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German Grammar - Plurals

Hi German learners! 😊
In this lesson, we are going to learn how to form plurals in German.

Once you've mastered this lesson, take a look at these related pages: Gender, Be Polite, Nouns & Talking About Obligations.

Forming Regular Plurals[edit | edit source]

Most nouns in German have a regular plural form. To form the plural of a noun, usually, you need to add -n or -en at the end of the word. Below are some examples:

German Pronunciation English
Baum (tree) [baʊm] trees
Stadt (city) [ʃtat] cities
Name (name) [naːmə] names
Buch (book) [bʊχ] books

As you can see, the plural form is not always predictable. That is why it is important to memorize the plural forms of nouns and review them regularly. A good way to practice is to use flashcards or quizzes.

Forming Plurals with Umlauts[edit | edit source]

Some German nouns form their plurals by changing the vowel in the stem and adding -e or -er. This process is called umlaut. Umlaut is represented by two dots above the vowel (ä, ö and ü).

Here are some examples of German nouns that form their plurals by umlaut:

German Pronunciation English
Mann (man) [man] men
Kind (child) [kɪnt] children
Haus (house) [haʊs] houses
Fuß (foot) [fuːs] feet

As you can see, the vowel in the stem changes, and -er or -e is added at the end of the word.

Plurals with -s and -es[edit | edit source]

There are also German nouns that form their plurals by adding -s or -es at the end of the word. This usually occurs with nouns that end in -s, -ss, -ß, -x, -z, or -tz.

Here are some examples:

German Pronunciation English
Bus (bus) [bʊs] buses
Großvater (grandfather) [ɡroːsˈfaːtɐ] grandfathers
Straß (street) [ʃtʁaːs] streets
Box (box) [bɔks] boxes

Notice that when the noun ends in -s, -ss, -ß, -x, -z, or -tz, you need to add -es to form the plural. Otherwise, you can simply add -s at the end of the word.

Irregular Plurals[edit | edit source]

There are some German nouns whose plural form does not follow any specific pattern. These words must be memorized separately. Here are some examples:

German Pronunciation English
Ball (ball) [bal] balls
Buch (book) [bʊχ] books
Löwe (lion) [løːvə] lions
Kind (child) [kɪnt] children
Mann (man) [man] men
Frau (woman) [fʁaʊ] women

Although it may seem difficult, it is important to memorize the plural forms of irregular nouns since they are used frequently in German.

Plurals of Compound Nouns[edit | edit source]

Compound nouns are nouns that are formed from two or more words. When forming the plural of a compound noun, usually only the last word of the compound takes the plural ending. Here are some examples:

German Pronunciation English
der Apfelbaum (apple tree) [deːɐ̯ ˈʔapfəlbaʊm] apple trees
das Kinoeintrittskarte (cinema ticket) [das ˈkiːnoˌaɪntʁɪtskaʁtə] cinema tickets
die Hühnersuppe (chicken soup) [diː ˈhʏnɐzʊpə] chicken soups

Dialogue[edit | edit source]

To better understand plurals in German, let's see a dialogue.

  • Person 1: Ich habe einen Hund. (I have a dog.)
  • Person 2: Oh, wie süß! Wie viele Hunde hast du? (Oh, how cute! How many dogs do you have?)
  • Person 1: Ich habe zwei Hunde. (I have two dogs.)

Tips for Learning German Plurals[edit | edit source]

To help you learn German plurals, here are some tips:

  • Practice regularly with flashcards or quizzes.
  • Memorize the plural forms of irregular nouns.
  • Listen to German songs or watch movies or TV shows in German.
  • Find a German-speaking language partner on Polyglot Club to practice conversation and ask questions.
  • Make a list of new words you learn and review them daily.

With practice and patience, you can improve your German grammar skills and form plurals correctly.

Sources[edit | edit source]

➡ If you have any questions, please ask them in the comments section below.
➡ Feel free to edit this wiki page if you think it can be improved. 😎

Videos[edit | edit source]

Predict German Plurals | German with Laura - YouTube[edit | edit source]

THE 5 RULES of The German PLURAL - YouTube[edit | edit source]

Learn German | How to build Plural? | A1 - YouTube[edit | edit source]

Plural Nouns in German - YouTube[edit | edit source]

Other Lessons[edit | edit source]


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