GRMN 102
Kapitel 5

Compound Nouns in German

German allows for two or more words to be put together to form a new word.
These are called "compound nouns."

                       Beispiel:        (die) Donaudampfschifffahrtskapitänsgesellschaft

Often, you are able to figure out the meaning of a word by breaking it down into its constitutive parts.

                        (die) Donau = Danube (the river)
                        (die) Dampfschifffahrt = steam navigation
                        (der) Kapitän = captain
                        (die) Gesellschaft = society

                         (die) Donauschifffahrtskapitänsgesellschaft  =  the society of captains of
                                                                                              steamship companies on the Danube

Try dividing up the compound nouns from the Porträt on S. 156:

                        Menschenrechte         =     Menschen         +     Rechte             =   human rights

                        Konzentrationslager   =                             +                            =

                        Weltkrieg                  =                             +                            =

                        Messestadt                =                             +                            =

                        Industriemesse           =                            +                            =

                        Weltausstellung          =                            +                            =


The only hard and fast rule you must remember with compound nouns is that it is the last word in the compound noun that governs the gender and the plural of the entire word.

            Guess at the genders and meanings of the following nouns!

                        _____         Badehose