„Wer niemals ganze Nachmittage lang mit glühenden Ohren und verstrubbeltem Haar über einem Buch saß…

„Wer niemals ganze Nachmittage lang mit glühenden Ohren und verstrubbeltem Haar über einem Buch saß und las und las und die Welt um sich her vergaß, nicht mehr merkte, daß er hungrig wurde oder fror — Wer niemals heimlich beim Schein einer Taschenlampe unter der Bettdecke gelesen hat, weil Vater oder Mutter oder sonst irgendeine besorgte Person einem das Licht ausknipste mit der gutgemeinten Begründung, man müsse jetzt schlafen, da man doch morgen so früh aus den Federn sollte —

Wer niemals offen oder im geheimen bitterliche Tränen vergossen hat, weil eine wunderbare Geschichte zu Ende ging und man Abschied nehmen mußte von den Gestalten, mit denen man gemeinsam so viele Abenteuer erlebt hatte, die man liebte und bewunderte, um die man gebangt und für die man gehofft hatte, und ohne deren Gesellschaft einem das Leben leer und sinnlos schien — Wer nichts von alledem aus eigener Erfahrung kennt, nun, der wird wahrscheinlich nicht begreifen können, was Bastian jetzt tat.”

― Michael Ende, „Die Unendliche Geschichte“ (Neverending Story)

I’ve started to learn German with an app called duolingo , the thing is they don’t explain the reasons some words are used sometimes and sometimes not for exemple I don’t really understand the difference between das die and der . Could I get any help please? Also keep up your blog it’s amazing

Yes… The der/die/das is one of the most difficult parts for people studying our language. Der is used for masculine nouns, die for feminine, das for neutral. Native speakers know intuitively which one to use — as a student of German, it will be best to memorize the correct article right along with the noun from the very beginning as there are no proper/logical rules for all the words, and I mean that literally. In vocabulary lists to study from, add the articles in front of the nouns and simply memorize the 2 together. At some point, it will stick and you will get a feel for these combinations. There ARE a few guidelines, for example:

The following nouns have the article DER:

Nouns for masculine persons/functions/professions: Vater, Pilot, Arzt;
Names of seasons: Frühling, Sommer, Herbst, Winter;
Names of months: Januar, Juli, Dezember;
Names of days of the week: Montag, Dienstag, Sonntag;
Names of compass directions: Nordwesten, Süden;
Names of precipitations: Regen, Schnee, Hagel;
Names of car brands: Audi, BMW, Mercedes;
Names of trains: IC; ICE
Nouns derived from verbs without suffix: Gang, Fang;
The following categories of nouns have mainly the article der:
Names of alcoholic beverages: Cognac, Wein, Whiskey; but: das Bier;
Names of rivers outside Europe: Amazonas, Nil, Ganges;
Names of mountains: Mont Blanc, Kilimanjaro; but: die Zugspitze;
Furthermore, nouns with the suffixes below have the article der:
–er (nouns derived from verbs): Fahrer, Lehrer;
–ismus: Kapitalismus, Journalismus;
Most of nouns with the following suffixes have the article der:
–ant: Demonstrant, Elefant; but: das Croissant, das Restaurant;
–ling: Lehrling, Schützling; but: das Dribbling, das Bowling;
–ner: Rentner, Schaffner, Zöllner; but: das Banner, die Wiener Wurst;
–or: Motor, Traktor; but: das Gegentor, das Chlor;
Beware: this is applicable only to nouns in singular. All nouns in plural have the article die. Also: diminutives have always the article das: der Kopf → das Köpfchen.

The following nouns have the article DIE:

Nouns for feminine persons/functions/professions: Mutter, Friseuse, Ärztin;
Names of motorcycle brands: Harley Davidson, Yamaha;
Names of planes and ships: Boeing 747, Titanic;
Cardinal numbers: Eins, Drei;
The following categories of nouns have mainly the article die:
Names of plants and trees: Birke, Chrysantheme, Rose;
exceptions: der Ahorn, das Veilchen;
Furthermore, nouns with the suffixes below have the article die:
-falt: Vielfalt;
–heit: Freiheit, Sicherheit;
–keit: Möglichkeit, Schnelligkeit;
–schaft: Freundschaft, Mannschaft;
–t (nouns derived from verbs): Fahrt, Tat;
–ung: Leitung, Zeitung;
Foreign nouns with the suffixes below have the article die:
–ade: Hitparade, Marmelade;
–age: Garage, Passage;
–anz: Eleganz, Dominanz;
–enz: Existenz, Tendenz;
–ik: Kritik, Musik;
–ion: Diskussion, Koalition;
–tät: Identität, Qualität;
–ur: Agentur, Reparatur;
Most of nouns with the following suffixes have the article die:
-e: Grenze, Lampe; but: der Junge, der Friede;
–ei: Abtei, Metzgerei; but: das Ei, der Papagei;
–ie: Diplomatie, Psychologie; but: der Junkie, der Hippie;
–in: Ärztin, Studentin; but: das Benzin, der Harlekin;
Beware: diminutives have always the article das: die Hand → das Händchen.

The following nouns have the article DAS:

Diminutives (–chen, –lein): Kaninchen, Fräulein;
Nouns derived from infinitives: Essen, Schreiben;
Nouns derived from adjectives: Gute, Böse;
Names of colors: Rot, Gelb, Blau;
The following categories of nouns have mainly the article das:

Almost all of the 112 known chemical elements: Aluminium, Kupfer, Uran; 6 exceptions: der Kohlenstoff, der Sauerstoff, der Stickstoff, der Wasserstoff, der Phosphor, der Schwefel;
Names of metals: Blei, Messing, Zinn; but: die Bronze, der Stahl;
Fractions: Drittel (⅓), Viertel (¼); but: die Hälfte (½);
Furthermore, nouns with the suffixes below have the article das:
–ial: Material, Potenzial;
Most of nouns with the following suffixes have the article das:
–ment: Instrument, Parlament; but: der Konsument, der Zement;
–nis: Ergebnis, Tennis; but: die Fahrerlaubnis, die Wildnis;
–o: Auto, Konto; but: die Avocado, der Euro;
–tum: Quantum, Ultimatum; but: der Reichtum, der Irrtum;
–um (nouns of Latin origin): Publikum, Museum, Stadium;
Beware: this is applicable only to nouns in singular. All nouns in plural have the article die.

Words with more Articles: There are also many nouns with more articles. In some cases, the article determines the meaning of the word:

der Band (hardcover book), die Band (music group), das Band (tape);
der Lama (buddhist priest), das Lama (animal);
der Kiwi (bird), die Kiwi (fruit);
Sometimes, two or three articles are possible and can depend on local dialect use or there being no national agreement yet which article to use with Fremdwörtern (words coming from other languages like English, which doesn’t have gendered articles).

Good luck with your language studies and thanks. 🙂

Favorite Germam WordsDie Neugier = literally, “new(s) greed”. :) The tendency to ask questions, to…

Favorite Germam Words

Die Neugier = literally, “new(s) greed”. 🙂 The tendency to ask questions, to explore and to investigate – inquisitiveness and plain curiosity.

Pocahontas by AnnenMayKantereit AnnenMayKantereit is a German…

Pocahontas by AnnenMayKantereit

AnnenMayKantereit is a German rock band from Cologne, which was founded in 2011. They sing in both German and English; a notable feature is the distinctive rough voice of the singer Henning May. Albums: AMK (2013) — Alles Nix Konkretes (2016, went to #1 in the German & Austrian charts and #6 in the Swiss charts).

15 Reasons for Learning German* German has the largest number of native speakers in the European…

15 Reasons for Learning German

* German has the largest number of native speakers in the European Union (far more than English, Spanish, or French).

* German is among the 10 most commonly spoken languages in the world. It is also a Lingua Franca of Central and Eastern Europe.

* 92 Nobel Prizes and counting! 22 Nobel Prizes in Physics, 30 in Chemistry, and 25 in Medicine have gone to scientists from the 3 major German-speaking countries, while many laureates from other countries received their training in German universities. 11 Nobel Prizes in Literature have been awarded to German-language writers, and 7 Germans and Austrians have received the Nobel Peace Prize.

* Germans are world leaders in engineering.

* German and English are similar. Many words in German sound or look the same as equivalent English words, because the 2 languages share the same “grandparent.”

* The German-speaking world has produced some of the most revered filmmakers of the 20th century – from Fritz Lang to Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Wim Wenders, and a generation of transnational directors such as Tom Tykwer and Fatih Akin. German and Austrian filmmakers such as Lang, Billy Wilder, and Ernst Lubitsch also shaped the history of Hollywood.

* German is the language of Arendt, Bach, Beethoven, Bonhoeffer, Brahms, Brecht, Buber, Einstein, Freud, Goethe, Grass, Hegel, Heidegger, Heisenberg, Kafka, Kant, Mahler, Mann, Marx, Mozart, Nietzsche, Planck, Schoenberg, Schubert, Schumann, Wagner, Weber, and hundreds more great philosophers, writers, artists, scientists, and composers. But these days it’s also the language of choice for writers, filmmakers, and thinkers from a wide array of cultural backgrounds, such as Yoko Tawada, Zsuzsanna Gahse, Terézia Mora, Michael Stavarič, and Melinda Nadj Abonji. German isn’t just for “Germans” any more (but actually it never was).

* German is the second most commonly used scientific language in the world.

* Almost 1/5 of the world’s books are published in German, and few of them ever appear in English translation.

* 68% of all Japanese students study German. What do they know that you don’t?

* Many of the Western world’s most important works of philosophy, literature, music, art history, theology, psychology, chemistry, physics, engineering and medicine are written in German and continue to be produced in German.

* Germany is the world’s 2nd-largest exporter.

* The German economy ranks number 1 in Europe and number 4 worldwide. Its economy is comparable to that of all the world’s Spanish-speaking countries combined.

* Germany is home to numerous international corporations.

* Direct investment by Germany in the USA is over 10 billion dollars.

Source: Uni Boston, http://www.bu.edu/wll/home/why-study-german/