Three Kinds of Band: der, die and das

If you happened to be reading a German article about a bracelet that Mick Jagger was wearing while recording the 1965 album Rolling Stones Vol. 2, you could potentially see the word Band appear three different times in single sentence, and yet the word would mean three very different things. That's a pretty unlikely scenario, but aren't you at least a little bit curious about the fact that there is a der, die and das Band?


The masculine noun der Band is probably the least common of the three, and is a term primarily used with publications, such as a volume in a book series.


Seine Arbeit hat er jetzt im Bildband „Werbung gegen Realität" veröffentlicht.

He has published his work in an illustrated volume "Advertising versus Reality.”

Caption 34, Werbung gegen Realität - Kunstprojekt Fertigprodukte

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The plural of der Band is die Bände.


The neuter noun das Band has the largest variety of applications and possible translations: 


Allerdings ist es nicht das erste Band, das in diesem Jahr feierlich durchtrennt wurde.

However, this is not the first ribbon that was ceremoniously cut this year.

Caption 22, Rund um den Flughafen - Direktflug Frankfurt-Houston

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Das wird bei denen auf Band aufgezeichnet.

Because that is then recorded by them on tape.

Caption 57, Frankfurter Flughafen - Flugzeugschlepper

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Rund fünfundsiebzigtausend Exemplare liefen insgesamt vom Band.

Around seventy-five thousand specimens left the assembly line.

Caption 35, Porsche 356 - Der erste Porsche

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Das würde dann halt irgendwelche Bänder kosten da, wenn ich Pech hab'.

That would cost some ligaments then, if I'm unlucky.

Caption 91, Lokalhelden - Mini-Airplane - Part 2

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Note that the plural of das Band is die Bänder. Das Band is also used in a number of compound nouns, such as das Tonband (recording tape), das Fließband (assembly line or conveyer belt), das Armband (bracelet), das Halsband (collar or necklace), das Gummiband (rubber band) and many others. 


And now to return to the Rolling Stones with the feminine noun die Band:


Die Band mit den spröden Songs und den klaren, ehrlichen Texten…

The band with the rough songs and the clear, honest lyrics…

Caption 9, Pankow - Rolling Stones des Ostens

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Und weil die in ganz vielen Bands gespielt haben…

And because they played in a lot of bands

Caption 23, Lokalhelden - Art House - Part 3

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Thus die Band singular becomes die Bands plural, just as in English.


So to simply round it all up:
der Band (die Bände) is mostly about publications; 
— das Band (die Bänder) is mostly about things relating to belts and rubber bands, etc.
die Band (die Bands) is about music groups.


Further Learning
Look at these many examples of compound words containing Band and see if you can find them on Yabla German to see them used in a real world context.

Der, die, or das? Part 3: Neuter Nouns

Der, die, or das? - Part 1: Masculine Nouns

Der, die, or das? - Part 2: Feminine Nouns


To conclude our series on noun endings and gender, let's look at the neuter article das. For neuter nouns, there are really very few patterns that we can rely on. The ending -nis, for example, is often listed as a typical neuter ending, but can just as often signify a feminine noun, as we can see with the words das Ergebnis ("the result") and die Kenntnis ("the knowledge"). 


Das Ergebnis kann sich sehen lassen.

The result speaks for itself.

Caption 32, Das Beauty-Einmaleins - Fingernägel

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Der Fluglehrer hat dann immer,

and the flight teacher always has,

hoffentlich, die Vorausschau und die Kenntnis des Wetters.

hopefully the foresight and the knowledge of the weather.

Caption 29, Lokalhelden - Mini-Airplane

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Endings such as -ing-ment-ma and -um are similarly unreliable. However, there are three types of nouns that we would like to mention.


First, diminutive nouns with the endings -lein or -chen are always neuter. 


Du bist doch bloß zu faul, dich selber um das Mädchen zu kümmern.

You are just too lazy to take care of the girl yourself.

Caption 22, Großstadtrevier - Von Monstern und Mördern

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Also, nouns derived from adjectives that end with -e and nouns derived from infinitives that end with -en are generally neuter. 


Ja, das Gute ist: Es gibt ja hier mittlerweile auch Internet.

Well, the good thing is there is also in the meantime even internet here.

Caption 16, TV Total - Stefan trifft Dirk Nowitzki

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Kleinigkeiten wie das Einkaufen, was man jeden Tag macht...

Little things like shopping that you do every day...

Caption 102, TEDx - Der Supermarkt der Zukunft

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Further Learning
To learn some very specific tendencies for the genders of nouns, consult this list here. But more importantly, start memorizing neuter nouns you find on Yabla German with the article das as an integral part of the word.


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