Der Lerner, die Lernerin

How does grammatical gender interact with the actual gender of individual humans sapient entities? Often, a noun that refers to a type of person will have both a masculine and a feminine form.


der Mann

die Frau

the man/woman

der Student

die Studentin

the university student

der Arzt

die Ärztin

the doctor

der Paläoastrobiologe

die Paläoastrobiologin

the paleoastrobiologist

Pretty straightforward! Not all person words follow this pattern, though. For example, das Mädchen is always neuter as a -chen word, even though it refers specifically to girls. Similarly, die Person and der Mensch are feminine and masculine respectively, even though they both just refer to people in general.

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