German Lessons

Nouns in GermanLesson 3

Let's learn about nouns. At the end of this lesson, you'll know what exactly nouns are, why German nouns come in three spicy flavors, and how to turn a single noun into lots and lots of nouns, or, in other words, the plural.

German nouns
πŸ’‘ In this lesson, you'll learn all about German nouns. The topics for this lesson include:
  • The role of nouns in German
  • Grammatical gender
  • How to form the plural

This lesson is all about German nouns! Before we get started, let us remind ourselves what exactly nouns are. Generally speaking, nouns are most often words for things: people, objects & concepts. The English words table, grandma, door, flower, John & justice are all examples of nouns.

In German, nouns work exactly the same way. There are only a few quirks that you will have to learn about in order to start using German nouns. Let's dive in and see what makes German nouns slightly different.

German Nouns

Let's learn a few German nouns, so we have some vocabulary to work with throughout the lesson.

der Tisch
die Frau
das Haus
die Blume

Do you already notice something about these words? One thing you might notice is that the little word before each noun isn't always the same. But why? The short answer is: because of grammatical gender.


While in English every noun comes with the article the, German nouns come in three different flavours: with der, die or das. Each noun has one of these articles associated with it, because in German nouns have gender (also called grammatical gender). So every noun is either masculine, feminine or neuter.

There are no logical rules to help you figure out what gender a noun has. With some nouns, it might make sense to you that they should be of a certain gender (the word for 'woman', for example, is feminine: die Frau).

But there are also many nouns whose gender will surprise you (why is the German word for 'girl' neuter?), or where it seems strange that it should have a gender at all. Why is die Lampe (lamp) feminine, for example?

While all of this can feel a bit strange to native English ears, there is nothing super difficult about it: It's just something you should get used to memorize for each noun. This seems unusual at first, but once you get used to it, it's really not that bad.


Now let's have a look at German plurals. When we form the plural in English, we often simply have to add the letter s and that's it. There are of course exceptions to this, but forming the plural in English is generally not that difficult.

Forming plurals in German is also not incredibly difficult. But it is a little bit more difficult. The main reason is that plurals can often look quite different to their singular counterparts. So you will have to make more of an effort to remember the plural for each noun.

Singular Plural
der Tisch die Tische
die Frau die Frauen
die Blume die Blumen
das Haus die HΓ€user


1 / 2
Der _____ geht gerne einkaufen.
Exercise 1.1: Grammatical Gender
Support us by sharing this page
Subscribe πŸ‘‡
Yes, send me curious resources, free texts & useful tipps for learning German.