Step 03: Grammar - How to Learn the German Articles II - Helpful Signals

Hacking the German Articles

You need to nail the article if you want to sound proper and smart. If you don‘t want to sound like that, that‘s fine. You might still want to read the following paragraphs so that at least you have a choice.

Article Hack One

The German article can be recognized in let‘s say 25% of the cases even without understanding the word. All you have got to do is to learn three magic words. They are difficult words but with a bit of practice you‘ll get by:

die Heit-ung-keit-ei-schaft-ion-ie-tät-ik+ur+e
das Tum-chen-ma-ment-um-lein+nis
der Ig-ling-or-ismus+er

These three words consist of the most popular word-endings that give away the article of a specific word. A few examples should make that clear:

Käfig ends in -ig and shows you that it needs the article der.
chen ends in -chen which tells you that it needs das.
heit ends in -heit meaning that it is needs die.

Learn them by heart by saying them out loud together with their article, as this is what you want to learn. You might also just listen to the lovely song in the next lecture and sing along.

NOTICE: The + sign before a syllable means that the following syllable is not 100% consistent. For example "Butter" ends in +er but is (f). They are still rather 80% reliable which qualifies them to be part of the three magic words.

Share your Thoughts

Also try to explain in your own words what you have learned in this lesson.