Nouns - Introduction

Nouns describe living things, plants, things, materials and abstract terms like qualities, occurrences, relations etc.

Approximately 50% of the German words are nouns. They always start with a capital letter. In the German language, nouns have a grammatical sex called gender. There are three different genders: masculine, feminine and neuter. Roughly 35% of the nouns are masculine, 40% are feminine and 25% are neuter. The gender is indicated by an article and also influences adjectives and pronouns.

There are many different rules which help you to determine the gender of a noun. However, there are many exceptions, too.

It will be the best if you always learn a German noun together with its definite article ( der, die or das).

Here is one example: der Tag m (the day). The m, f or n behind the noun indicates that the noun is either masculine, feminine or neuter.

Nouns can be declined which means they can be put into the different cases (nominative, genitive, dative and accusative). The different forms of a noun express the case and the number (singular or plural).