All German nouns have to be written with capital letters.
▶ Example: der Mann (= man), die Frau (= woman), das Kind (= child).
Nouns have three genders: masculine, feminine si neuter.
▶ The gender is indicated by an article: der, die, das
der - for masculine gender
die - for feminine gender
das - for neuter gender
The article for plural, for all nouns is “die”.
Number and gender
Plural, for all genders (masculine, feminine, neuter)
Der Mann (= man)
Die Männer (= men)
Die Frau (= woman)
Die Frauen (= women)
Das Kind (= child)
Die Kinder (= children)
Remember: the gender of nouns in german differ from the gender of the same nouns translated into english.
▶ das Mädchen = girl (in german the noun “das Mädchen” is of neuter gender, as indicated by the article“das”; in english the noun “girl” is of feminine gender)
▶ der Tisch = table (in german the noun “der Tisch” is of masculine gender, as indicated by the article “der”; in english the noun “table” is of neuter gender)
▶ die Uhr = clock (in german the noun “die Uhr” is of feminine gender, as indicated by the article “die”; in english the noun “clock” is of neuter gender)
There is no general rule for identifying the gender of a noun in german.
For this reason it is strongly recommended that you learn german nouns with their articles (der, die, das).
Despite the difficulties in identifying the gender of a noun, there a few rules:
The neuter gender
Examples of nouns of neuter gender
Names of colors
das Rot (= red),
das Gelb (= yellow),
das Blau (= blue),
das Grün (= green),
das Braun (= brown)
Names of metals
das Gold (= gold),
das Silber (= silver),
das Nickel (= nickel),
das Eisen (= iron),
das Zink (= zinc)
All noun infinitives
das Schreiben (= the writing),
das Leben (= the living),
das Essen (= the eating),
das Spielen (= the playing),
das Singen (= the singing),
das Lesen (= the reading)
Collective nouns starting with ge-
das Gemüse (= vegetables),
das Gebirge (= mountains),
das Geflügel (= poultry),
das Gebüsch (= bushes)
Diminutive forms of nouns ending in
das Mädchen (= girl, little girl),
das Brüderchen (= brother),
das Fräulein (= miss),
das Häuschen (= house, small house)
The examples above are practical, but there are many exceptions!