German Language Blog

Männliche Substantive im Deutschen erkennen: Teil 3 – Detecting German masculine nouns: part 3 Posted by on Jan 6, 2012 in Grammar, Language

The grammatical genders of German nouns seem to be a pain in the neck for most foreign learners of German. Therefore, I would like to give you some hints whether a particular noun can be masculine, feminine or neuter in German. Subsequent to my two previous posts I will continue with masculine German nouns.

In my two last posts you learned that all nouns are masculine, which match the following features. German nouns are masculine when they denote:

–       a male human 

–       a male animal

–       a male occupation

–       an animal species

–       a mineral or stone

–       a season of the year 

–       a month

–       a day of the week

–       a daytime

–       a point of the compass


a)    Winds, precipitation, weather phenomena

Whenever you will talk about the weather you can be sure that the nouns you would like to use in your speech are masculine.

der Wind – wind 

der Taifun – typhoon

der Sturm – storm

der Hurrikan – hurricane

der Orkan – hurricane

der Tornado – tornado

der Regen – rain

der Schnee – snow 

der Monsun – monsoon

der Hagel – hail

der Nebel – fog

der Donner – thunder

der Blitz – lighning

der Niederschlag – precipitation


Exceptions are: das Wetter – weather / die Brise – breeze / das Gewitter – thunderstorm


b) The following five nouns that end with “–ee”

der Kaffee – coffee

der Tee – tea

der See – lake

der Schnee – snow

der Klee – clover

Please note well that the German word “See” can also refer to the ‘sea’, but only when you replace the article “der” with “die”. Hence, “der See” means “the lake” and “die See” means “the sea”, for example: die Ostsee = the Baltic Sea; die Nordsee = the North Sea.


b)   Brand names of cars and types of trains

Brand names of cars and types of train are usually masculine, regardless whether you are talking about German cars and trains or foreign ones.

der Audi 

der Opel

der BMW

der Fiat

der Renault

der Ford

der Volkswagen (VW)

der Mercedes

der Volvo

der Chevrolet 

der Ferrari

der Porsche

der Güterzug – freighttrain

der TGV (French train)

der ICE (German high-speed train)

der Acela Express (American high-speed train)



c)    Names for currencies

The majority of the world’s currencies are masculine in German.

der Dollar – dollar 

der Euro – euro

der Rubel – ruble

der Peso – peso

der Franc – franc

der Real – real

der Dinar – dinar 

der Lew – lev

der Rial – rial

der Yen – yen

der Schilling – shilling

der Zloty – zloty


Exceptions are: die Mark – mark / die Krone – krone / die Rupie – rupee / die Lira – lira


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. Lev Raphael:

    Ganz hilfsbereit!

    Shorthand for me for some of this is: weather, calendar, compass.

  2. kasam maharjan:

    Ich mag es so sehr,

  3. Jim:

    das Pfund (britisches Pfund)