How do nouns form their plural?

The plural formation of German nouns

For what level is this blog article written?
This article on the topic of "The plural formation of German nouns" is aimed at everyone who speaks German from the Level A2 learn.

Basics about the plural German nouns:

In this article we introduce you to the plural formation of German nouns.
There are five basic rules for putting nouns in the plural in German.
Unfortunately, there are also some exceptions to these plural forms. We will present these to you in another article.

The plural of the article in German:
The definite article in the nominative is always “die” in all plural forms!
It doesn't matter whether the grammatical gender of the noun is masculine, feminine or neuter.

1. Rule of the German plural formation: The plural ending -e

A plural ending is often used in the following cases -e:

  • male, monosyllabic Nouns: the table → the tablee the pen → the pene
  • masculine nouns ending in -ling end: the cowardlyling → the cowarde
  • monosyllabic, female Nouns: the addiction → the addictione

2. Rule of the German plural formation: The plural on -n or -en

This plural ending occurs mainly with feminine nouns!

  • Female nouns end in the plural in -nif they end in the singular ...
    ... one vocal end up:
    the idee → the idean
    the envelopee → the shelln
    ... on -he or -el end up:
    the Fedhe → the springn
    the amsel → the blackbirdn
  • If the feminine noun ends in -ouch or -egg, you need the ending - in the pluralen:
    the FRouch → the womanen
    the hypocrisyegg → the hypocrisyen
  • The same pattern is followed when using feminine nouns on you Consonants end up:
    the performanceG → the performanceen
    the doorr → the dooren

With some male You also need the ending on -n.
These are mostly nouns that describe a living being.
the boy → the boyn
the lion → the lionn

3. Rule of the German plural formation: The ending -er

There are German nouns whose plural can be identified by adding the ending -he forms. These include predominantly monosyllabic, neuter Nouns.

With these words, the vowel usually becomes the umlaut.
So "a" becomes ä, "u" becomes "ü" and "o" becomes "ö".

the house → the HÄushe
the word → the Wörthe
the song → the songhe

End masculine nouns with -he, then you also need an umlaut here.
the man → the MÄnnhe
the forest → the WÄldhe

4th rule for the German plural formation: The ending -s

Singular nouns end in "a“, „i“, „O"Or"u", So their plural form ends mostly in"s“.
the grandpa → the grandpas
the car → the cars
the taxi → the taxis
This is particularly the case with foreign words.
The plural of many abbreviations is formed according to the same scheme:
the truck → the trucks

The purpose of this blog entry is to give you an initial overview of the various plural forms. Unfortunately, there are exceptions to all of these rules.
To make it easier for you to learn the plural forms, you will find an exercise on the various plural endings, as well as articles in which we explain the umlaut changes in vowels and exercises on the various words whose endings do not change in the plural.