When to use eine and einen?
I´m still puzzled with that.. anybody knows any rule?
check out the masculine/feminine lessons' question board. there is a FANTASTIC response for some general rules to apply to guess whether a word is der/die/das. In the end, you just need to memorise a lot. But it makes it easier to have something, albeit not perfect, to start with :)
This depends on the case of the noun you're using as well as the gender of the noun you're using. For example, a dog is male (ein Hund) while a cat is female (eine Katze). This changes if the dog switches from being the subject to the object (the thing being acted upon by the main noun); for example, "Der Mann isst einen Hund" or "Der Mann isst eine Katze.) There's an additional dative case but that comes with more nouns in your sentence (the "am" short for "an dem" and "im" short for "in dem" you sometimes see in examples). Neuter nouns like "das Kind" use "ein" for both subjective and objective cases.
As a guideline (not a hard rule), nouns ending in "e" are female, borrowed words are often neuter, and objects or traits you often think of as masculine are often masculine.
It depends on gender (m/f/n) and case (Nom./Gen./Akk./Dat.) of the corresponding noun (or the noun that is replaced if "eine[r/s/n/m]" is used as a pronoun). Quick runthrough: m: ein/eines/einen/einem f: eine/einer/eine/einer n: ein/eines/einein/einem (same as masculinum)
Although German has 4 grammatical cases (nominative, accusative, dative, genitive), the accusative case is ONLY distinct in the masculine. Otherwise, it is identical to nominative. So you have:
Der Hund, die Katze, das Pferd (Nominative - e.g. Der Hund ist froh.) [or] ein Hund, eine Katze, ein Pferd
In the accusative, only masculine articles change: Ich habe einen Hund / den Hund. Ich habe eine Katze / die Katze. Ich habe ein Pferd / das Pferd.
I hope that makes it clearer. I think this way of looking at it makes it much simpler. Once you know this, you just have to learn the gender of every noun... :-(
EDIT: Hey duolingo, we should be allowed put in blank lines! It makes grammar a lot easier to read!
Danke, This little rule helps much. I was learning something about that in previous lessons, but was not sure if there was anything for the other genders. Thanks much for the information.
Also, the thing with the gender, I have been studying it a little, and I find that my brain is getting to know when to use the feminine or masculine for the different words, just go with it, and you should start learning what they are little by little. Hope this helps!
I am also trying to learn if there is a pattern to the system of genders, and so far, I have not yet found one. if anyone has any information on this, please let me know.
Okay, I'll try:
nouns that are masculine (der Bruder);
days of the week,months,seasons(der Sommer); NSWE (Nord,Sud,...), winds and rainfalls (der Regen); nouns that end in -ich, -ig, -ling (der Honig); nouns from other languages that end in -ant, -ent, -ist, -ismus (der Jurist, der Student)
F: nouns that are feminine (die Kuh, but DAS Mädchen, DAS Fräulein); nouns formed of numbers (die Zwei); nouns ending in -ei, -heit, -in, -keit, -schaft, -ung (die Faulheit); -age, -anz, -enz, -ie, -ik, -ion, -ur, -tät.
N: cities, continents and most of the countries; chemical elements, metals and other materials; colors, letters, languages, physical units; diminutives ending in -chen, -lein; nouns formed of other words (das Lesen - reading; das Schöne - idk the exact translation..the beautiful?); nouns that came from other languages ending in -(i)um, -(m)ent (das Instrument);
Hope this helps at least for some words. This is how our teacher explained genders in German (it was a long time ago). If you find this helpful, you're free to copy paste it wherever you want. P.S. Try to learn words with the gender itself, like "der Hund", not just Hund and keep the tricky ones in your memory (das Mädchen).
that will be very helpful when I am learning any language with gender words. Thanks very much, and I think I did that partially, without knowing I was doing it. But now that I know the trick, that my brain was trying to do on it's own, I think I can help it out a bit now. ^.^ Thanks again!
Haven't used this site in ages, but I'm back to answer this question. I learned Latin in school, so this all seems natural for me now. I hope this reply is clear.
A noun in nominative case is the subject of the sentence. It is the thing which "does" the verb:
I went to the shop
The dog is hungry
A noun in accusative case is the object of the sentence. It has the verb "done" to it:
I hate him
The dog eats his dinner
Dative is slightly harder. Roughly speaking, it is used for verbs with a second object, such as "to give". The thing we give is already accusative, so we need another case for the person it is given to. Otherwise we wouldn't know whether the hat is given to the man, or the man to the hat! This is usually marked with words like "to" or "for" in English. In reality though, you just have to learn exactly when to use dative in German.
She gave the hat to the man
I post the letter to her