Help, I don’t know when to use der Teil or das Teil!

Help, I don’t know when to use der Teil or das Teil!

  • Did you know that the German word for part is Teil? There are other words, but in this post we’re looking at Teil.
  • And did you know that Teil can be masculine or neuter?
  • So far so good, lets carry on, did you know that der Teil and also das Teil mean the part?
  • Okay, that’s where the fun begins, because der Teil is something different to das Teil, despite dictionaries telling you that both mean the part.

der Teil

Der Teil is a part of something. It can be a percentage or a piece of something whole. If it was on its own, you would need a different word, as it wouldn’t be a part of something. For example:

  • der Anteil – amount, share, stake in something (if you had all the shares then it wouldn’t be an ‘Anteil’)
  • der Erdteil –  continent, part of the world (cannot be taken off the world)
  • der Landesteil -region, part of a country (if you took it away it wouldn’t be part of that country)
  • der Mittelteil – middle part or section, for example the bridge of a pair of glasses or the middle part of a book)
  • der Stadtteil – district, part of a town (if you took it away, it would be a town or village on its own)
  • der Teil – integrated part of whatever

das Teil

Das Teil is a part of something but is also a piece on its own.

  • das Autoteil – car part, useful as part of the car, but you can buy it on its own
  • das Einzelteil – individual part, useful to complete something but still a part in its own right
  • das Ersatzteil – spare part, can be used to make something complete, but can be bought individually
  • das Oberteil –  a top, item of clothing that you wear on your top half of the body
  • das Puzzleteil – a puzzle piece, used to complete the jigsaw puzzle but can be found on its own at the back of the sofa or inside the vacuum cleaner ☺
  • das Teil – individual piece of something but used to complete something else

A few strange ones:

  • der Bauteil – part of a building, an annex for example
  • das Bauteil – part of a building, component, a roof structure for example
  • das Körperteil – part of the body, should really be ‘der’ as it’s not much use on its own, but is seen an an individual part, so it’s ‘das’
  • das Hinterteil – not ‘der’ as its not seen the the back part of the body, but ‘das’ as  it’s seen as your individual bum, backside, posterior, behind, derriere, whatever you call it!

Other words with ‘Teil’

  • das Teilchen – little part, always neuter because it ends in ‘chen’
  • der Teilnehmer – participant, attendee, masculine because it’s a man. Die Teilnehmerin, if it’s a woman
  • der Teilhaber – (male) partner, associate, shareholder. Die Teilhaberin is female.
  • zum Teil – partly, in part
  • teilweise – partly, in parts, partially
  • teils – partly
  • Teils, teils – So, so. (or a yes & no answer: Are you looking forward to your birthday? I am and I’m not) Freust du dich auf deinen Geburtstag? Teils, teils.
  • teils …, teils …. –  partly … partly … ( teils heiter, teils wolkig. Sunny with cloudy intervals)
  • großenteils – mostly, for the most part
  • größtenteils – largely, mostly
  • meistenteils – mostly, for the most parts
  • einesteils – on the one hand
  • anderenteils – then again
  • meinesteils – as for me

And some verbs:

  • teilen – to share
  • aufteilen – divide/ split something
  • austeilen – hand out, distribute/ deal something
  • mitteilen – to inform, notify
  • verteilen – distribute,give out
  • vierteilen – quarter, divide into four parts
  • zerteilen – divide, cut up
  • zuteilen – assign, allocate

How did you like this post?

Teils, teils? ☺

Well, I think I’ve shared enough with you. Ich glaube, ich habe genug mit euch geteilt.
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