There is a good saying: one never learns German. It’s like an apartment renovation: you never finish it, you adjourn it! With all of the good intentions, one area of German language is most difficult to learn-out: good, old articles. But Germans are Germans. They should have some patterns to follow, or? Let’s find them out together.
So, how to crawl through articles in German language and reveal the easiest way to learn and remember them?
As you may know, there are two types of articles in German (as in English): definite and indefinite.
Identifying masculine articles
There are several rules following which you’ll easily put the correct article with a masculine noun. Here they are!
- Seasons: Frühling, Sommer, Herbst, Winter;
- Months: Januar, Juli, Dezember;
- Days of the week: Montag, Dienstag, Sonntag;
- Precipitations: Regen, Schnee, Hagel;
- Directions: Norden, Westen,…
- Getränke: Wodka, Wein, Brandy (they can go as a “nature” word depending on the mood, 😉 )
-ant, -ling, -ner, -(i)smus, -or
Dropping verb endings
All nouns which retrieve from verbs and drop their ending “-en” are masculine. For example, the verb “einkaufen” changes into “der Einkauf”. Look at other examples:
Which ones are feminines?
All beautiful creatures are of female sex. Don’t you believe? Let me assure you of it! Names of
- motorcycle brands: Harley Davidson, Yamaha, BMW (only for the motorcycle);
- airplanes and ships: Boeing 747, Titanic,
- plants and trees: Birke, Rose;
- cardinal numbers: Eins, Drei, …
-heit, -keit, -schaft, -ung, -t
Unlike earthling females, feminine nouns are quite easy to grasp. The most characteristic feature to recognise them are their endings. Take a look here.
Neutral words are not that neutral
This groups of words are “das”-Words:
- fractions: Drittel, Viertel;
- nouns which are indeed verbs: Essen, Malen;
- nouns which are indeed adjectives: Gute, Schöne, Böse
- colours: Gelb, blau.
-chen, -lein, -ment, -nis, -tum, -um
These were the main points to consider when learning articles. There are some exceptions, but I won’t mention them here in this post (to avoid confusions).
Sooo, stay fit, re-read this article several times in the week and don’t afraid of using wrong articles with wrong words.