The name of something (eg. 'table') and the name of an abstract idea (eg. 'illness' or 'dream') are known as nouns. All German courses will require you to learn lists and lists of nouns (mostly for objects in the real world) and they are generally the same basic topics:
Things in your house
Eating and drinking
It is important to learn the nouns of course otherwise you can't say much about the world around you. Since nouns are what we call things there is usually a 1 to 1 mapping of a noun from English to German. The German word for table, for example, is Tisch.
There are two things to know about German nouns that differ to English:
The first rule is easy enough and of course only applies to written German. Don't write 'tisch' write 'Tisch' etc.
The second rule is more difficult for English speakers since English does not often identify nouns by gender although it does occur sometimes. For example when we refer to a ship we often say 'she'. When we refer to a female actor we say 'actress'.
Many other languages use gender for nouns. French always uses a gender - either masculine or feminine. A table in French is 'table' and it has a feminine gender. In German a table ('Tisch') has a gender and it is masculine.
While English sometimes uses gender and French always uses feminine or masculine, German has three genders that are always used - feminine, masculine, and neutral.
There is no way to guess the gender of an object in German, you must simply learn it.
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