Einheit 2.2 (online)

presentation icon Mehr Gegenstände im Seminarraum. Here are more items in the classroom or your home office. Learn these words as you will need them in the upcoming activities. Listen and work your way through the presentation.

H5P activity icon Übung 1. Drag the noun to the correct article. Review the vocabulary learned in Einheit 2.1 before you begin this activity. 


grammar icon Grammatik

Definite and Indefinite Articles

German uses three definite articles, “der” (masculine), “die” (feminine), or “das” (neuter), all meaning “the”, to show the gender of a noun. As we recommended in Einheit 1.10, we strongly encourage you to memorize the corresponding definite article with each new noun you learn.

There are also indefinite articles in German, meaning “a” or “an” in English, for the three grammatical genders: “ein” (masculine), “eine” (feminine), and “ein” (neuter). Obviously, there is no indefinite article for the plural (just like in English, you couldn’t say “a books”).

Singular Plural
masculine der Tisch

ein Tisch

die Tische


feminine die Lampe

eine Lampe

die Lampen


neuter das Buch

ein Buch

die Bücher


der (m.)  –> ein      die (f.) –> eine      das (n.) –> ein       die (pl.) –> ∅

In German, when stating someone’s nationality, place of residence or occupation no indefinite article is used.

Fatih Akin ist Deutscher.        Fatih Akin is a German.

Maren ist Studentin.               Maren is a student.

Ich bin Berliner.                       I am a Berliner.

[Remember when J.F. Kennedy visited Berlin in 1963, he said: “Ich bin ein Berliner.” Had he learned German with us, he would have known not to use the indefinite article. Literally, he said “I’m a jelly donut”. However, the historical significance of his statement, though not entirely correct, was not lost on the people of Berlin.]


H5P activity icon Übung 2. Time to practice the definite and indefinite articles. Have you memorized the gender of the nouns we have been learning?  (Reminder: If you get it wrong you can correct it right away. Just continue typing in the “red” box to make your correction.)


grammar icon Grammatik

Negation with “kein”

There are several ways to express negation in German. Look at the following three sentences:

Ist das ein Tisch? Nein, das ist kein Tisch.

Ist das eine Lampe? Nein, das ist keine Lampe.

Sind das Amerikaner? Nein, das sind keine Amerikaner, das sind Kanadier.

The negative form of the indefinite article “ein” is “kein” (for masculine and neuter) and the negative form of the indefinite article “eine” is “keine” (for feminine). There is also a plural form “keine“. In English, they mean “not a”, “not any”, “no”.

masculine ein –> kein
feminine eine –> keine
neuter ein –> kein
plural ∅ –> keine

If you are not negating a noun preceded by an indefinite article (“ein“/”eine“) in the sentence, you use “nicht” (not). The “nicht” goes in front of the element you want to negate, for example:

Die Wand ist nicht weiß. 

Monique wohnt nicht in Deutschland. 

When you don’t want to negate a particular word or expression, you place “nicht” at the end of the sentence. 

Heute regnet es nicht

Stefan kommt auch nicht

Nicht” is much more complicated to use than “kein” and you will continue to see examples of where to place it in a sentence in the next few units.

H5P activity icon Übung 3

grammar icon Grammatik

Plural Forms of Nouns

screenshot of dict.cc showing where to find the plural form (right beside the noun in the singular)

In English, most plurals are formed by adding an “-s” or “-es” to the noun (e.g., students, classes, pens), although there are some irregular plural forms in English (e.g., women, children, geese).

Forming the plural of nouns in German is a bit more complicated than in English. There are several rules one could memorize, but that wouldn’t account for the exceptions. We recommend that you learn the plural form of each noun when you are learning the noun itself: das Bücherregal, die Bücherregale.

Some dictionaries (like dict.cc as shown in the screenshot) write out the plural forms. Other dictionaries only indicate the plural form by abbreviations; you need to understand how to form a plural when you see those abbreviations, for example:

die Lampe, -n  (this means: you just add -n to the noun; die Lampen is the plural form)

das Fenster, – (this means: you don’t add an ending to the noun; die Fenster is the plural form)

die Mutter, -¨  (this means: you don’t add an ending to the noun, just the Umlaut on the vowel; die Mütter is the plural form)

internet search icon Online Wörterbuch. Use the online dictionary dict.cc to look up the plural forms of the following nouns. Put in the German word in order to get the plural form indicated as above. Or, if you put in an English word (if you need a translation first), click on the German translation provided and you will get the plural form on a separate page.

Be sure to write down the forms as you will need them in the quiz.

der Computer die Wand das Tablet der Bleistift die Uhr
der Stuhl das Papier die Tafel das Auto das Haus

external link icon Wortschatz in Quizlet:


Seminarraum (plurals)


Quiz icon Was wissen Sie jetzt? Klicken Sie hier für Quiz 2.2.

Extra Practice (optional):

video icon Deutschtrainer
If you want to practice vocabulary from todays lesson, click on the topic below. Watch the video and then click on “start” under the video and do the exercises.
Describing items

video icon German Grammar Review
Click on thi
s link if you have any questions or want more examples of “Das ist… /Das sind…“.

video icon Nicos Weg
If you would like extra practice “naming objects”, click on the
link and watch the video. Then click on “start” under the video and do the exercises.

Media Attributions


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