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I'm trying to learn a bit of German and I'm finding it hard to tell the difference between these four words. They all mean "the", but I don't know when to use the proper one. I know that in German you have genders like masculine, feminine and neuter (neutral?).

Der = Masculine
Die = Feminine
Das = Neuter
But what is Den?

I'd like to have a thorough explanation on when to properly use each word. Thanks! Smile

Also, instead of making a separate topic, I'd like to also know when to use Ein, Eine and Einen. Again, thanks!



Alright. Smile

The 3 definite articles are der, die and das. They are used for masculine, feminine singular nouns. However, only when they are in nominative.

There are four cases a noun can be in that solely depend on the way it is used in the sentence.

Nominative: Who? (active)
Genitive: Possessive
Dative: Whom?
Accusative: Who? (passive)

All cases exist for singular and plural nouns.

Den is the accusative form of the masculine definite article.

Ein is the indefinite article for singular neuter nouns, the same for Eine but for feminine. Einen is the accusative for singular masculine nouns.


The man goes home. // Der Mann geht nach Hause.
We use der because "Mann" is a masculine noun and stands in nominative. Who actively does something? The man.

The woman is in the kitchen. // Die Frau ist in der Küche.
We use die because "Frau" is a feminine noun.

The poem is nice. // Das Gedicht ist schön.
We use das because "Gedicht" is a neuter noun.

I don't like this guy. // Den Typen mag ich nicht.
Since the person "ich" is in nominative, "Typen" can't be in nominative. We ask "whom don't we like?" The guy. So we've got an accusative noun and use den.

I would like to have another house. // Ich hätte gerne ein anderes Haus.
"Haus" is accusative, neuter and indefinite so we use ein.

...and so on...

Check out the table(s) on wikipedia about the definite and indefinite articles:

Last edited by Bully@WiiPlaza on 4/30/2015, 8:12 am; edited 3 times in total



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I'm in german 2 right now cause i have to take 2 years of a language. I'm dropping that class next year. Currently we're learning about how to ask for items in dativ form and whatnot. We saw a video today and they were showing the school lunches in germany, that shit looks 1000x better then what they feed us here.


TheDetonator wrote:We saw a video today and they were showing the school lunches in germany, that shit looks 1000x better then what they feed us here.
Lmao, that might be true because our food is alright while it sucks in other countries like England! My sister has been to the US and she said the food wasn't good, lol. Neutral


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