Here are some tiny cards and quizzes to help you learn the genders of the most common nouns in the German language. (I hope to get to 500 nouns eventually.)
Kahoot on first 100 nouns above:
LearnClick Quiz | Solutions PDF
Some Explanations of Noun Genders in German
The word „the“ is known as the definite article. There’s more than one „the“ in German.
The three basic versions of „the“ in German are der (masculine), die (feminine) and das (neuter). Here are three simple examples:
When you write down nouns that you want to remember, write down their definite article as well, as I have done above. Just seeing the definite article beside the noun a few times often helps you to remember it.
These three types of nouns are known as genders. All German nouns have a gender. Native speakers can remember the gender for each word without even having to think about it. I don’t know how they do it.
In an attempt to address the difficulties non-native speakers have, I have made up some sets of Tiny Cards and LearnClick Quizzes above. They should help you to get a feel for the first few hundred nouns that you learn. It becomes easier after that. Sort of. No, really.
People who aren’t native speakers have to rely on other methods, including some that amount to mental torture.
METHOD 1: Colour coding is one technique that some people find useful. That’s why it is useful to write masculine, feminine and neuter nouns in colours that match their gender.
METHOD 2: Focus on the rules that sometimes help you to determine gender. Here are some that I have gleaned from Laura’s German Grammarpod and other reading. For more, refer to this page at Laura’s Grammarpod, where you can also download more detailed information on this topic.
Some information, rules and guidelines:
- It might interest you to know that 39% of German nouns are masculine, 35% feminine and 25% neuter.
- 90% of words ending in -e are feminine. This rule is very helpful, but there are several important exceptions, including boy (der Junge), cheese (der Käse), certain animals such as lion (der Löwe), monkey (der Affe) and hare (der Hase), and also the words for thought (der Gedanke) and belief (der Glaube).
- Words ending in -ung, -schaft, -keit, -heit, -tion, -zion and -in are ALWAYS feminine.
- Words ending in -chen and -lein are ALWAYS neuter. This explains the odd fact that the word for girl is neuter (das Mädchen).
- for masculine and neuter nouns: ein
- for feminine nouns: eine
Below is a simple quiz in which you need to supply ein or eine, depending on the gender of the noun. To complete this quiz on a fresh screen (which will make it easier to see), go to this link.