"Ein Mädchen"

Translation:A girl

March 25, 2013

8 Comments
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https://www.duolingo.com/Capricorn1

Why is it not eine

March 25, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Lenkvist
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Mädchen is a neuter word, not female. "-chen" makes it neuter and it works as a diminutive > Der Mann (the man) | das Männchen (the little man). An umlaut is added to emphasise a change in sound. Mädchen is now the standard word for girl, but its origin lies in Magd.

March 25, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/christian
Mod
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Capitalizing nouns

In German, all nouns are capitalized. For example, "my name" is "mein Name," and "the apple" is "der Apfel." This helps you identify which are the nouns in a sentence.

Three grammatical genders, three types of nouns

Nouns in German are either feminine, masculine or neuter. For example, "Frau" (woman) is feminine, "Mann" (man) is masculine, and "Kind" (child) is neuter. The grammatical gender may not match the biological gender: "Mädchen" (girl) is a neuter noun.

It is very important to learn every noun along with its gender because parts of German sentences change depending on the gender of their nouns.

Generally speaking, the definite article "die" (the) and the indefinite article "eine" (a/an) are used for feminine nouns, "der" and "ein" for masculine nouns, and "das" and "ein" for neuter nouns. For example, it is "die Frau," "der Mann," and "das Kind." However, later you will see that this changes depending on something called the "case of the noun."

Conjugations of the verb sein (to be)

A few verbs like "sein" (to be) are completely irregular, and their conjugations simply need to be memorized:

Conjugating regular verbs

Verb conjugation in German is more challenging than in English. To conjugate a regular verb in the present tense, identify the invariant stem of the verb and add the ending corresponding to any of the grammatical persons, which you can simply memorize:

trinken (to drink)

Notice that the 1st and the 3rd person plural have the same ending as "you (formal)."

Umlauts

Umlauts are letters (more specifically vowels) that have two dots above them and appear in some German words like "Mädchen." Literally, "Umlaut" means "around the sound," because its function is to change how the vowel sounds.

An umlaut can sometimes indicate the plural of a word. For example, the plural of "Mutter" (mother) is "Mütter." It might even change the meaning of a word entirely. That's why it's very important not to ignore those little dots.

No continuous aspect

In German, there's no continuous aspect, i.e. there are no separate forms for "I drink" and "I am drinking". There's only one form: Ich trinke.

There's no such thing as Ich bin trinke or Ich bin trinken!

When translating into English, how can I tell whether to use the simple (I drink) or the continuous form (I am drinking)?

Unless the context suggests otherwise, either form should be accepted.

More Tips & Notes are available on the website.

August 19, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Matador
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I am confused...a few questions ago an answer was "...ein Mann". Is "ein" the neuter article or the masculine? Because I'm pretty sure I saw "einen apfel" a few questions before, indicating that is would be masculine. This would make me think it should be "einen Mann".

January 14, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Lenkvist
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There are masculine, feminine, neuter, and plural nouns. There are also four cases: nominative, genetive, dative, and accusative. Both masculine and neuter words receive the indefinite article "ein" in the nominative case. In the accusative case, however, masculine nouns receive "einen" and neuter nouns receive "ein". For example: "Ein Junge (masc. nominative) hat ein Pferd (neut. accusative.)" and "Ein Mädchen (neut. nom) hat einen Hund (masc. acc.)".

January 15, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/ACrazyGeekNerd

How come it criticized me for using definite words instead of indefinite? What does it matter?!?!?!?!?!

June 28, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/spanishspeak123

ACrazyGeekNerd, do you see a difference between saying, i want a book and i want the book. a book is ANY book, the book is a specific book

June 29, 2014
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