Gender of Nouns
The gender of nouns is a feature of German that is not found in English. Nouns are either masculine, neuter, or feminine, and there are some basic rules for determining their gender.
Masculine nouns include those that refer to male individuals, nationalities, professions, directions (e.g. der Westen), times of day (e.g. evening), days, months, and seasons. In addition, most (singular) nouns that end with ‘en,’ ‘el,’ and ‘ling’, nouns ending with ‘är,’ ‘ar,’ ‘or,’ ‘ich,’ ‘ant,’ ‘ent,’ ‘eur,’ ismus,’ ‘ist,’ and ‘ier’ are masculine, and so are many that end in ‘er.’ Furthermore, brand names of cars are masculine (e.g. der Porsche, der Volkswagen).
Female individuals, professions and nationalities, nouns ending with an unstressed ‘e’ or in ‘heit,’ ‘keit,’ ‘ung,’ ‘tät,’ ‘ion,’ ‘age,’ ‘ur,’ ‘schaft,’ ‘ei,’ ‘ie,’ ‘anz,’ ‘enz,’ and ‘ik’ are feminine. Numbers, brands of motorcycles, and ships are also feminine (e.g. die Zwei, die Zehn, die Honda, die Titanic).
Nouns referring to young humans and animals, using diminutive suffixes ‘sel,’ ‘lein’ and ‘chen’ (e.g. das Baby, das Mädchen), letters (e.g. das A, das Z), infinitival nouns/gerunds (e.g. das Essen, das Schwimmen), nominalizations of adjectives (e.g. das Gute, das Beste) and the majority of metals. Nouns ending with ‘um,’ ‘tum,’ and ‘ment,’ but also names of most cities, countries, and continents are neuter.
Some words, especially borrowed or “loan” words (i.e. words taken from other languages), are a little more difficult to predict.
The table below lists all of the personal pronouns in the nominative case. They are listed (top to bottom) from first- to second- to third-person (e.g. ich, du, er/sie/es), followed by the formal second person ‘Sie.’
The pronouns in the accusative and dative cases are:
There are other types of pronouns: demonstrative and relative pronouns are nearly identical to the definite articles (exception: dative plural relative pronoun = denen); reflexive pronouns are identical to personal pronouns in first and second person informal singular and plural, but formal ‘Sie’ and third person singular and plural are all “sich.”