Tips and tricks for memorising the noun gender in German

Author: Jadranka Bokan

Probably you already know that you could use colors when writing the nouns in your vocabulary book: you could for example write  masculine nouns in blue, feminine nouns in red and neuter nouns in yellow or green.

There are many other ways for memorizing noun gender in German!

Learning by heart signal suffixes for noun genders in German is very cumbersome

These tips and tricks could be very helpful here:

YOU DON’T HAVE TO LEARN THEM ALL!

You should make an effort to memorize noun gender only for those words which have different gender from the same nouns in your mother tongue. Examples: ‘Stuhl’ is masculine in German, but it is feminine in my mother tongue; ‘Tisch’ is masculine in both German and my mother tongue. Thus, I will put an effort into trying to memorize the gender of ‘Stuhl’, while I do not need to lose time for memorizing the gender of ‘Tisch’.

Learning HOW TO LEARN noun gender in German is deliberating

USE SYMBOLS!

You could imagine masculine nouns (objects) with a hat on them, feminine nouns with braids and neuter nouns with diapers.  You get the picture. Feel free to come up with any other similar system.

VISUALIZE!

You could put the nouns with the same gender in some mutual connection or context and create images in your mind. Here is an example: I memorized a hill, a tree, a monkey and an apple all together. Since they are all masculine (der Berg, der Baum, der Apfel, der Affe), I imagined: the tree was on the top of the hill, a monkey sat on the tree and the apple was there too. This helped me remember their gender easier. Drawing on a piece of paper can help here too.

COLORFUL THREADS

Children love using colorful threads. They write words on little pieces of paper and hang them to the appropriate thread: red for feminine, blue for masculine and yellow/green for neuter. The threads can be fixed to some wall or board and new words can be added to them at any time.

If you use some other tricks which you would like to share, please contact me here.

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