Content in this post
1. Definition of an article
2. The categories of german articles with examples
3. The factors that determine the correct usage of german articles
4. How to make sentences with the articles correctly
Table of content for german articles

An “Artikel” as it is called in deutsch, is a single entity that is used to indicate a noun by being either specific or generalizing. There are four categories of articles in German, namely;

  • Definite articles
  • Indefinite articles
  • Negation articles
  • Possessive articles

In other to successfully understand the usage of the german articles, your knowledge of the two factors below is required;

  • Gender of the noun
  • The grammatical case of the noun

As a result of German having three gender classification of singular nouns (Masculine, Feminine and Neuter) and one classification of Plural nouns (which is the multiple of all singular nouns), there are four ways in total in which the examples of the German articles are translated first. What this means is that, for instance; “The” which is the definite article, first of all has four translations of each grammatical case in deutsch. The usage of these four categories of articles is determined by the four grammatical cases in German.

All german articles

Bestimmte Articles

Definite articles also called bestimmte Artikel in German are used to specify a noun. In other words, it makes it easy for a particular noun to be identified amongst other dissimilar nouns. The definite article in English is “the”. For instance “I want the bag”. What this means is that there are several items to be picked from but there is probably just one bag that you are pointing at or desiring. Unlike English language that has just one definite article, German definite articles are many. That means there are several translations for “the” in German. The definite articles are listed below.

CasesMas.Fem.Neu.Plu.
Nom
Akk
Dat
Gen
Der
Den
Dem
Des
Die
Die
Der
Der
Das
Das
Dem
Des
Die
Die
Den… n
Des
Bestimmte/definite articles for all four grammatical cases
Usage
1. The cat is sleeping.—— die Katze schläft.

2. The cat is searching for the mouse.—— die Katze sucht die Maus.

3. The woman bakes bread for the children.—— die Frau bäckt den Kindern* Brot.

4. I am buying a car for the man’s brother.—— ich kaufe dem Bruder des Mannes ein Auto.
Sentences with the definite articles

Unbestimmte Articles

Indefinite articles otherwise called unbestimmte Artikel in deutsch, are used to pick a noun randomly. In other words, there are several similar items to be picked from. The indefinite articles in English are “a, an or any”. For example; “I want a book”.

CasesMas.Fem.Neu.Plu.
Nom
Akk
Dat
Gen
Ein
Einen
Einem
Eines
Eine
Eine
Einer
Einer
Ein
Ein
Einem
Eines



unbestimmte/indefinite articles for all four grammatical cases
Usage
1. A man is coming.—— ein Mann kommt.

2. A woman is eating an apple.—— eine Frau isst einen Apfel 🍏.

3. A pupil is buying an umbrella for a teacher.—— ein Schüler kauft einem Lehrer einen Regenschirm ☔️.

4. He has the eyes of a girl.—— er hat die Augen eines Mädchens.
Sentences with the indefinite articles

Negation Articles

Negation articles are used to express refusal or denial. The negative articles in English are; no, not, not a & not any.

CasesMas.Fem.Neu.Plu.
Nom
Akk
Dat
Gen
Kein
Keinen
Keiner
Keines
Keine
Keine
Keiner
Keiner
Kein
Kein
Keinem
Keines
Keine
Keine
Keinen… n
Keiner
Negation articles for all four grammatical cases in german
Usage
1. No man is an island.—— kein Mensch ist eine Insel.

2. I don’t have an appointment .—— ich habe keinen Termin.

3. The woman is not helping any child.—— die Frau hilft keinem Kind.
Sentences with the negation articles

Possessive Articles

Possessive articles are used to express ownership. This articles are often referred to by other writers or bloggers as possessive adjectives but I call them articles because that’s what they are. Most especially because all articles are actually adjectives so I don’t think there’s need to say this alone in particular is an adjective which makes it confusing for readers. Their usage is quite organized. The possessive articles in German are shown in the picture below.

Contrasting subject pronounPossessive ArticleEnglish article
ich
du
er
sie
es
wir
ihr
sie
Sie
mein
dein
sein
ihr
sein
unser
euer
ihr
Ihr
my
your
his
her
its
our
your
their
your
possessive articles for all four grammatical cases

Possessive articles in german always have endings. It is important to first of all study and memorize their stems and thereafter add the declension where necessary in each grammatical case. The choice of the ending is dependent on two factors which are;

  • The gender classification of the noun
  • The grammatical case of the noun
CasesMas.Fem.Neu.Plu.
Nom
Akk
Dat
Gen

en
em
es
e
e
er
er


em
es
e
e
en… n
er
german possessive articles end-declension
Usage
1. I ate my brother’s food.—— ich habe das Essen meines Bruders gegessen.

2. My father is an engineer 👷‍♂️.—— mein Vater ist Ingenieur.

3. She took his umbrella.—— sie hat seinen Regenschirm genommen.

4. Susan is buying a gown for her daughter.—— Susan kauft ihrer Tochter ein Kleid.

5. I have your cell phones.—— ich habe eure Handys 📱📱.

6. Your boyfriend is coming.—— euer Freund kommt. (what this means is that two or more people share one boyfriend)

7. The school is sending a letter to your parents.—— die Schule schickt euren Eltern einen Brief.
Sentences with the possessive articles

One thought on “HOW TO UNDERSTAND THE GERMAN ARTICLES (der,die,das)

Leave a Reply