German Nouns

Nouns in German can be either Proper nouns when they refer to a specific entity (like a person, a city or a country) or Common nouns if they refer to everyday objects or abstract concepts.

As opposed to English and other European languages, all German nouns must be capitalized.


German nouns have a masculine, a feminine and a neuter gender, no matter if they refer to people, animals, objects or ideas. Since grammatical gender is arbitrary, the best way to categorize a noun is  observing the article that precedes it:

German Nouns

Study tip

There are, however, some shortcuts to determine the gender of a noun:

German Nouns

The Case System

German nouns change their form depending on their grammatical function in a given sentence. This phenomenon is called declension. Each function is also called a case, and the German language has a four-case system: nominative (subject), accusative (object), dative (indirect object) and genitive (possessive case or a relationship between nouns).


Die Mutter arbeitet.
The mother is working. (subject)

Ich sehe den Mann.
I see the man. (object)

Ich gebe dem Kind ein Buch.
I give a book to the child. (indirect object)

Ich habe den Brief meiner Mutter noch nicht gelesen.
I still haven’t read my mother’s letter. (possessive case)

Sometimes the whole noun change its form, for instance:

Du bist die Liebe meines Lebens
You are the love of my life.   (possessive case)


To know more about German Verbs, learn HERE!

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