‟ES“ – ‟IT” LIKES THE NEUTER FORMS
|You are going to learn: <Common phrases, <how to express facts with neuter nouns and pronouns, <the third person singular, <a lot of new vocabulary …|
Maybe some of the aspects and the concept of German may sound strange to you – if you compare them to your mother tongue or the English language, for example: But we have to make a strict distinction between the natural gender and the grammatical gender in German! Following a ‟concept of natural gender” all objects, ‟things” would be neuter, and all ‟persons”, animals … depending on their sex would be masculine or feminine. But unfortunately, the German language does not follow this concept! For many reasons – we have to accept that – a table is not neuter but masculine (‟der Tisch” or ‟er”), a bag is not neuter but feminine (‟die Tasche“”or ‟sie”), but a girl or a baby is (‟das Mädchen”, ‟das Baby” or ‟es”)! This may sound illogical, but proves the fact that the German language is a highly elaborated one with a long history, and it has been influenced by different other languages. Last but not least, German is ‟die Sprache der Dichter und Denker” – ‟the language of the poets and thinkers”!
So, you have to take the challenge and study each noun
- with the corresponding article – indicating if it is masculine (‟der”), feminine (‟die”) or neuter (‟das”) and
- with the form of the nominative plural.
The good news is: You are going to find all these forms inside your dictionary supplemented with this information! What does this mean especially for this chapter: For instance, our baby and the sibling are NOT masculine or feminine – whether they are a girl or a boy. The grammatical rule tells us that they are NEUTER (‟it” = ‟es”! Just accept this and you will stay happy ;).
Max, the baby, ‟likes the neuter gender”. This simply means that this chapter focusses on
- the third person singular and the corresponding verb endings (which are highlighted),
- mainly objects with nouns being neuter (highlighted in bold letters and color – remember: the neuter nouns are green!). So, if you look up all these nouns in the dictionary you will find out that all the nouns are ‟das”-Wörter, meaning that they are neuter and follow the neuter declination! I suggest to you to list all these nouns within a category ‟neuter nouns” in your exercise book,
- also the related adjectives and articles are highlighted in green because they are somehow carrying this neuter form, if they are ‟connected” to the neuter noun.
Don´t mind, if you do not exactly UNDERSTAND this concept! I guess that even a lot of German natives and perhaps also teachers don´t! 🙂 Nevertheless, if you are willing to study these sentences by heart, you are going to internalize and recognize important phrases and structures in a very natural way. So, let us find out more about our third person neuter, about Max:
„Es“ (= the third person singular „It“):
Translations of the sentences above:
His name is Max.
He likes the toys (neuter!).
He comes from Burgenland.
He lives in the house.
He is quite fine.
He has a sibling.
He is of course not married.
He was born last year.
He is drinking the baby bottle.
He goes to the blue child´s bed.
He likes playing with his sweet duckling.
He cannot say the word.
He must learn it.
He may caress his kitten.
It shall give him the paw (Here we have a change of perspective!).
He has seen his sibling.
He speaks with his sibling.
He was in the living room.
He had a car.