You would expect the word girl to be feminine...that was a little confusing. :p
in german the term 'chen' (meaning little, small, cute etc.) is neuter, hence the word is neuter.
The word is “die Magd” and it means “maid”. The -chen makes in diminutive, so the original meaning was “little maid”. But today it means just “girl”. But beause all -chen diminutives are neuter, Mädchen is neuter too, even though the original word (Magd) was appropriately feminine.
This helps out with the explanation that's a lil below this one: translating it to be little maiden.... Thank you so much.
what is the difference between ein and eine? shouldnt there be 3, one for feminine, masculine, and neutral?
There technically are 3, but the masculine and neuter form happen to be the same. It's admittedly a little confusing; you just have to accept it and get used to it.
No ..ein -you use for masculine and neutral to ..there is any difference for masc. and neutral ;)
ein can mean "a" or "one".
German is not a code for English, so you can't map a single German word to a single English word nor vice versa.
Words can have several meanings.
OK this is confusing. I typed in a Sie ist eine Mädchen, and it says I'm wrong. Aren't feminine forms supposed to be expressed with an extra "e" at the end? Like "eine"?
Yes, feminine forms are supposed to be expressed with "eine", but "Mädchen" is gender-neutral, not feminine. If it were something like "Frau", "eine" would be correct.
If you just had a baby, and you were on the phone, and they asked the sex of the baby, would you say "Es ist ein Mädchen" or "Sie ist ein Mädchen"? I feel like the "Sie" would give it away before you even got to say the rest of the sentence. :)
"Ein Mädchen" is a young woman, technically yes. But the description "a young woman" does not imply that said subject is "ein Mädchen". Being that so, translating this sentence as "She is a young woman." turns out to be ambigous.
I think ein Mädchen isn't a young girl, it's rather a little girl let's say up to age of 15.
No -- Sie ist eine junge Frau is exactly correct for "She is a young woman".
Sie ist eine jung Frau is not correct. If you said it, it would probably be misunderstood for Sie ist eine Jungfrau (She is a virgin).
Why is the sentence using a feminine pronoun if girl is considered neuter in German? This somewhat confuses me.
Personal pronouns such as er, sie, es refer back to something earlier in the conversation.
In this case, sie might refer to (say) "Julia", who is female and is thus referred to by the feminine pronoun sie. Now you are saying something about her, and the thing you are saying it: she is a girl.
The fact that the new information involves a neuter word is not related to the fact that the older information involves someone female.
I thought accusative masculine case of "ein" is "einen". But "einen" is not present in the answer? How do you explain this?
Firstly, the word Mädchen is neuter, not masculine, so even if it was in accusative, it would be ein and not einen. Secondly, the verb sein (ist, to be) is not transitive: It is a special verb (you can understand it for example as a connection of two subjects) which takes both nouns in nominative.
girl is neuter so ein is correct for unbestimmt article. but is sie correct? shouldnt it be es? since its a neuter word?
The sie at the beginning refers not forwards to ein Mädchen, but backwards to somebody who had been mentioned before -- perhaps Julia.
So the natural gender is used, feminine sie.
If the previous sentence had used a neuter noun such as ein Kind or ein Mädchen, then es would have been appropriate to refer back to it.
Mädchen, in general, is considered as neuter. so it takes ein not eine. Also, in German, the term, chen, means little, small, cute. Therefore it refers to a girl and not to a woman. The chen ending here does not refer as being a child.
I have a problem with pronunciation of ist when using it in sentence. Is it like "iiist" or "ayyyst"?
Neither. It pretty much rhymes with the English words "missed" or "mist".
sie can mean "she" or "her" or "they" or "them".
You can tell the difference between "she" and "they" (as a subject) because the verb form will be different -- for example, sie ist for "she is" versus sie sind for "they are".
I wrote: "It's a girl" which was marked incorrect as I'd missed a word. Doesn't recognise "It's" as equiv to "It is"
How come when translating English to German you sometimes take out is despite that there is a a German translation (Ist) ?
I don't understand this.can you help me to understand this?I'm just 10 years old
No, it is not. There is nothing in this sentence that says "little". Mädchen applies to any girl, whether she is two years old or fifteen.
Can somone explain to me what words are suppose to be capitalized in german and why?
All nouns are supposed to be capitalised in German, because that's a rule of German spelling.
You said that girl is neuter so why we used the word sie, supposed to be "es" am i right because im confused now
Mädchen means girl, in this context they are answering a question, such as is that a girl? Yes. She is a girl. You wouldn't refer to a girl as it.
as I see most of the people say that Madchen (girl) is neuter but on a previous excercise it was used as feminine too. Is it possible to be both neuter and feminine?
I was given "incorrect" simply for omitting a period "." at the end of "She is a girl"- a bit unnecessary?
All nouns in German belong to one of three groups/categories/classes called "genders" -- those genders are masculine, feminine, and neuter.
So neuter is one of the genders that a German noun can have.
The word Mädchen belongs to this neuter gender.
The verb endings are different, though.
sie ist = she is
sie sind = they are
Because the words Frau, Mann, Mädchen belong to different grammatical genders (categories).
Frau "woman" is a feminine word and takes eine
Mann "man" is a masculine word and takes ein
Mädchen "girl" is a neuter word and takes ein as well. (Note that the grammatical gender is not related to the real-life gender here.)
i thought 'ein' for masculine and 'eine' for feminine. but here says ein madchen. what difference between 'ein ' and eine?
ein is used before nouns that are grammatically masculine and before nouns that are grammatically feminine.
eine is used before nouns that are grammatically feminine.
The noun Mädchen is grammatically neuter -- as you can see, its grammatical gender has nothing to do with the natural gender of girls.
Much as a spoon -- der Löffel -- is grammatically masculine even though spoons are not male or masculine.
Grammatical gender is mostly arbitrary: just something to memorise.
I was confused when I started to do this I thought that the word man is going to be menn
"I just met someone called Kim". "Oh, boy or girl?" "She's a girl."
Also, it's worth pointing out that English can use "It is" in some situations.
Hospital nurse: "It's a girl!"
"Dad, there is someone at the door" Child opens door. Dad: "Who is it?" Child: "Oh, it's just a bunch of politicians canvassing for your vote." Dad: Slam!
There are words that happen to end in the letters -chen that do not have -chen as a suffix, e.g. der Kuchen.
But when -chen is a diminutive suffix, I believe that the result is always neutral.
It would be logical to say, since "Mädchen" is neutral, "Es ist ein Mädchen".
Pronouns usually refer back to things discussed previously, not forwards to things that come later.
So sie would not usually refer to Mädchen but instead to, say, Julia or meine Schwester or something like that.
Das Mädchen is neuter; der Apfel is masculine. Neither is feminine. (Word gender can be quite arbitrary; it sometimes doesn't match biological sex, and for all the many nouns that describe something that does have a sex, it's obviously completely arbitrary. You just have to memorize it.)
The problem is that we all think in our native languages, that's why this part is difficult. In Serbian, the apple is feminine, in Greek, the apple is neuter, these Germans really made things complicated:)))
In English, the apple is just the apple, because we happen to realize that apples do not, in fact, have a sex and that we have no need to pretend they do. That's one of a tiny handful of really nice things about English.
Yeah, in one point in time, the Germanic tribes of England got too lazy and dropped the whole sex concept. I couldn't respect the English enough for making the language simpler :D
They also dropped the accent marks over the letters in English! While that may make English a little easier in that way, many non native speakers tell me English is very hard because of the many grammatical rules. French: that's what makes French so hard for me, all the different accent marks. Spanish accent marks were pretty easy once you learn the rule.
You consider English easy because it is your native language. Learners of English can struggle with pronunciation, with spellings and variations in grammar as while there are grammatic rules they are often, like very often, ignored. English is full of exceptions to the rules. The rules are probably arbitary attempts by academics to categorise things anyway. English is a mixture of mainly 3 languages Old French + Old German + Old Norse ( Danish?) with many loan words that's been thoughly worked over for many 100s of years with turns of pharse becoming standardised according to local accents. Speakers of European languages can learn basic English quickly which is a positive but to learn to speak it fluently and correctly is very demanding. OTOH most native English speakers don't speak it proper either.
Well technically, apples do have a sex, but do you really want me to explain it?