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Meaning and gender

 
 
In general, the gender of a noun cannot be predicted based on its meaning (see Natural gender and grammatical gender). There are, however, some semantic groups consisting almost entirely of nouns that share the same gender. This is the case with nouns referring to persons and animals and:

Masculine
 
Names of seasons, months and days of the week
der Sommer, der Herbst; der Januar, der März: der Montag, der Mittwoch

Names of points of the compass, types of precipitation and winds
der Osten, der Süden; der Regen, der Schnee, der Hagel, der Nebel; der Föhn, der Passat, der Mistral; but: die Tramontana, die Bise

Names of minerals and types of rock
der Granit, der Basalt, der Schiefer, der Quarz, der Gneis

Car brand names
der Mercedes, der BMW, der Renault, der Saab, der Toyota, der Lada

Feminine
 
Many names of trees and flowers
die Ulme, die Eiche, die Esche, die Tanne, die Palme; but: der Ahorn, der Baobab
Not: compounds with –baum like, e.g. der Apfelbaum, der Affenbrotbaum
die Rose, die Tulpe, die Orchidee, die Geranie, die Nelke, die Lilie

Cardinal numbers used as nouns
die Eins, die Zwei, die Drei, die Sechzehn

Names of ships and aeroplanes
die Titanic, die Achille Lauro, die Hindenburg, die Boeing 707, die DC10; but: der Airbus

Neuter
 
Most names of chemical elements
das Gold, das Kupfer, das Aluminium, das Eisen, das Neon, das Chlor
 
Names of physical units, music notes and letters
das Ohm, das Kilowatt, das Fis, das Ges, das C, das Z
 
Geographical names that are used without article
(das französischsprachige) Belgien, (das mittelalterliche) Europa, (das moderne) Zürich, (das historische) Rom, (das geheimnisvolle) Bali, (das menschenleere) Alaska
(see Article with proper names)







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