1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: German
  4. >
  5. German compound words

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EltonFreitas9

German compound words

Hi guys, it's been a while since I met the confusing compound works of German. My doubt is pretty simple, though. For example, what is the genre of the word 'Wartungwerk'? 'Wartung' is feminine, however 'Werk' is neutral. So would it be ' die Wartungwerk' or 'das Wartungwerk'? Any help is welcomed and appreciated.

April 18, 2018

11 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Michael.Lubetsky

Gender always follows the final word, so you’d say das Wartungwerk.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/slamRN
  • 1319

You mean gender? Michael is correct. I wonder if there are any exceptions, aren't there always?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EltonFreitas9

Yes, it's gender. I made a typo


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AHA3006

For compound nouns there is no exceptions to the rule that the last noun determines the gender. "Haustür", "Wohnungstür", "Holztür", "Sicherheitstür", "Altbautür", are all doors, thus, fem. like "Tür".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bryanlouiselle

There are plenty of exceptions, but there are also plenty of rules. The "zeug" family, for example: Feuerzeug, Flugzeug, Werkzeug, Spielzeug, etc. are all "DAS". There are probably guidebooks out there, but I am learning to open up to how things FEEL - word order and gender and sentence construction. Eventually, you just start REACTING correctly. (After making plenty of mistakes, in my case.)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hannibal-Barkas

so where's the beef? As it has been said, the gender goes with the last part of the compound. If you have "... zeug" and it is "das Zeug" you're right on target with the rule.

By the way, it should read "das Wartungswerk" with a connecting "s" between the components.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EltonFreitas9

Yeah, the genders in German are somewhat random. However words finishing with 'heit, keit' and 'und' are always feminine. But even with rules like this it's still complicated to guess every gender.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hannibal-Barkas

Typo, it's "...ung", not "und"

Germans have the same problem with the gender of nouns in foreign languages, e.g. Spanish or French. If I am in doubt, I usually guess about what's right and then choose the other one ;-) It works most of the time


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bryanlouiselle

Agreed. Abstract concept words are most often feminine.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LernerFive

Like... What's a smell-changer? I am trying to figure out the meaning of Tauschenduft for AGES.

Learn German in just 5 minutes a day. For free.