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Recognizing neuter nouns in German part 1 Posted by on Feb 14, 2012 in Grammar, Language

I have already written about how you can recognize masculine and feminine nouns in German. But German nouns can have a further gender: the neuter. In comparison to masculine and feminine nouns, neuter ones can be recognized much easier.

 

a) Nouns that denote young living beings: humans as well as animals

Young living beings that have not reached sexual maturity yet are usually neuter in German.

das Baby – baby

das Ferkel – piglet

das Junge – cubs; offspring; lit. young one

das Fohlen – foal

das Kind – child

das Kalb – calf

das Kitz – fawn; yeanling

das Lamm – lamb

das Küken – chick

 

Exceptions:

der Frischling – (boar) piglet

der Welpe – puppy

 

 

b) Continents, countries, and cities

Names of continents, countries, and cities are usually neuter in German

das Amerika – America

das Nordamerika – North America

das Südamerika – South America

das Europa – Europe

das Afrika – Afrika

das Asien – Asia

das Australien – Australia

das Deutschland – Germany

das Italien – Italy

das Spanien – Spain

das Frankreich – France

das China – China

das Japan – Japan

das Indien – India

das Ägypten – Egypt

das Jordanien – Jordan

das Saudi-Arabien – Saudi Arabia

das Mexiko – Mexico

das Chile – Chile

das Tunesien – Tunisia

das England – England

das Berlin – Berlin

das Washington, D.C. – Washinton, D.C.

das Warschau – Warsaw

das Buenos Aires – Buenos Aires

das Lisabon – Lisbon

das Moskau – Moscow

 

Note: You only use the German neuter article “das” with names of continents, countries, and cities when you define the noun more closely, e.g. “das Amerika der 50er Jahre” = “America in the 50s”; “das Berlin der 20er Jahre” = “Berlin in the 20s”. In other respects, you do not use the neuter article with continents, countries, and cities.

 

Exceptions to the rule(s) above are countries and cities that require a masculine or feminine article, like:

der Libabnon – Lebanon

der Jemen – Yemen

die Schweiz – Switzerland

die Slowakei – Slovakia

die Türkei – Turkey

die Ukraine – Ukraine

In these cases, you need to add the masculine article “der” or the feminine article “die”. How this will affect your sentences will be discussed in my upcoming post.

 

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


Comments:

  1. Kumar Vishwa Ranjan:

    its very helpful..

  2. Kremona Pavlova:

    DER Junge!!! DIE USA und die Niederlande are PLURAL, not feminine

    • Sandra:

      @Kremona Pavlova Hello Kremona,

      The German word “Junge” has different meanings, which depends on the article: der Junge = the boy; das Junge = the cubs, the offspring, the young one.