Der, Die, or Das - Tips, rules, and tricks

An overview to help you get better equipped in dealing with the articles on German nouns.

You won’t need to memorise the gender of every single word. There are a ton of tips, tricks, and rules that will help you cover a great deal of words.

Word endings (suffix)

Word endings is one of those tricks. When a word ends on a certain character set, you know what gender it is. Be alert tho, because like always in German, there are exceptions, but those will come later (the exceptions will have to be learned by heart. For this, the Article Guru app is your best friend!)

DER

Words ending on the following characters (almost) always are masculine (der).

-ant
der Musikant
-ast der Kontrast
-är der Milionär
-ent der Kontinent
-er der Moter
-en der Garten
-eur der Friseur
-ig der Honig
-iker der Alkoholiker
-ismus der Optimismus
-ist der Spezialist
-ling der Frühling
-loge der Psychologe
-ner der Rentner
-oph der Philosoph
-or der Generator
-ör der Likör
-tor der Direktor

 

DIE

Words ending on the following characters are (almost) always feminine (die).

-ade Die Chocolade
-age Die Garage
-anz Die Eleganz
-enz Die Intelligenz
-ei Die Bäckerei
-falt Die Falt
-heit Die Gezundheit
-ie Die Fantasie
-ik Die Grammatik
-in Die Studentin
-ine Die Machine
-ion Die version
-ive Die Alternative
-keit Die Fähighkeit
-schaft Die Freundschaft
-sis Die Dosis
-tät Die Universität
-thek Die Bibliothek
-unft Die Auskunft
-ung Die Rechnung
-ur Die Kultur

Tip
Note that if you have to guess, most words ending on “-e” are feminine.

DAS

Words ending on the following characters are (almost) always neuter (das).

-chen das Mädchen
-em das System
-ett das Bett
-ial das Matrial
-lein das Fraulein
-ma das Thema
das Schema
-ment das Dokument
das Supplement
-nis das Gedächtnis
-o das Auto
-sal das Schiksal
-tum das Eigentum
das Schippertum
-um das Universum
das Album
das Datum

Tip
Nouns with the prefix Ge- often are neuter too.

  •  das Gebirge (mountain range)
  • das Geschäft (shop/business)
  • das Gewächs (plant/growth

 

Semantic reasons

There are more rules and constants that can help you determine the gender of a noun. 

DER

The following word-groups, and noun-types that all are masculine.

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Male functions/roles/jobs

In the top 300 most common nouns, you will find these very often. Often, when the gender of the person in unknown or not relevant, this version is used.

  • der Kapitän (the male captain)
  • der Vater  (the father)
  • der Polizist (the maile police)
  • der Doktor (the male doctor)
  • der Erzehler (the male narrator)

Months and weekdays

Months

  • der Monat (Month)
  • der Januar (January)
  • der Februar (February)
  • der März (March)
  • der April (April)
  • der Mai (May)
  • der Juni (June)
  • der Juli (July)
  • der August (August)
  • der September (September)
  • der Oktober (October) 
  • der November (November)
  • der Dezember (December)

Weekdays

  • der Wochentag (weekday)
  • der Montag (Monday)
  • der Dienstag (Tuesday)
  • der Mittwoch (Wednesday)
  • der Donnerstag (Thursday)
  • der Freitag (Friday)
  • der Samstag (Saturday)
  • der Sonntag (Sunday)

4 Seasons, Weather & Wind

Seasons

  • der Frühling (spring)
  • der Sommer (summer)
  • der Winter (winter)
  • der Herbst (fall/autem)

Careful: die Jahreszeit (Season)

Weather & Wind

  • der Regen (rain)
  • der Hagel (hail)
  • der Schnee (snow)
  • der Wind (wind)
  • der Föhn (chinook wind)
  • der Tornado (Tornado)

Careful: das Wetter (weather)

 

Alcohol

  • der Rum
  • der Vodka
  • der Gin
  • der Wein (Wine)

Exception

  • das Bier (Beer)

Car brands

  • der Ford
  • der BMW
  • der Audi
  • der Renault
  • der Landrover

careful: das Auto

DIE

Word-groups, and noun-types that all are feminine.

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Female jobs / roles / functions

– die Kapitänin (female captain)
– die Mutter (mother)
– die Ärtzin (female doctor)
– die Tochter (daughter)

Exceptions

An interesting exception is das Mädchen. It might be because it is sort of a Diminutive (which always is neuter).

Fruit, berries, and nuts

– die Banana (banana)
– die Birne (pear)
– die Kirsche (cherry)
– die Banane (banana)
– die Ananas (pineapple)
– die Orange (orange)
– die Melone (melon)
– die Traube (grape)
– die Kiwi (kiwi)
– die Mango (mango)
– die Erdbeere (strawberry)
– die Himbeere (raspberry)
– die Litschi (lichee)
– die Maracuja (passion fruit)
– die Feige (fig)
– die Grapefruit (grapefruit)
– die Nuss (nut)
– die Erdnuss (peanut)
– die Walnuss (walnut)
– die Kokosnuss (coconut)
– die Cashew-Kerne (cashew)

Exceptions

– der Apfel (apple)
– der Pfirsich (peach)
– das Obst (fruit)

Boat- and airplane names

You won’t come across that many we assume, but if you do, you know they’ll be feminine. The one famous one we can come up with is:

– die Titanic

Motorcycle brands

– die Harley Davidson
– die Yamaha
– die Suzuki
– die BMW (but only for Bikes, not the cars)

DAS

Word-groups, and noun-types that all are neuter.

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Deminitives

When words are made smaller are always neuter. , often when they have the suffix “-chen” or “-lein”.

– das Kaninchen (Bunny)
– das Bierchen (beer)
– die Maus, das Mäuschen (Maus)
– der Tisch, das Tischlein (Table)

Tip! Diminutives do not changes in plural (the article just changes to die). 

Colours

  • das Grau (grey)
  • das Weiß (white)
  • das Schwarz (black)
  • das Rot (red)
  • das Rosa (pink)
  • das Grün (green)
  • das Orange (orange)
  • das Blau (blue)
  • das Braun (brown)

Watch out! die Farbe

Nouns derived from infinitive verbs

  • das Essen (the eating / the food)
  • das Schreiben (the writing)
  • das Tanzen (the dancing)
  • das Rauchen (the smoking)
  • das Schwimmen (the swiming)

Nouns derived from adjectives

– das Gute (the good)
– das Böse (the bad)

Article Guru to learn faster

Article Guru is an application for your mobile phone that is specially designed to help you learn the genders of German nouns. Through a simple and playful interface we help you to learn effectively. More »

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