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2.02. Zero Article German Grammar

2.02. Zero Article German Grammar

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WHAT IS THE ZERO ARTICLE?

In general nouns are preceded by an article. But there are exceptions. In

some cases no article is used. When no article is used, we call that the zero
article.

USE OF THE ZERO ARTICLE

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OHNE WRTERBUCH!

The Indefinite Article in the Plural Form:


Dort steht ein Auto.

Dort stehen Autos.


Hast du einen Stift mitgebracht?
Hast du Stifte mitgebracht?
Like in English there is no plural of the indefinite article Unspecified things

get no articles if they are plural (= Zero Article).

For names of people and companies that dont


have an adjective in front of them

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Ich arbeite mit Max.

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Ich arbeite mit dem arroganten Max.

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Ich arbeite bei Siemens.

For cities, continents, and most countries that


dont have an adjective in front of them
Er kommt aus Berlin.

Deutschland liegt in Europa.


But:
Ich komme aus der Schweiz.(die Schweiz is an exception that always
requires an article)

Er kommt aus dem schnen Berlin.

Book Recommendation

After size, weight, or number descriptions


Ich mchte bitte eine Tasse Tee.

Die Brauerei braut jeden Tag 10.000 Liter Bier.


Ich htte gern 100g Mortadella.
Ich mchte gern 10 Eier.

For nationalities and languages


Olga ist Russin.

Sie will Deutsch lernen.


Pedro ist Spanier.

Er spricht schon Deutsch.

For professions, when using werden, sein,


als
Olga ist Architektin.

Jan arbeitet als Deutschlehrer.

Who is teaching?

Pedro will Ingenieur werden.

But:Der Arzt macht einen Fehler.(Theperson himself is in the focus not the
profession in general.)

For materials and substances used in a general


context

Materials and substances means things like milk, paper, water, iron, gold,

Mein Schreibtisch ist aus Holz.

Papier wird aus Holz hergestellt.

But: Das Papier im Drucker ist alle. (Specifically your paper. We talk
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ADVICE FOR THE ZERO ARTICLE

learning

tool.

It

provides

clear

Grammar explanations and exercises

that are accessible to all. The site is still


being developed. Soon it will also offer

dictation, grammar, and vocabulary


building

exercises,

in

addition

to

vocabulary lists and explanation clips.


Please keep checking on our progress.

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There are many rules that look quite complicated at first glance.
But: Most languages have a zero article. For example, the rules for the

German and English zero article are 99% the same. German is different from

Latin languages in that they have an indefinite plural article. But the rest is all
the same! So check it in your own language. The rules are probably similar!

FURTHER INFORMATION:

Der, die, or das? How to determine the correct article: The German
Gender

Too many rules for you? Guess 75 percent of all articles correctly without a
dictionary: The Article Trick

When do we use definite and indefinite articles ? Definite and indefinite


Articles.

Nominative, Accusative, Dative or Genitive? Overview of all German


cases:Cases The Four German Cases

More articles:Possessive Articles and the Negative Articlekein


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