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Der, die, or das? Part 3: Neuter Nouns

To conclude our series on noun endings and gender, let's look at the neuter article das. For neuter nouns, there are really very few patterns that we can rely on. The ending -nis, for example, is often listed as a typical neuter ending, but can just as often signify a feminine noun, as we can see with the words das Ergebnis ("the result") and die Kenntnis ("the knowledge"). 

 

Das Ergebnis kann sich sehen lassen.
The result speaks for itself.
Caption 32, Das Beauty Ein-Mal-Eins: Fingernägel 

 

Der Fluglehrer hat dann immer, hoffentlich, die Vorausschau und die Kenntnis des Wetters.
The flight teacher always has, hopefully, the foresight and the knowledge of the weather.
Caption 28, Lokalhelden: Mini Aeroplane

 

Endings such as -ing-ment-ma and -um are similarly unreliable. However, there are three types of nouns that we would like to mention.

 

First, diminutive nouns with the endings -lein or -chen are always neuter. 

 

Du bist doch bloß zu faul, dich selber um das Mädchen zu kümmern.
You are just too lazy to take care of the girl yourself.
Caption 22, Großstadtrevier: Von Monstern und Mördern

 

Also, nouns derived from adjectives that end with -e and nouns derived from infinitives that end with -en are generally neuter. 

 

Ja, das Gute ist: Es gibt ja hier mittlerweile auch Internet.
Well, the good thing is there is also in the meantime even internet here.
Caption 16, TV Total: Stefan trifft Dirk Nowitzki

 

Kleinigkeiten wie das Einkaufen, was man jeden Tag macht...
Little things like shopping that you do every day...
Caption 102, TEDx: Der Supermarkt der Zukunft

 

Further Learning
To learn some very specific tendencies for the genders of nouns, consult this list here. But more importantly, start memorizing neuter nouns you find on Yabla German with the article das as an integral part of the word, or you can scroll down to the list of neuter nouns on this useful page.

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