Nouns (also called substantives, noun substantives, or concrete nouns) are declinable words that describe things, beings, and abstract concepts (e. g. der Löffel, die Frau, das Wetter – the spoon, the woman, the weather). Nouns are generally used with their article, and they have to be declined.
The grammatical gender shows if a noun is masculine, feminine, or neuter. In German, it’s often impossible to tell this just from looking at the noun, but there are some clues that can help you determine the gender.
- der Schmetterling
- die Umgebung
- das Märchen
In German, we generally use nouns together with their articles. The article tells us the gender, number, and case of the noun. There are indefinite articles (ein, eine) and definite articles (der, die, das).
- ein/der Mann
- eine/die Frau
- ein/das Kind
The plural in German can take the endings n/en, e, r/er, s, or no ending at all. Here we explain when each plural ending should be used.
- die Universität – die Universitäten
- die Oma – die Omas
In German, nouns have to be declined. Here, we explain when to use each case and what you need to pay attention to when declining a noun.
- der Mann, des Mannes, dem Mann, den Mann
- die Frau, der Frau, der Frau, die Frau