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  5. "You have a girl."

"You have a girl."

Translation:Ihr habt ein Mädchen.

October 17, 2019



Words ending in "chen" are neutral, for example Mädchen therefore you use "ein"


I've made the same statement recently, but like someone correctly pointed out to me, only diminutives ending in –chen are always neuter.


Yes true. Glad you found that helpful instead of pedantic :-)

Maybe one thing to add here since that is not easy to see: das Mädchen is the diminutive of the rather obsolete word die Magd, which meant something like the maid.


Do you have any examples of words ending in -chen not being neuter?


Rachen, Rechen, ....

And there's of course plural words like Sachen, Taschen, etc that are not neuter. Although this is of course not the singular base form ArthurLino2 was thinking of when he stated his axiom (and of course –schen is different from –chen phonologically), I'm pretty sure that this could be another confusing aspect for learners here.

Although the diminutive is the prevalent reason for a word ending in -chen, you should ask yourself two questions before assuming it's neuter:

  1. Is it maybe a –schen ending. That's entirely different. These are not diminutives. [However, if these word are derived from verbs (suchen --> das Suchen, naschen --> das Naschen, lachen --> das Lachen), they are neuter nonetheless]
  2. Is the noun maybe a plural noun? Then check the singular. Plural doesn't tell you anything useful here.
  3. If singular is still –chen it's very likely a diminutive and such a neuter noun.
  4. Double check: If you can think of a word the diminutive is derived from [Haus --> Häuschen], then you should feel confident. Sometimes (like Magd --> Mädchen, der Biss --> das Bisschen) that's not imminently clear, but there are some (admittedly rare) words such as Rechen, Rachen, Drachen, etc. that have no base form and thus are no diminutives.


Shouldn't it be "einE"? Why it is ein?


"Mädchen" is not feminine, it's neuter.

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