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German Grammar


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German genders seem to be more or less randomly assigned to nouns. Sure, there are some patterns you

can latch on to, -ung words all seem to be feminine. Words like Kind and Ding are neuter because they could

represent different things. But it's largely a stab in the dark.

Of course it's a good idea to learn the gender along with the noun but you would have to be a robot to get it

right all of the time and most people will find their knowledge of nouns soon outstrips their confidence in

gender.

Extremely common terms like das Auto and der Tisch are branded on your brain through sheer repetition but

I reckon even seasoned non-native German speakers find themselves frequently guessing. I always believed

that guessing is infinitely preferable to grinding to a halt.

So what would be a good percentage strike rate to aim for?

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  • 4 weeks later...

I always try to memorise the gender of the Nouns in a weird way. Like for example die Nase I would think of it as woman have nice noses or whatever. It's a really weird way of me doing it another word would be der Tisch, because the man likes his food on the table after he comes back from work.

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  • 3 months later...

My german teacher always said to think of "die" as feminine things, and "der" as masculine things. Taking it to the extreme...

Der Tisch is obviously male, because it's hard, square, and "woody".

But really, it's not harder than learning the nouns themselves if you ask me. There are of course endless amounts of general rules that you can apply, but there are also a lot of exceptions to these rules, so they're not really rules either... They're just generalizations.

Another thing to take into account is that, Milk for example, is fem. because it comes from a cow (which is female). Cheese however, (der käse) is male, so that is an exception.

I don't quite remember all the endings and which ones are connected with which gender, but I'm sure you already know all those...

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Hey Guys

You might want to have a look at this thread here:

http://linguaholic.com/german-grammar/the-german-genders-are-driving-me-crazy/

Especially have a look at what our Member Manuel Fuchs wrote. He breaks down things really well.

If you have more questions about this, please feel free to ask me (I'm a German native speaker).

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