All nouns in German have a gender – this is really just a label. They are either masculine (Maskulinum), feminine (Femininum) or neuter (Neutrum). The gender of a noun changes the word for 'the' (definite article) and 'a' (indefinite article).
der Hund (masculine) - the dog
die Katze (feminine) - the cat
das Kaninchen (neuter) - the rabbit
ein Hund (masculine) - a dog
eine Katze (feminine) - a cat
ein Kaninchen (neuter) - a rabbit
There are four cases in German. They show the role of the noun in the sentence.
Nominative (used for the subject of a sentence)
Die Katze hat das Katzenfutter gegessen - The cat ate the food
The cat is the subject as it’s doing the eating
Accusative (used for the direct object of a sentence)
Die Katze hat den Hund gebissen - The cat bit the dog
The dog is the direct object in the sentence as it’s being bitten
Dative (used for the indirect object of a sentence)
Ich gebe dem Mann ein Geschenk - I give the man a present (or – I give a present to the man)
The man is the indirect object of the sentence
Genitive (used to show possession)
Das ist das Zimmer meines Bruders - This is my brother’s room
The room of my brother
Adjectives do not need capital letters in German, even for nationalities. This is different from English, eg in the phrases 'a German car' or 'the German language', the adjective denoting the nationality is capitalised. But in German, there's no need to capitalise the nationality - ein deutsches Auto, die deutsche Sprache. Remember, however, that all German nouns do need to start with a capital letter.
Did you know?
Germany produces and sells by far the largest number of cars in Europe.
Among the most popular makes of German cars driven in the UK, are Volkswagen, BMW, Mercedes, Audi and Porsche.
Volkswagen literally means car of the people and the famous VW Beetle, or Käfer as it is referred to in German, has been in production since 1938.
The car industry is one of the Germany’s biggest employers