The neuter gender in German (das)

 

Neuter gender

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”.

Examples:

Number and gender

Noun

Plural, for all genders (masculine, feminine, neuter)

singular, masculine

Der Mann (= man)

Die Männer (= men)

singular, feminine

Die Frau (= woman)

Die Frauen (= women)

singular, neuter

Das Kind (= child)

Die Kinder (= children)

Remember: the gender of nouns in german differ from the gender of the same nouns translated into english.

Examples:
> 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

Rules

Examples of nouns of neuter gender

Names of colors

>

das Rot (= red),

das Gelb (= yellow),

das Blau (= blue),

das Grün (= green),

das Braun (= brown)

etc.

Names of metals

>

das Gold (= gold),

das Silber (= silver),

das Nickel (= nickel),

das Eisen (= iron),

das Zink (= zinc)

etc.

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)

etc.

Collective nouns starting with ge-

>

das Gemüse (= vegetables),

das Gebirge (= mountains),

das Geflügel (= poultry),

das Gebüsch (= bushes)

etc.

Diminutive forms of nouns ending in

-chen

-lein

>

das Mädchen (= girl, little girl),

das Brüderchen (= brother),

das Fräulein (= miss),

das Häuschen (= house, small house)

etc.

The examples above are practical, but there are many exceptions!