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Can you change Articles (die, das, der) based on an animals gender?

For example, if my dog is female, do i refer to her as die Hund or do I continue using der Hund?

Sorry if it's a dumb question lol

March 27, 2018


[deactivated user]

    Not a dumb question.

    You cannot use "die Hund", you must also change the noun. You would refer to your female dog as "die Hündin".


    As is noted: some animals (primarily pets and other domesticated animals) have separate words for their masculine and feminine counterparts:

    der Hund or der Rüde (also applies to foxes and wolves: der Fuchsrüde, der Wolfrüde); die Hündin, (for foxes and wolves: die Füchsin, die Wölfin)

    die Katze (also die Kätzin, though this is archaic), der Kater

    die Kuh, der Stier

    das Huhn, die Henne, der Hahn

    der Hirsch, die Hirschkuh

    Horse is a bit more complicated (but it is also complicated in English)

    a young horse, male or female: das Fohlen

    a stallion (i.e. a male horse over 2 years old): der Hengst

    an adult female horse: die Stute, die Mähre, das Stuteweibchen

    a gelding (i.e. a castrated adult male horse): der Wallach



    die Henne and die Stute. a Hühne would be something else: an extremly tall and broadly built man. the word Stüte doesn't exist


    I was thinking of das Huhn.


    i know but the female chicken is die Henne and not a Hühne. since a Hühne is what i discribt. ok i read the Stütin as Stüte before


    wiktionary includes this usage note:

    "In western and parts of northern Germany, the word Henne is rarely used and only the synonym Huhn is common. Henne might still be used in these regions when the specification of the female is of particular importance to the context, chiefly in the plural."


    well it was about gender specific words and Huhn is not gender specific. it only discribes the species so it is not a synonym to Henne (i mean it is not even femenine but neutral: das Huhn). but there are other words in your post which no one ever uses like Stütin we would usually only say Stute. or Stuteweibchen. since Stute is already femenine it is nonsence to add Weibchen.Mähre is outdated. sorry but i think wiktionary tells nonesence in this case (greetings from western germany).


    Der Huene hat mit dem Huhn nichts zu tun.


    gender in german grammer is not (always) bound to the biological gender. but for some animals there are special words that are gender specific. like die Hündin for female dogs or der Kater for male cats etc. so if you want to emphasize the animals gender you have to change the hole noun. but you can not change the artikel to a noun for that reason since artikel and noun are one unit in german language. usually the artikel only changes in the plural form.


    Not a dumb question at all. When you talk about a specific dog with a name, you use he or she, just like you would not refer to "it" in English.

    But if you do not know the sex of a dog, you would normally say "er", because it's "der Hund". Sometimes people ask a dog owner: "Ist das ein Er oder eine Sie?" Vice verso with a cat, who is buy default "sie".

    A female dog is "die Hündin", a male dog is "der Rüde"

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