As nouns, also nouns and main words, things, facts and creatures are designated. Basically my nouns, however, any words that have an actual thing to the content. They are divided into concrete and abstracted nouns. Specifically, all who actually think of an object (house, table, dog), while abstract abstracts describe something thought (courage, joy, love). Nouns are usually accompanied by an article and must be declined.
The term is derived from the Latin noun, which can be translated by name. In German schools, however, we also find the names Dingwort, Gegenstandswort, Hauptwort, Namenwort, Nennwort and, of course, substantive. The terms all mean the same thing. Let’s look at an example.
The mouse eats the cheese from the bowl.
In the example above, there are three nouns: mouse, cheese, bowl. All three are accompanied by an article. They refer to objects and creatures, which is why they can be clearly identified as nouns. It is true that all nouns are capitalized and can only dispense with the article in a few exceptions. Let us now look at the declination.
We must help the children of the country.
In the above example, two nouns can be identified: children and land. In the example the children are, however, the dative object of the sentence. Then we ask with whom? (To whom we must help the children.). The country is in the genitive. This is used when you know who? or an ownership relationship is displayed. Since the children belong to the land, the declination of the genitive (es) is used.
Genus (gender) of the nominee
A main word has a sex. This sex is called genus. The main word can be male (masculine), feminine (feminine) and neutral (neutral). In German it is not possible at first glance to recognize which gender has a main word. Therefore the articles (companion) have to be learned. Nevertheless, there are some revealing features.
The woman and the man look for the child.
In the example above there are three nouns. All three have a different sex. We recognize this by the accompanying companions. He is standing in front of a male who is in front of a female and the front of a neat noun. In this case the genus depends on the biological sex. In German, however, there are many exceptions. However, there are features which help in the determination.
Genus determination by suffixes and features
In these suffixes the nouns are very often male:
-ant: Manufacturer, Supplier, Client
-ent: Agent, conductor, prospective buyer
-ich: Crane, Goose, Carpet
-ling: butterfly, apprentice, coward
-ism: nationalism, symbolism, naturalism, realism
-ist: populist, lawyer, actionist, Zionist
-or: Juror, Director, Author, Catalyst
Men, seasons, days, months, precipitations, directions, and automarks are always masculine: the minister, the boy, the chancellor, the man; spring, summer, autumn, winter; the Monday, the Tuesday, the Wednesday …; the January, the February, the March …; the hail, the rain, the snow; the south, the north, the east; the Audi, the Opel, the Fiat.
In these suffixes the nouns are very often feminine:
-ei: library, butchery, printing shop
-enz: competence, dementia, presence, existence
freedom, equality, disease, security
-ie: irony, energy, democracy, philosophy
-fulness, brotherhood, solitude, unity, serenity
-ik: Clinic, Politics, Factory, Statistics
-in (feminine occupational names): pilot, doctor
-ion: nation, information, action, position
-ity: nationality, activity, humanity
-schaft: team, fraternities, friendship
-ung: secrecy, ending, movement, education
-ur: Nature, Raus, Dictatorship
Feminine persons and figures used as nouns are always feminine: the minister, the woman, the baker, the chancellor (ends the noun, does not attack the rule, these are always the thing: the girl, the female, the female); the One, the Two, the Five, the Hundred.
In these suffixes the nouns are very frequent:
-chen: the little tree, the little house, the little basket, the little girl, the little girl
– Little Miss, the little kid, the kid
-ment: the experiment, the patent, the talent
-tum: the bishopric, the Judaism, the heroism
-um: the extremum, the date (many exceptions!)
Foreign words ending in -ma; Nouns formed from English verbs, which are on-going; Nouns from verbs in the infinitive; Letters and color names are always neutral: the theme, the trema, the drama; the happening, the timing, the training; cutting, walking, hoping, racing; the A, the B, the C …; the blue, the violet, the green, the yellow.
Note: But even if the above rules, characteristics and tips on the genus determination are correct in many cases, there are numerous exceptions, especially in the suffixes, ie the endings. Therefore, the above overview can only be regarded as an orientation, but it is not sufficient to determine the genus correctly in any case. For this, the article of the nomination must be learned.
Article of the nominee
In German main words are usually used with their articles. The article reveals which genus (masculine, feminine, neutral), number (singular, plural), caus (nominative, accusative, dative, genitive) is present in the noun. Articles may be definite or indeterminate.
The dog is a mammal.
The indeterminate article is used when a thing or thing is unknown, is not determined or has no name. It is also used when something is first mentioned in a text. In the plural there is not the indefinite article. Undefined are one (neutral, masculine) and one (feminine).
The specific article is used when a thing is known or unique (eg the Alps), as well as in the formation of the superlative and in the case of dates and ordinal numbers. Certain articles are the (masculine), the (feminine) and the (neutral). In the plural there are only certain articles.
Short overview: The most important to the noun at a glance
As a noun, noun or main word, a word type is called. Noun my things, creatures and abstract content. If they describe something specific, they are called Konkreta, they describe abstract things, they are called Abstracta.
Main words have a gender (genus), either in the plural or singular (number), and stand in a case (case). Accordingly, nouns are declinable, depending on the particular application. The case also affects the article of the nominee.
Most nouns are used together with an article. However, there are some exceptions where no article is cited. Moreover, main words in the singular and plural can be used, the exceptions being pluralitarianism and singulariatantum.