Exceptions to the Gender Patterns

Since there are exceptions in the various patterns, here are a few to consider.

das Bett (bed) das Kind (child) das Bier (beer) das Konzert (concert) das Brot (bread) der Junge (boy) die Fabel (fable) die Schwester (sister) das Fahrrad (bike) die Tochter (daughter) das Flugzeug (airplane) das Wasser (water) der Franzose (Frenchman) das Wetter (weather) der Geschmack (taste) das Wochenende (weekend) das Glas (glass) die Wurst (sausage)

You've learned that many words that end in –e are feminine: die Dame (lady), die Tasse (cup), die Lampe (lamp), and so on. But there are several masculine words that end in –e, too. Memorize these so you can remember that they don't follow the rule.

Table 4-6. Masculine Nouns Ending in –e

German Noun English Meaning der Alte old man der Buchstabe letter (of the alphabet) der Franzose Frenchman der Hase hare der Junge boy der Knabe boy, lad der Löwe lion der Matrose sailor der Name name der Neffe nephew der Ochse ox

Exceptions to the rules, like those words listed above, will always exist. With these words, you must memorize the gender when you learn the noun.

In German, the definite articles (der, die, and das) that you learned here are in the nominative case. This simply means that these nouns are acting as the subjects of sentences. You'll learn more about German cases in later chapters.

Exercise 4-1

After you have studied the previous patterns, practice choosing the correct gender and saying der, die, or das with each of the words that follows. For example, when presented with the word Vater, you would say, “der Vater” because Vater (father) is masculine. Write the correct article on the line.

1. Mantel (coat) ____ 2. Ausstellung (exhibition) ____ 3. Gelächter (laughter) ____ 4. Klasse (class) ____ 5. Brunnen (well, source of water) ____ 6. Sprache (language) ____ 7. Männchen (little man) ____ 8. Prüfung (exam) ____ 9. Wissenschaft (science) ____ 10. Essen (eating) ____
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