German Nouns

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What are Nouns? (Nomen)

Nouns are people, places, and things. These can be concrete, real-life things or even abstract ideas: der Mann, der Hund, die Lampe, der Computer, das Wetter, das Licht,....

Nouns almost always come together with an article.

Features: German Nouns

German Nouns have a Gender (Genus):

  • Masculine (der)
  • Feminine (die)
  • Neutral (das)

German Nouns have a Number (Numerus):

  • Singular: der Mann, die Frau, das Kind, das Handy, ...
  • Plural: die Männer, die Frauen, die Kinder, die Handys, ...

German Nouns must be declined and have a Case (Kasus):

  • Nominative: der Mann (m), die Frau (f), das Mädchen (n), die Männer (pl)
  • Accusative: den Mann (m), die Frau (f), das Mädchen (n), die Männer (pl)
  • Dative: dem Mann (m), der Frau (f), dem Mädchen (n), den Männern (pl)
  • Genitive: des Mannes (m), der Frau (f), des Mädchens (n), der Männer (pl)

Characteristics of German Nouns

Here are a few things about German Nouns that you need to know:

1) Nouns have articles:

  • das Haus“
  • die Lampe“
  • das Wetter“

2) All nouns are written with capital letters, always.

3) Compound nouns are written together as one word:

  • „der Führerschein“ – der Führer + der Schein
  • „die Wasserflasche“ – die Flasche + das Wasser

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In the following section you will get a short summary of all topics related to nouns / nouns. If you want more detailed explanations, watch the linked video and/or watch the whole lesson by clicking on the green text.

Overview: German Nouns

Genus - der, die oder das?

In German, every noun has a gender - masculine, feminine, or neuter. There's no general rule that tell you what the gender is, but there are some guidelines that can help you determine the gender.

Example: der Mann“, „die Frau“, „das Kind“

To the Lesson: Gender (Genus) - der, die oder das?

Der Plural

There are a number of different ways plural nouns are made in German, and which one you have to use depends on the noun. The possible endings are "-e", "-en", "-er", "-s" and "-r." Unfortunately, there's no general rule telling you which ending to use.

Example: der Baum - die Bäume // das Auto - die Autos

To the Lesson: Der Plural

Kasus - Die deutschen Fälle

In German, nouns can be in the Nominative, AccusativeDative or Genitive case.
The case tells you what role the noun plays in the sentence. Different cases require you to use different articles and endings as well.

Example: der Mann“, „den Mann“, „dem Mann“, des Mannes

To the Lesson: Kasus - Die deutschen Fälle


Sometimes we have to add an „-n“ or „-en“ to the end of nouns - this is called n-declension. At first glance it might seem arbitrary, but I'll explain how you know when you need to add the ending and when you don't.

Example: der Polizist // den Polizisten

To the Lesson: N-Deklination

Related Topics:

Entire lesson in German only: Nomen

Nouns are usually placed together with Articles (Artikel) and Adjectives (Adjektiv).

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