Der, die, das - Tricks?

I just had a Live Lesson and one of the exercises was to identify the article before categorizing the word in the correct theme. The part of the the exercise that I struggled with most was identifying the correct article. This is something that I have ALWAYS struggled with, and I usually just play the guessing game. I have even gone to the extent of ignoring the problem and not writing in the article during flashcard study.

I know there are some little tricks to remember the some articles in words, but I cannot remember what they are. I would love to hear (as many as possible) tricks and tips to remember articles!

I did a really useful exercise in one of my live lessons, but I can’t find it now. I wish there were a way to search for key terms in the exercises or the units!


Hey there,

fortunately I did a screenshot of the useful exercise :wink:

Learning the articles can be very frustrating so here are my tips:

  1. Learn the groups shown in the exercise > “die” for flowers, “der” for the months and “das” for colors and so on.

  2. I figured that if the Nomen ends with an “e” its feminine. (Unfortunately this is not a 100% rule here but it helps).

  3. Guessing by logic is often very helpful too, I know there are exceptions but in 80% of the time your guess is right so don’t get discouraged by the 20%.

(I just rearead this and wanted to explain myself a little bit.
What I mean by saying “guessing by logic” is, that often there is a logic explenation for the right article.
For example > der Mann (maskulin) > die Frau (feminine) > das Auto (neuter).
So the struggle here is that we can’t say all “things” have a “das” article e.g. > der Mond, der Tisch, der Stuhl, die Wand, der Boden.
Here I suggest you try making up a "logical"explenation for yourself why this noun has that particular article.
That could be something like > der Computer > it’s a man who inventet it.
Or it could be a story like > der Mond ist der Ehemann von der Sonne (Dativ > die Sonne), seine Frau, die Sonne, wärmt ihn jeden Tag.
(Actually the more you exaggerate the picture the better you will remember it)

  1. The more you apply these rules and use the articles in your every day conversations the more you will develop an intuition which article is right. Practice makes perfect, you got this! :muscle::catbee:


Thanks for the tips, Johan (and for the encouragement :wink:)! This helps a lot.

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This exercise is great, because it gives the students a general idea. I think it should be changed from Level 2.2 to 1.2 or 1.3 (that’s what some students say about it…)

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Here is an updated version of the Die, Der, Das image for those who might find it helpful:



I can feel that this is quite tricky and difficult for German language learners. This is a very good resource with some decent rules I have found and have given to students:


This is basically the technique @johan described, but explained a bit more in depth and with more examples it might give you a better idea how to do it: The superman technique


A good mnemonic I’ve found useful is…

  • Die | heit - ung - keit - ie - shaft - ion - (i)tät - ik+ ur + e
  • Der | ig - ling - or - ismus + er
  • Das | tum - chen - ma - ment - um - lein + nis

One thing I thought I’d mention, now 2 years on in learning German, is that it eventually just sets in. While that doesn’t necessarily help get you past the frustration of trying to figure it out now, I think it’s good to know that it does get easier.

By consuming large amounts of content, you get used to the patterns and start inherently knowing what gender a word is. It changes from something you have to think about to something that you feel.

My suggestion would be to be aware of the genders as you’re reading, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t get it right in the short-term. If you’re having fun and reading things that are interesting to you, you’ll get there.


meiner Meinung nach ist es auch gut, in 2.2 alles wiederholen. Als ich dieser uebung gemacht habe, wusste ich nicht diese Regeln. Es waere zu frueh, finde ich, in 1.2/3.

I think it’s good to review it a bit later. I started Chatterbug around level 2.0 and would have missed this great exercise if it moved. I think it also would have been information overload in 1.2/3. Perhaps you can have it a few times.


I totally agree @neilgrey l