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Der, die, or das? Part 2: Feminine Nouns

Der, die, or das? - Part 1: Masculine Nouns

Der, die, or das? - Part 3: Neuter Nouns


Last week, we discussed how the ending of a noun may indicate whether it's masculine, feminine, or neuter, and looked at some endings like -er and -ig that typically require the definite masculine article der. As we did last week, we must offer the disclaimer that this is not a 100% reliable way to learn the genders of nouns, due to many exceptions. We encourage you as much as possible to simply learn the appropriate definite article (derdie, or das) along with each individual word so that you'll always know the gender of the noun in the future.


However, if you ever get stuck, it might help to know that -anz-ei-heit-ik-ion

-keit-schaft-tät, and -ung are endings that often indicate a feminine noun. Let's look at some examples.


Es besteht die Möglichkeit, jedes Board vorher zu testen.

The possibility exists, to test every board beforehand.

Caption 41, Longboarding - mit Lassrollen

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Die Region zwischen Amrum und Sylt

The region between Amrum and Sylt

wurde wegen der Meeressäuger unter Schutz gestellt.

was placed under protection because of the marine mammals.

Caption 2, Abenteuer Nordsee - Unter Riesenhaien und Tintenfischen

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Beim Volleyball im Sand besteht

With volleyball in the sand,

die Mannschaft nämlich nur aus zwei Spielern.

the team consists, namely, of just two players.

Caption 10, Olympische Spiele - Beachvolleyball

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As mentioned last week, there are exceptions particularly for one-syllable words, which will most often not follow the rules. For example, die Einladung ("the invitation") is feminine, but der Sprung ("the jump") is masculine.


Die Einladung kommt noch.

The invitation is still on its way.

Caption 77, Free Birds - Interview mit Nora Tschirner & Rick Kavanian

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Und der Sprung an sich geht vielleicht nur drei Sekunden,

And the jump itself lasts perhaps only three seconds

aber es kommt einem ewig vor.

but it seems eternal.

Caption 44, Lucas' Hobbys - Achterbahn und Bungee

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Further Learning
Next week, we will conclude this small series with endings that are usually associated with neuter nouns. In the meantime, you can look for the words used in context on Yabla German. If you use flashcards, make sure you're in the habit of always including "the" on the English side (for example, "the possibility" or "the team"), so that you will be sure to include the correct definite article in the translation on the other side of the card.

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