AS Grammar: Nouns

AS Grammar: Nouns

Grammar: Nouns

Gender of Nouns

  • Every German noun has a gender and is classified as masculine (der), feminine (die), or neuter (das).
  • Der words include: der Mann (man), der Stuhl (chair), der Bruder (brother).
  • Die words include: die Frau (woman), die Katze (cat), die Schwester (sister).
  • Das words include: das Kind (child), das Buch (book), das Haus (house).
  • Often, the noun’s gender does not correlate with its meaning (e.g., ‘Mädchen’, meaning ‘girl’, is neuter), so genders must be memorised along with the noun itself.

Derivation of Nouns

  • Nouns can be derived from verbs, adjectives and other nouns. For example, the verb “lachen” (to laugh) can yield the noun “das Lachen” (the laughter).
  • Be aware of the suffixes that can change the meaning and the gender of the noun, for instance -ung, -heit, -keit, -schaft typically indicate feminine nouns.

Plural of Nouns

  • Noun plurals can be constructed in different ways, including changing the ending, adding an -e, adding an -er, or adding an -n/en.
  • For example, ‘der Hund’ (the dog) becomes ‘die Hunde’ in the plural.
  • There’s no universal rule for forming plurals; the plural form of each noun must be learned individually.

Capitalisation of Nouns

  • In German, all nouns are capitalized, not just proper nouns as in English.

Cases in Nouns

  • Nouns change their forms according to four grammatical cases: nominative (subject), accusative (direct object), dative (indirect object), and genitive (possession).
  • Each case has different endings based on the noun’s gender. For example, ‘das Kind’ could become ‘dem Kind’ in the dative case.

By carrying on with similar routine practice and memorisation, you will gradually build up a solid grasp of German nouns. Keep going!