https://www.duolingo.com/profile/shaash

Das, Der, Den, Die... It makes me want to die ;)

It is so annoying trying to memorize what gender a noun is. I understand that there aren't many rules to find out what gender a noun is, but I want to know if there is an easier way to memorize the gender.

If it is just rote memorization, I feel Duolingo doesn't help much with helping you memorize words. Are there any outside websites which are better at helping you with memorization?

Also, I am new at German (13% fluent in 3 days) and don't want to go too fast because I feel like I will be so busy learning new things I'll forget about the old things. This results in me spending a lot more time on review than advancing the tree. Is this a good idea, or will there be a lot of reinforcement of the old words?

June 26, 2015

17 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/grassator97

There are some "rules" to find out the gender, actually. If a word has a certain ending, it can have a certain gender. To see what I mean, click here: http://www.lsa.umich.edu/german/hmr/Grammatik/Gender/Gender.html

June 26, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/peraperanaperoni

Sir, you deserve massive amount of linglots.

June 26, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/felisspe

It has been very helpful! Thanks a lot dude

June 27, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/shaash

Thanks for that link! I wish Duolingo explained some of these rules too!

June 26, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/grassator97

Kein Problem! Grammar notes are nowhere near as common in the German course as courses like Esperanto.

June 26, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Seattle_USA

Big thank!

June 27, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Joshua.S.Taylor

I would focus on review, review, review. Make small but regular progress advancing the tree and other reinforce. Over time, the articles will just start to "feel right" as you get used to them and it will no longer be such a chore trying to remember them!

June 26, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sakasiru

There are some tricks like certain endings have always the same gender, but for the most part, it's really just something you have to memorize. But there are tricks to memorize genders. You can learn the article as a part of the noun, like "woman - die Frau" instead of just "Frau". You can assign a colour to each gender (you can be stereotypical here if it helps you, like pink for feminine), or an environment (like all masculine nouns inside a forest), and picture the noun in that colour or environment, like a pink fork or a chair in the middle a jungle. Visualisation greatly helps to link the gender to the noun, because it becomes less abstract. If you are not a visual learning type, you could record yourself reading the vocables aloud and listen to them again frequently. Even simply scribing them down into a vocabulary book helps to burn the connection into a few more brain cells.

June 26, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lumisade

You could try out Anki. It's a flashcard program where you can make your own flashcards. So if you struggle with memorizing genders, you could try using colors, for example use blue for "der"-words. So you make a flashcard for the word "Hund" and mark it blue because it's "der Hund". Or maybe it works better for you with example sentences (I personally like funny or nonsense sentences). It's just important that you have some kind of connection between the word and the article that helps you memorize it. Good luck!

June 26, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lorelei120

I had the same problem when I started learning German and using Duolingo. You cannot properly communicate without learning the genders. Someone in this discussion group pointed me to a Memrise course that has all of the duolingo vocabulary. This is done flashcard style with the gender required in your answers. Most helpful to me is that you can assign a picture to the word. For instance, for "der Reis" you can choose a picture of a man eating rice. This helped me remember that it is masculine. For a feminine word, choose a picture of the word with a woman in the picture. For neuter words, you can choose the item without a person or choose a baby (Baby is a "das" word.) The link for he Memrise course is:

http://www.memrise.com/course/335725/comprehensive-german-duolingo-vocabulary/

In addition, there is a memorization technique on udemy that might help: https://www.udemy.com/basic-german-grammar

The Memrise program was most helpful to me. After learning genders for a while with the Memrise, I am now able to predict genders for new words with a high degree of accuracy. I hope this helps!

June 26, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DogePamyuPamyu

Review but words come back all the way to the last lesson.

Don't memorize the noun & then try to memorize its gender. Memorize them together... Like "das Haus" instead of "Haus" so if someone asks you "How do you say house in German?" your immediate response should be "das Haus" just be habit because that's how you know it.

June 26, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bruces123

I agree with this! You almost have to retrain yourself to start thinking about nouns not existing in isolation (like you're used to), but that the gender is an intrinsic part of the word.

I've found it useful to start thinking about the gender even when referring to the English word to reinforce the idea that nouns have genders.

June 28, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jshutt64

I'm actually inclined to agree with Jorg and say that the articles are really nothing to lose sleep about. Not saying it's not important...but there are more important things to focus on, like word order, tenses, and vocab.

I've lived in Germany for 2 years and am a C1 level speaker and still mess up the articles relatively frequently. While there are some rules to help you remember, for the most part it's rote memorization and after awhile just what sounds right. But even after months/years of German education at the end of the day you will still find yourself guessing a whole bunch.

I've met other Americans here who know decent German but are afraid to communicate because they know they'll mess up the articles, to which I usually respond "does anyone REALLY care?" Yes articles and case can change the meaning in many instances but 99% of the time, unless you really butcher it, a native German speaker will know what you mean. I can't tell you how many times in fast conversation I've said something to the effect of "Fahren wir mit DEM Bahn nach Konstanz?" Is it technically correct? No, it should be "mit DER Bahn". Does everyone understand? They sure do.

Obviously you will have an accent and they know you're a foreigner and they also know that German grammar is exceptionally difficult. You can spend hours trying to learn genders but I believe your hours are much better spent doing something else. The articles will get better with time, and you'll likely never be perfect, but that's totally okay.

There are some German as a second language people here that say things like "Wir haben gekocht Reis mit Curry." This is a much greater grammatical crime than anything you could mess up with the genders/articles ;)

June 27, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/aricinj

Keep moving forward!

June 26, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SimoneBa

Try www.conjuguemos.com

It has vocab quizzes nicely organised by themes, so you can reinforce and expand on the vocab taught by Duolingo.

June 26, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/josdan018

you can memorize them listening carefully the sentences... or when duo shows the "select image" exercise... you will remember the gender because when you are trying to match the article... it will sound weird with the wrong article... thats just the gender (der die das)... In the diferent german cases (when the article change to den dem die die die / gen, accu, dat, nom ... etc).. i can't help you... I don't have a simple way to match the given case with the right article... I can't even recognize which case is in the sentence... :(

June 26, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/twister.rogers

Confusing, ain't it

June 27, 2015
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