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In German there are both definite and indefinite articles. The definite article der, die or das indicates the grammatical gender of a noun. Have students learn the difference between definite and indefinite articles. The article can also be used for upper and lower case letters, for example to identify nouns. The aim of the exercises is also to be able to assign nouns their correct article and gender.

Item in elementary school

The articles (der, die, das, ein, eine) are one of the most important topics in elementary school, which is why they are usually part of German lessons from the 1st grade onwards. In the course of the subsequent grades, articles in the German language should definitely be picked up again and again so that the students can easily memorize the articles. Articles are one of the basics of the German language. It is therefore important that they are practiced. The Learning the article is much more difficult in the German language than in many other languages. In English, for example, only “the” is used as a definite article and only “a” or “an” is used as an indefinite article. Especially in elementary school, articles are often called companions, because articles accompany nouns. The principle of this is very simple:

Definite article:

Certain articles are used when we are talking about something specific or when we want to talk about something that is known.

  • “Der” accompanies male (masculine) nouns: The dog - the dog is playing in the garden.
  • “Die” accompanies female (feminine) nouns: The cat - He sees the cat.
  • “That” accompanies neutral nouns: Das Auto - Then the car stops.

Exceptions are the number (singular, plural: Das Auto - Die Autos) and case (nominative, accusative, etc.).

Indefinite article:

Indefinite articles are used when we have not mentioned something before or when the thing or the person is unspecified.

  • “A” accompanies masculine or neutral nouns: a bird, a table
  • "Eine" accompanies feminine nouns: a cat, a goat

Now it is up to the teacher to bring the articles closer to the students. When asked how children do Dealing with articles There is one tool that can be named above all: pictures. It should be clear to every teacher that most children generally prefer to work with a worksheet full of different pictures than with a sheet full of text. The easiest way is to show the children different pictures and let them find both the definite and the indefinite article on the thing shown.

Exercises and exercises on the topic of articles

It is especially important that students have the Learn difference between definite and indefinite articles. Of course, they should also know and be able to distinguish when which Shape of the article is applied. There are a few here Exercise sheets for articles that you can download for free. To the Learning the article there are all sorts of tasks. Which one is best also depends on the grade level.

One discusses Item in 1st class, pupils can usually only read a little or not yet well, which is why people like to work with pictures here. Often children can see the matter by trying to find out which combination they may recognize from their environment. They notice, for example: that it is called "Das Auto" and not "Die Auto" or "Der Auto", because they are only used to it from their linguistic environment.

On the subject Item in 2nd grade you can work better here. Word chains in particular offer children varied learning. Many words are lined up here and have to be separated. Word strings like “CHEESE CLOCK ROOF SUN” can then be separated into individual words (cheese, clock, chair, roof, sun). Once the pupil has separated the words, he can then assign the corresponding articles to them (the cheese, the clock, the chair, the roof, the sun). These exercise sheets can of course also be used as companions in the 1st or 3rd grade, depending on the expected performance of the children.

Then there are the often used "article before noun" exercises. A word is given and the child has to find the appropriate companion and write it in front of the word. But this is more exciting in fill-in-the-blank. Here the child not only has to put the article in front of nouns, but can also read a story at the same time. Many children find it easier to learn articles when they understand the context of the sentence at the same time.


... Then Max went to his grandma. There he saw the neighbor's cat. It was a black cat ...

Often you can also find themed ones Articles worksheets for printing. Thus you can adapt the texts and topics e.g. to a season or another current topic.

What also helps with learning are the endings of the nouns. For some nouns, the article can be identified by the ending. So we also know that words with the ending -ion are always feminine and are therefore associated with the article “Die” (the function, the action).

Articles in connection with endings

  • Masculine (der): -ig, -or, -ling, - (i) smus
  • Feminine (die): -ung, -keit, -ik, -ion, -schaft, - neit, -ei, - (i) ity
  • Neuter (das): -chen, -tum, -lein, -ment, -ma, -um

This list will help many children to identify the companions correctly.

Articles and prepositions

Of course there is also a connection between Articles and prepositions. Often we do not even notice it, but actually they merge with each other all the time. Instead of saying “I'm going to the bank”, let's just say “I'm going to the bank”. These and many other amalgamations are common in our language today.

The amalgamation of prepositions with articles occurs with these prepositions:

  • at
  • on
  • at
  • by
  • For
  • Behind
  • in
  • above
  • around
  • under
  • of
  • in front
  • to

Besides the many Worksheets for definite and indefinite articles You will of course also find some exercises on prepositions and other types of words here.

Didactic commentary on the topic of articles and companions in primary school

In the Lesson on articles and companions the children learn to always find the right article for the corresponding noun and to use it. You begin to recognize nouns as feminine, masculine or neutral and know how to deal with the noun. They also learn the difference between definite and indefinite articles.

This is particularly useful in later lessons. As already mentioned above, the article shows whether an object, a person or an animal is already known or is being introduced at this moment. No matter what type of text a text should be written about, articles will always be an important part. Articles are used not only here, but also in other teaching units. Especially when it comes to determining sentence components and the students are intensively confronted with words such as “the”, “the” or “whose”, the basic knowledge of the article is always used.

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