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  5. "The woman, the man, the boy …

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

Translation:Die Frau, der Mann, der Junge und das Mädchen

March 19, 2018

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If you're wondering why ‘Mädchen’ is neuter (instead of feminine), it's because it is the diminutive form of the now obsolete ‘die Magd’ (cognate of the English ‘maid’), formed by adding the suffix ‘-chen’. All nouns having this suffix (and the other diminutive suffix ‘-lein’) are neuter, independently of the gender of the original noun.


Endings of words indicating that a noun is neuter are: -chen -lein -um -ment -nis (Hope that helps)


Nouns with the suffix ‘-nis’ can also be feminine however (for example ‘die Erlaubnis’, ‘permission’).


Why did it correct me to "Die Madchen" earlier when referring to a singular girl?


When you have "die" in front of Mädchen, it isn't the singular version, but actually the plural version. With the neuter version, so "das" you refer to only one girl. German articles are very confusing :)


Why is it Die Frau and der Mann?


I'm not sure what you're asking. If the question is about the two different forms of the definite article, it's grammatical gender: “der” is masculine singular, while “die” is feminine singular (see here for all the forms).


Why do you say see here for all forms, when I can't? There is no link where it says the word 'here'.


Some links may not work on the Android version of Duolingo. I would recommend in that case making a note of which sentences you found the problem, and reviewing them on the web version later.


If for some reason you cannot access the links: they were just the wikipedia articles for ‘grammatical gender’ and ‘German articles’.

I've also realised I had erroneously linked to the mobile version of the site, I've now edited to the normal version.

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