Nominative Articles

Artikel im Nominativ

Introduction Einführung
Also called subjective articles, nominative articles are the German equivalents of words like “the” and “a” when used with the subject of a phrase or sentence. In the sentence “The man feeds the dog”, “the man” is the subject. “The dog” is an direct object and would be use the accusative case and its set of articles. However, don’t worry too much about other cases for now. The nominative case is most common and the most important.

German articles also change based on gender and number.

All nouns in German are either masculine, feminine or neutral. Sometimes the gender is obvious such as Mann (man) being masculine and Frau (woman) being feminine. Sometimes however, the gender is not obvious or even seems contradictory such as with the word Mädchen (girl) which is neutral.

Even non-animal nouns have gender which are seemingly arbitrarily assigned to a gender. Fluss (river) is masculine and Stadt (city) is feminine.

Because there is no easy way of knowing whether a noun is masculine or feminine its best to learn new words with the article before.

The German definite articles are der (masculine), das (neutral) and die (feminine). These all mean “the”. Die is also used for plural nouns regardless of the gender.

   der Fluss
   the river

   das Mädchen
   the girl

   die Stadt
   the city

   die Männer
   the men

   die Frauen
   the women

The German indefinite articles are ein (masculine and neutral) and eine (feminine) are both mean “a”.

   ein Fluss
   a river

   ein Mädchen
   a girl

   eine Stadt
   a city
MasculineNeuterFeminine
Definite Singular
Play der
the nominative
Play das
the nominative
Play die
the nominative the nominative
Plural
Play die
the nominative the nominative
Indefinite Singular
Play ein
a nominative a nominative
Play eine
a nominative
Have questions about this lesson? Haben Sie Fragen zu dieser Unterrichtseinheit?

Get a video answer from a Polly Ambassador, if your question is relevant and interesting.

Change language Français Español English Deutsch Português