die Schule


A new school year started this week, so I thought ‘school’ would be a great topic for our ‘German on Thursday’ post.

As most of you know, the Germans love to use compound nouns (words consisting of more than one noun). In English they usually stay as two (or more) words, like ‘school bus’ whereas in German they are stuck together ‘Schulbus’. The gender of those words always depends on the last word within that noun, so Schulbus consists of  die Schule + der Bus = der Schulbus.

So, in the following list of school words the gender is always feminine, because these words end in …schule.

die Abendschule – evening classes
die Berufsschule – vocational school
die Fahrschule – driving school
die Ganztagsschule – all-day school
die Gesamtschule – comprehensive school
die Grundschule – primary school
die Hauptschule – secondary school
die Hundeschule – dog school
die Musikschule – music school
die Polizeischule – police academy (training college)
die Realschule – secondary school (up to GCSE equivalent)
die Sonntagsschule – Sunday school
die Sprachschule – language school
die Tanzschule – dancing school

Whereas in the following list the gender varies because the words begin with ‘Schul…’ but end with a different word:

der Schulanfang – first day at school, beginning of term
der Schuldirektor – principal
der Schulhof – schoolyard, playground
der Schulschluss – end of school
der Schulschwänzer – truant (also plural)
der Schulweg – way to school

die Schulpflicht – compulsory education
die Schultasche – schoolbag
die Schulbücherei – school library
die Schulordnung – school rules
die Schulstunde – lesson
die Schultüte – school cone (for 1st day at school, see ‘My first day at school‘)

das Schulbrot – sandwich eaten during break
das Schulfach – school subject
das Schuljahr – school year
das Schulorchester – school orchestra
das Schulzeugnis – school report

plural: die Schulferien – school holidays

And if you still go to school (as a student OR teacher), you might like to have a German timetable. On the Stundenplan-Designer Website you can make your own. This is one I made:


One Response

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *