Noun Gender

Nouns in German are masculine (der), feminine (die) or neuter (das).

Tips for learning nouns with their gender:

  • When you create a vocabulary list or set of flashcards, include the gender with the noun.
  • Write words in different colours: blue for masculine, red for feminine and green for neuter.
  • Imagine nouns in different areas of your house: der Garten, die Küche, das Schlafzimmer.
  • Learn some of the categories below to reduce the memory load.


Names of the days, months and seasons

Names of earth and rocks

Names of most types of money (exceptions: die Lira, die Mark, das Pfund)

Names of directions and winds

Names of rivers outside Germany (exceptions: those ending in -a or -e, which are feminine)

Names of mountains, lakes and precipitations

Names of alcoholic drinks (exception: das Bier)

Names of cars and trains

Most nouns ending in -ich and -ling

Most nouns ending in -ig (exception: das Riesig)

Most nouns ending in -el (exceptions: die Achsel, die Amsel, die Bibel, die Dattel, die Distel, die Drossel, die Fackel, die Formel, die Gabel, die Insel, die Kanzel, die Kartoffel, die Kugel, die Mandel, die Nadel, die Nessel, die Orgel, die Pappel, die Regel, die Schachtel, die Schaufel, die Schüssel, die Semmel, die Staffel, die Tafel, die Trommel, die Wurzel, die Zwiebel, das Bündel, das Exempel, das Kabel, das Kapitel, das Mittel, das Segel, das Siegel, das Übel)

Most nouns ending in -en (exceptions: all infinitives, das Becken, das Eisen, das Examen, das Fohlen, das Kissen, das Laken, das Leinen, das Omen, das Wappen, das Zeichen)

Nouns ending in -er, when they refer to people (exceptions: die Jungfer, die Mutter, die Schwester, die Tochter)


Names of most types of flowers and trees (exceptions: der Ahorn)

Names of German rivers (exceptions: rivers in the SW are masculine)

Names of cardinal numbers

Names of planes and ships

Most nouns ending in -e (exceptions: those with prefix Ge- and those denoting males)

Nouns ending in -heit, -keit and -schaft

Nouns ending in -in (persons only)

Nouns ending in -ei (exceptions: nouns denoting a type of egg e.g. das Spiegelei)

Nouns ending in -ung (as a suffix! note: der Sprung and related compounds, e.g. der Absprung, der Vorsprung)

Nouns of foreign words ending in -ade, -age, -anz, -enz, -ette, -ie, -ik, -ine, -ion, -isse, -itis, -ive, -tät and -ur


Names of towns and countries (exceptions: die Schweiz, die Turkei, die Mongolei, die Slowakei)

Names of metals and most chemical elements (exceptions: der Stahl, die Bronze)

Names of letters and musical notes

Names of colours

Names of fractions (exception: die Hälfte)

Names of hotels, cafés and theatres

Infinitives used as nouns

Most nouns starting with Ge- (exceptions: der Gebrauch, der Gedanke, der Gefallen, der Genuss, der Gesang, der Geschmack, der Geruch, der Gewinn, die Gebärde, die Gebühr, die Geburt, die Geduld, die Gefahr, die Gemeinde, die Geschichte, die Gewalt)

Most nouns ending in -chen and -lein

Most nouns ending in -ment (exceptions: der Moment, der Zement)

Most nouns ending in -nis (exceptions: die Erlaubnis, die Erkenntnis, die Finsternis)

Most nouns ending in -tum (exceptions: der Irrtum, der Reichtum)

Most nouns ending in -um