Tips on learning Definite Articles (der, die, das)

articleAll German nouns have a gender. They are either masculine, feminine or neuter.

masculine der Mann (the man)
feminine die Mutter (the mother)
neuter das Mädchen (the girl)

In general, you need to learn the noun with its article when you first meet it. If you look up the gender in a dictionary, masculine nouns are usually indicated with (m), feminine nouns with (f) and neuter nouns with (nt).

Here are some guidelines to help you know the gender of nouns in German.

 der

Always Often
 Words ending with “-er” der Fernseher (the television)
der Geschirrspüler (the dishwasher)
der Computer (the computer)
Exception:
die Butter (the butter)
das Fenster (the window)
X
 Words ending with “-ig”/”-ich” der König (the king)
der Honig (the honey)
der Teppich (the carpet)
 X
 Time of the day, Days der Morgen (the morning)
der Mittag (the noon)
der Abend (the evening)
der Montag (the Monday)
der Dienstag (the Tuesday)
Exception: 
die Nacht (the night)
 X
 Months, Seasons der Mai (the May)
der Juni (the June)
der Frühling (the Spring)
der Sommer (the Summer)
 X

 

 die

Always Often
 Words ending with “-ung” die Ordnung (the order)
die Hoffnung (the hope)
die Meinung (the opinion)
die Erfahrung (the experience)
 X
 Words ending with “-heit”/”keit” die Schönheit (the beauty)
die Gesundheit (the health)
die Möglichkeit (the possibility)
die Gerechtigkeit (the justice)
 X
 Words ending with “-schaft” die Freundschaft (the friendship)
die Mannschaft (the team)
X
 Words ending with “-e” die Sprache (the language)
die Rede (the speech)
die Suche (the search)
die Liebe (the love)
Exception
der Junge (the boy)
das Auge (the eye)
X
 Words ending with “-ion” die Information (the information)
die Diskussion (the discussion)
die Million (the Million)
die Evolution (the evolution)
 X  
 Words ending with “-ität”, “-ik”, “-ur” die Universität (the university)
die Politik (the politics)
die Kultur (the culture)
die Natur (the nature)
 X

 

 das

Always Often
 Words ending with “-chen”/”lein” das Mädchen (the girl)
das Kätzchen (the kitty)
das Kindlein (the child)
 X  
 Words ending with “-um”/”tum” das Studium (the studies)
das Zentrum (the center)
das Altertum (the antiquity)
Exception: 
der Irrtum (the error)
der Reichtum (the wealth)
 
 X
 Infinitive nouns das Essen (the food)
das Schreiben (the writing)
das Lesen (the read)
 X
 Language das Deutsche (the German)
das Englische (the English)
das Französische (the French)
das Russische (the Russian)
 X