The Feminine Nouns
There are categories of feminine nouns to help you recognize the feminine gender. Words that refer exclusively to women are usually feminine. Words that refer to women and inanimate objects ending in –e tend to be feminine. Words ending in –in are feminine. Words that end in –ung are feminine. Look at these examples. Listen to your CD for the German pronunciation. Notice that many of these words are inanimate objects, yet they are all feminine.
Table 4-2. Determining the Gender of Feminine Nouns
Feminine nouns ending in –in usually have a masculine counterpart that does not have that ending. The two forms distinguish males and females who have the same role. Listen to your CD for the German pronunciation of the following examples.
Table 4-3. Gendered Roles
Additionally, nouns ending in –schaft, –ei, and –tät are always feminine.
Nouns ending in –heit, –keit, and –ie are always feminine. Listen to your CD for the German pronunciation.
die Einsamkeit (loneliness)die Gesundheit (health)die Poesie (poetry)
Both German and English have a large number of words that end in –tion. In German they are always feminine, and they usually have the same meaning as their English counterpart. But the German pronunciation of and accentation of this category of nouns is different from English: Position (poh-zee-tsee-OHN), Situation (zit-oo-ah-tsee-OHN). Look at the following words and pronounce them in German. Listen to your CD for the German pronunciation.