"The apple juice"
Why is the 'Apfel' in 'Apfelsaft' not in the plural like the 'Orangen' in 'Orangensaft'?
There is no particular reason for it, I suppose. You may have to learn if the singular or plural is used for every kind of juice. Traube-n-saft - Traube = grape, Trauben = grapes, Mangosaft, Birne-n-saft - Birne = pear, Birnen = pears. Germans have similar confusions with different acids. Butyric acid = Buttersäure (Butter = butter, Säure = acid), malic acid = Äpfelsäure (Apfel = apple - Äpfel = apples(!)), formic acid = Ameisensäure (Ameise = ant - Ameisen = ants(!); or jams: Erdbeermarmelade (Erdbeer(e) = Strawberry, Marmelade = jam), Feigenmarmelade (Feigen = figs(!))
well, it is confusing sometimes and you have to learn by heart a lot but eventually you will get a feeling for it (and just stay wondering about Äpfelsäure like every german in every german chemistry course..)
gender of a compound word is defined by its last part. here "Apfelsaft" is (masculine) defined by "Saft" (masculine). **note: juice, coffee, tea, wine,... (etc.)... drinks are masculine.
That's correct... ZahidurRah1's post should say that MOST drinks are masculine. Exceptions include: das Bier (beer), die Milch (milk), die Cola (coke/soda), and of course, das Wasser (water).
You learn it :-)
There are some regular rules, but they're the exceptions. Long-term, you can get a feel for what gender a word should be. But you have to start somewhere. It's better to think of the gender as part of the word itself.
grammatical properties of compound words are defined by its rightmost part/morpheme
Is there any rule about which words can or can't be made into compound words? Are there rules to follow when forming compound words? Or is it 'just learn the words as you go,' like with genders?