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I'm also new to German, but I've heard there is no rule, and no way to tell what gender a noun will be. So every learner is in the same boat. Gender is something you have to learn with memory, which you will only be able to do by learning noun and gender together, for example, don't limit yourself to just 'Buch'. You should aim to remember 'das Buch'. Therefore, helping you to remember that it is neuter.
A general question (perhaps trivial) that is not specific to the meaning of the sentence: Her pronunciation of "ch" shifts between a "sh" sound (e.g., Ich = Ish) to a "kh" sound (Buch = Boookh). Learning German many years ago we were taught to use "kh" consistently (Ich = Ikh). Is this a dialect/regional variation or is "Ish" the correct pronunciation of "Ich?"
'Ich' can be pronounced as 'Ihk' or 'Ish'. I believe that 'Ihk' is the High German pronunciation (the kind of German you were likely taught those years ago) while 'Ish' is more regional. I grew up saying 'Ish' and I refuse to change to 'Ikh'! :P However Buch is always 'Boookh', never 'booosh'.
When the noun is in Nominative case, i.e. they are the subjects of the sentences, you use "ein" for masculine nouns and "eine" for feminine nouns. For example, "Ein Männ isst Brot." which means "A man is eating bread." If you wanted to write "A woman is eating bread." , you would have written "Eine Frau isst Brot." However, when the nouns are in Accusative case (they are the objects in the sentences; the action is being performed on them), only for masculine nouns, "ein" transforms into "einen". For feminine nouns, it remains "eine" and for neuter nouns it remains "ein". Remember this: only masculine nouns suffer this transformation in the accusative. Yeah, I know. Being a male is tough. :P
If you're a Spanish native speaker then it's like the difference between "un" and "una", the first one for masculine nouns, the other one for feminine ones.
Then, have a look to 'declention' in German anywhere.
Nominative: "ein" for maculine and neuter nouns, "eine" for feminine ones.
Accusative: when the noun is masculine, "ein" becomes "einen".
Dative and genitive forms are a little bit differents but it follows the same principle.
Here is a YouTube playlist about German pronunciation: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL8345BD873EEE18F4
This is a tricky question. As we know, there are three genders- masculine, feminine, and neuter. The genders actually don't have much to do with the word itself. You might have 'die Frau' which is feminine, but then 'das Madchen', which is neuter, even though a Madchen is a girl. Just because something seems like it should be masculine or feminine, doesn't mean it will be! The easiest way to learn genders is to learn the gender with the word. Work on memorising 'die Frau' rather than 'Frau', 'das Buch' rather than 'Buch', etc.
If you speak Spanish and Portuguese, you're alreday used to grammatical genders and you should know that's something completely illogical. The only tips I can give you is that some endings can show the grammtical gender of nouns, like -tion, -ung = always feminine. -chen = always neuter (that's why "Mädchen" is a neuter word).
Don't know if you are still learning German, Levi_Flint. From your activity feed, it looks as if you moved on to French long ago. Nevertheless, if you ever want to take up German again (or for others reading this post), here's something that might be helpful:
I have especially found that the advice to guess that the gender is male is very good. It doesn't work every time, but I have gotten more words right than wrong by just guessing that the gender is male.
As for the link in the post by Lua_Amadeu above, I have done little more than glance at it, but it looks worth reading. So, that may also be of some help to you.
I recently came upon some information that made me want to add a bit more to my advice to guess that the gender is masculine (if you don't remember the gender or any pertinent rule). I recently came across some contradictory information on the topic. On the page at the link below:
under "Fun Facts," you will see the following:
Of the nouns with a unique gender, 46% are feminine, 34% masculine, and 20% neuter. So, if in doubt about the gender of a noun, guess "die" :)
Since this contradicted what I had already learned about the gender distribution in German, I decided to see what others had to say. Very quickly, I stumbled upon a pretty reputable source -- the StackExchange for the German Language. Below is a link to the thread I found:
I haven't done the research myself, but based off of previous experience, I'm inclined to take more stock into what was reported at StackExchange. It tells me that the gender distribution reported isn't quite as heavily weighted toward the masculine gender as I had previously thought. (I think I read somewhere that 60 percent of German nouns were masculine!) However, in the absence of any other rules you may or may not remember, I still think the odds are more in your favor if you guess that the gender is masculine.
Despite the discrepancy in numbers, however you want to guess a noun's gender when in doubt is up to you, but you may want to read the Fun Facts at the web page I refer to earlier just the same ("Some Hints on How to Guess Gender"). It contains some interesting information on how gender affects the way we think about things and includes a link to a fuller article on the topic.
No, if this should be a try to translate "i am reading a book" word by word, it does not work. In German there exists no special continuous form. You have to translate the meaning by using other words.
For instance "ich lese im Moment ein Buch" = "in the Moment i read a book"
Or instead of "im Moment" you can use "gerade", which has in this context the same meaning: "Ich lese gerade ein Buch."
Or the extended infinitve with "zu": "Ich bin dabei, ein Buch zu lesen"
Or a substantivation: "Ich bin am Buchlesen" or "Ich bin beim Buchlesen". But this form sounds a bit overblown ;-)
In English, "I am reading" would be used about something that is happening now, at the moment when you are speaking, while "I read" would be used when you talk about something that happens repeatedly -- a habit or a regular action. (For example, "Every evening after I come home from work, I read a nice book for an hour.")
In German, both of those are the same -- there is just one present tense and no distinction between present simple and present continuous.