Männliche Substantive im Deutschen erkennen: Teil 2 – Detecting German masculine nouns: part 2 Posted by on Jan 4, 2012 in Grammar, Language

In this post I would like to continue with my previous post in which I began to discuss how you can detect German masculine nouns. Today I would like to focus on those German masculine nouns that are not as predictable as the ones I discussed last time.

Beside male humans, male occupations, and male animals the following nouns are usually masculine in German.


a) Nouns that denote animal species

A lot of nouns that refer to animals species are masculine in German.

der Adler – eagleder Fisch – fishder Hirsch – stag

der Pinguin – penguin

der Bär – bear

der Habicht – hawk

der hund – dog

der Rabe – raven

der Affe – monkeyder Hai – sharkder Iltis – fitch

der Schmetterling – butterfly

der Fasan – pheasant

der Hase – hare

der Marder – marten

der Vogel – bird


b) Nouns that denote minerals and stones

Names for minerrals and stones are usually masculine.

der Basalt – basaltder Feldspat – feldsparder Lehm – clay

der Sand – sand

der Bernstein – amber

der Granit – granite

der Malachit – malachite

der Schiefer – slate

der Beton – cementder Kalk – chalk; limeder Quarz – quartz

der Stein – stone

der Diamant- diamond

der Kies – gravel

der Rubin – ruby

der Ton – clay; fictile-


Exceptions to that rule are: die Kreide – cretaceous; chalk; crayon / das Bergkristall – crystallized quartz / die Kohle – coal / die Koralle – coral


c) Names for seasons of the year, months, days of the week, daytimes, and points of the compass

Except for some exceptions all nouns that belong to the listed categories above are masculine in German.

der Frühling – springder Sommer – summerder Herbst – fall; autumn

der Winter – winter

der Januar – January

der Februar – February

der März – March

der Juni – June

der Juli – July

der August – August

der September – September

der Oktober – October

der November – November

der Dezember – December

der Montag – Monday

der Dienstag – Tuesday

der Mittwoch – Wednesdayder Donnerstag – Thursdayder Freitag – Friday

der Sonnabend/Samstag – Saturday

der Sonntag – Sunday

der Morgen – morning

der Vormittag – forenoon

der Mittag – noon; midday

der Nachmittag – afternoon

der Abend – evening

der Süden – south

der Osten – east

der Westen – west

der Norden – north

der Monat – month

der Tag – day


Exceptions are: die Jahreszeit – season (of the year) / das Jahr – year / das Frühjahr – spring / die Woche – week / die Nacht – night / die Mitternacht – midnight / die Tageszeit – daytime / die Himmelsrichtung – point of the compass


To be continued…

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About the Author: Sandra Rösner

Hello everybody! I studied English and American Studies, Communication Science, and Political Science at the University of Greifswald. Since I have been learning English as a second language myself for almost 20 years now I know how difficult it is to learn a language other than your native one. Thus, I am always willing to keep my explanations about German grammar comprehensible and short. Further, I am inclined to encourage you to speak German in every situation. Regards, Sandra


  1. Deja:

    Just wanted to let You know: “Bergkristall” is also masculine, so it’s “der Bergkristall”, not “das Bergkristall”.
    Best regards

    • Sandra:

      @Deja You are right, “Bergkristall” can also be masculine. Der Bergkristall = one pice; das Bergkristall = substance.

      Kind regards.