a close etymology?

        There is no word madchen, but Mädchen (starting with capital M and ä) is the diminutive form of die Magd or die Maid, which are related to English "maid" and to its diminutive "maiden".

        So yes, they are related in their origin, though the meanings are not identical in the modern languages.


        Apart from my comma what was wrong with my translation?


        @Angela924754: Nobody can see what you wrote. Please always quote your entire sentence when you have a question.


        when you hover on the for the boy it shows die when it should show der


        Yes - the hover system easily gets confused when there is one word (e.g. "the") that has to be translated in different ways in the same sentence; it will show the same hints in the same order for all of them because it doesn't know which one is which.

        The hints can never be "suggestions" or "answers"; you still have to learn German yourself.


        I don't know how to put accented letters on words through my phones keyboard.


        I don't know how to put accented letters on words through my phones keyboard.

        Please see the comment thread started by iain539499.


        How do you type an accent?


        It doesn't let me tap the correct words.


        I typed the correct response but was indicated as incorrect. What did i do incorrectly?


        What did i do incorrectly?

        Nobody can see what you typed. So please always copy and paste your entire answer when you have a question.

        Most probably you made a small typing error which you did not notice.


        I dont know how to make the accents when i am typing...


        Kan benar jawabanya!!!


        What mean the in german


        "the" in German can be der, die, das, des, dem, den -- depending on the grammatical gender (masculine, feminine, neuter, plural) and the case (nominative, genitive, dative, accusative) of the noun.


        This sentence is annoying, too easy to miss a letter or a comma


        Is there a way to get an omlaute (dots) over the letters on an android?


        Is there a way to get an omlaute (dots) over the letters on an android?

        Try long-pressing the letters a o u s to get access to accented versions of them -- then slide your finger over to the appropriate letter, e.g. ä ö ü ß.


        What is the difference between das and die in the sentence?


        The grammetical gender of the nouns. Der: masculine Die: feminine Das: neuter. Frau is feminine, Mädchen is neuter. Read the tips next to lessons, they are very helpful (this is at lesson 2, called "The") How could you get to level "8" of German if you don't understand basics, I really wonder...


        Bother! I was concentrating soooo hard to get the grammatical gender right - I forgot to add "und" ... otherwise I was right, but still my answer is wrong :P


        Touch screen is not working


        Why is "girl" considered neuter and "boy" masculine ?


        Why is "girl" considered neuter and "boy" masculine ?

        Grammatical gender is mostly arbitrary.


        How should we write - the bakery ?


        i don't really know my die der and das yet! so is der for boy and man and is die for woman and girl?? i think i know what das is for.


        Shoudn't boy be neuter like girl?


        Shoudn't boy be neuter like girl?

        There is no "should". Grammatical gender is not logical, in general.


        i don't really know sorry!


        Isn't girl a feminine noun? Then why do i have to use Neutral term for it? i.e. "Das"


        Isn't girl a feminine noun?

        No. Nouns don't have gender in English*.

        As for the German word Mädchen, that's a neuter noun, which is why it takes the neuter article das.

        * You might think I'm splitting hairs, but it is important to realise that the gender attaches to a specific (German) word, not to a general concept or to an English translation. You can have multiple German words with different genders that mean the same thing, e.g. die Kartoffel (Germany) and der Erdapfel (Austria) both mean "potato". So it doesn't make sense to talk about the gender of "potato" (the English word or the general concept); you have to talk about specific German words.


        Why are the words capitalized?


        Poorly formatted question, too critical on grammar instead of understanding.


        How do i type the accent?


        I don't know hiw to make the accents


        The word Das was missing! I wanted to place it before Madschen but had to choose die which was available. Also there was a definite article short from the last phrase, before the word Frau, so I had no choice but to leave it out!!


        The error was not mine!


        Wait so girl/mädchen is neutral in german!!! Is the why we use ein and das insted of eine and die?


        Wait so girl/mädchen is neutral in german!

        Please pay attention to the correct spelling: Mädchen, not mädchen.

        Yes, the word Mädchen is grammatically neuter.

        Is the why we use ein and das insted of eine and die?



        How to use German keyboard


        The hint says we can use der junge


        The hint says

        The hints don't "say" anything.

        You can't rely on them.

        They're there to jog your memory but you (not the hints) are responsible for choosing an appropriate hint from the list.

        der junge

        Is there a lowercase junge in the hints? Do you have a screenshot? Perhaps that can get fixed then.


        I want to click the girl but it wodent let me


        Why doesn't it let you type "Maedchen" here? It lets you add an "e" instead of every other umlaut in every other exercise...


        Why doesn't it let you type "Maedchen" here?

        It should.

        Do you have a screenshot of an answer that got rejected only for writing Maedchen instead of Mädchen? If so, please share it with us -- upload it to a website somewhere (e.g. imgur) and tell us the URL of the image.


        How can I spell madchen correctly without an umlaut?


        there tree on the leaves


        Thanks a lot i read most of the comments and it really helped me a lot as i am beginner in german thanks so much guys .

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