Indefinite or definite?

Das ist eine Tasche.

The indefinite article is used …

  • when we are talking about the type of object or person being referred to in general.
  • when the object or person is not yet known and has not been mentioned before.


Das ist die Tasche von Jenny.

The definite article is used …

  • when talking about a particular object or person that is already known to the speaker or listener.
  • when further information is known about a person or an object, e.g. to whom it belongs.


Grammatical terms in German:

der bestimmte Artikel: The articles der, die, das are definite articles.

der unbestimmte Artikel: The articles ein, eine are indefinite articles.