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German Grammar June 04, 2005 11:17 AM

I picked up my textbook today for my German class, and while browsing through it just now answered my question from the "Getting Started" thread.  But to make things easier for folks I figured I would start a thread specifically for grammar.  [ send green star]
The - Der, Die and Das June 04, 2005 11:33 AM

Der, Die and Das are all versions of the word The.  In the German language all nouns have a gender, they are either masculine, feminine, or neuter

Der is used before masculine singular nouns

Die is used before feminine singular nouns

Das is used before neuter singular nouns

Words like Mutter (mother), Schwester (sister), and Frau (woman) are feminine - so you would use Die before them.

Words like Vater (father), Bruder (brother), and Mann (man) are masculine - so you would use Der before them.

Words like Buch (book), Heft (notebook), and Haus (house) are neuter - so you would use Die before them.

But it can sometimes be tricky because Salat (salad) is masculine, Tomate (tomato) is feminine and Mädchen (girl) is neuter.  There is no logical reason for this.  So instead of just memorizing the word itself, you should memorize the whole thing.  Instead of just Tiger, think der Tiger, not Musik but die Musik and so on.

Take note that German nouns begin with a capital letter regardless of where they appear in a sentence.

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A note about Die, Der & Das.... June 04, 2005 2:11 PM

You use Die, Der and Das if the word following it is singular....if the word is plural you always use Die.  [ send green star]
Need a detailed answer? June 05, 2005 5:44 PM

Start your sentence with a question word.

wann? when?

warum? why?

was? what?

wer? who?

wie? how?

wieviel? how much?

wie viele? how many?

wo? where?

wohin? where to?

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Minor details June 07, 2005 3:12 AM

They don't usually tell you this in grammar books, but it's helpful, so maybe I should post it anyway.

'Mädchen' is neuter because it's a... diminutive? (English isn't my first language, so...) and all of them (words ending in '-chen' or 'lein') are neuter. 'Mädel' also means girl, and I'm 98% sure it's feminine.

Also, if the verbs are converted into nouns, they are neuter. If we turn 'lesen' (to read) into 'Lesen' (reading, the action of reading), the noun is neuter (das Lesen).

All the words ending in '-e' or '-ung' are feminine (die Lampe, die Unterhaltung).

That's about all I can remember about simplifying the genders... Sad, isn't it? 

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 June 07, 2005 2:41 PM

Ina, that's great!  Thanks for sharing...I didn't know any of that....  It helps me out a lot!  [ send green star]
ooh June 08, 2005 2:10 AM

*stares at green star* Shiny... It helped me a bit, I figured others might find it useful.  [ send green star]
June 15, 2005 July 03, 2005 4:15 PM

Hi, Ina. Good tip on the der, die, das usage. However, Mädel has the "das" article. That is because the term "girl" is in and of itself considerd diminuative as combared to a "Frau".
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 July 03, 2005 9:42 PM

I have so much to add to this thread, but haven't had the on the lookout in the near future though!  [ send green star]
 July 10, 2005 10:21 PM

Ich (I) = e

Du (you, informal) = st

Er, sie, es (he, she, it) = t

Wir (we) = en

Sie (you, formal) = en

sie (they) = en

Ihr (2 or more du's) = t


Lernen (to learn)

Ich Lerne
Du Lernst
Er, sie, es Lernt
Wir Lernen
Sie Lernen
sie Lernen
Ihr Lernt

Üben (to practice)

Ich Übe
Du Übst
Er, sie, es Übt
Wir Üben
Sie Üben
sie Üben
Ihr Übt

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 July 11, 2005 6:18 AM

How is the word "dich" used?  [ send green star]
 July 11, 2005 8:40 PM

That's a good question Joseph, and to be honest, I'm not too sure.  Perhaps it means you in general.  I'll see what I can find out and maybe some of the more advanced German speaking folks here have an answer for that!  [ send green star]
 July 11, 2005 10:18 PM

As far as I know, dich is just an informal or very familiar form of "you".

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 July 12, 2005 5:36 AM

It is very confusing for some reason. for example you say Ich liebe dich. But then you can say Du bist deutsch.

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 July 12, 2005 9:12 AM

Well... if you study the grammar, you will see that German has the Akkusativ mode and Dativ mode. =) Depending of the verb, you are going to use one of them, for example:

Ich liebe dich (I love you) Akkusativ (dich)

Ich übe mit dir (I practice with you) Dativ (dir)

As you see, it´s a very poor explanation. =) I just wanted to let you know about the modes. =) And that´s it for now. Keep studying.
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 July 12, 2005 1:16 PM

Ahhh, thanks Bruno!!  Accusative and Dative.  I start German 2 today and we just started into all that in my last class of German 1.... so I'm sure we'll get into all that soon.  It is very confusing and a lot of memorizing!  [ send green star]
 July 12, 2005 1:19 PM

thanks bruno! danke!  [ send green star]
 July 12, 2005 9:25 PM

Oh... by the way... we must use Capital letters in the middle of phrases only for nouns, not verbs.

German is so nice, isn´t it?
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 July 13, 2005 4:30 PM

Thanks for the reminder Bruno!  I mentioned it on the second post on this thread.  [ send green star]
 July 13, 2005 7:39 PM

Dich is the accusative pronoun for "you".  [ send green star]
 July 14, 2005 5:20 AM

Dir is the dative pronoun for "you".

(I really love copy&paste! hehehe Makes the work so much easier.)

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 July 14, 2005 9:16 AM

You guys should really check out the link I posted in the "link" thread....That website goes into detail to explain all of this stuff!  [ send green star]
Adjektiven July 22, 2005 3:20 PM

Hey all,

I just started my second semester of German... and so far we have been learning a lot of adjective endings.  I was reminded that there are akkusativ and dativ prepositions, as well as dativ verbs to watch out for.  Here is what I have learned about adjectiv endings:

If it is a weak adjectiv (one with a "der" article) then the endings of the adjectiv are as follows:

Masc: Nom -e, Akk -en, Dat -en.

Fem: Nom -e, Akk -e, Dat -en.

Neu: Nom -e, Akk -e, Dat -en.

Plur: Nom, Akk, & Dat all take -en.

It is strong if it has no article.  In this case the endings would be:

Masc: Nom -er, Akk -en, Dat -em.

Fem: Nom -e, Akk -e, Dat -er.

Neu: Nom -es, Akk -es, Dat -em.

Plur: Nom -e, Akk -e, Dat -en.

If the article is an "ein" word, the adjectiv is "mixed" and the endings are:

Masc: Nom -er, Akk -en, Dat -en.

Fem: Nom -e, Akk -e, Dat -en.

Neu: Nom -es, Akk -es, Dat -en.

Plur: Nom, Akk, & Dat are -en.

I would say more, but the template that is running this text writing is wackying out!!  Big time!  It is so slow at the moment.  But anyway, bis bald und Sie haben eine gute Wochenende!

Auf Wiedersehen!


 [ send green star]
 July 23, 2005 2:27 PM

Vielen Dank, Erin.
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 August 10, 2005 9:24 AM


Ich - I
Du - you
Er - he
Sie - she
Es - it
Wir - we
Ihr - you all
Sie - they
Sie - you


Mich - me
Dich - you
Ihn - him
Sie - her
Es - it
Uns - us
Euch - you
Sie - them
Sie - you


Mir - to me
Dir - to you
Ihm - to him
Ihr - to her
Ihm - to it
Uns - to us
Euch - to you
Ihnen - to them
Ihnen - to you

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