The plural in German can take the endings n/en, e, r/er, s, or no ending at all.


die Geldscheine

die Münzen

das Geld (no plural)

Here we have made a summary of which plural endings tend to go with which word endings. However, there are many exceptions.

Plural Ending n/en

  • masculine nouns with the endings e, ent, and, ant, ist, or
    der Student – die Studententhe student – the students
  • feminine nouns with the endings e, in, ion, ik, heit, keit, schaft, tät, ung
    die Nation – die Nationenthe nation – the nations

    To note: in the case of feminine nouns that end in in, the “n” is doubled

    die Lehrerin – die Lehrerinnenthe teacher – the teachers
  • With foreign words that end in ma, um, us, we usually replace the noun ending in the plural with en.
    das Thema – die Thementhe topic – the topics

Plural Ending e

  • masculine nouns with the endings eur, ich, ier, ig, ling, ör
    der Friseur – die Friseurethe hairdresser – the hairdressers
  • many single-syllable feminine nouns (plural takes an umlaut)
    die Hand – die Händethe hand – the hands

Plural Ending r/er

  • many single-syllable neuter nouns (plural often takes an umlaut)
    das Wort – die Wörterthe word – the words
  • To note: feminine nouns never form the plural with r/er.

Plural Ending s

  • masculine, feminine, and neuter nouns with the endings a, i, o, u, y
    der Opa – die Opasthe grandpa – the grandpas
    das Auto – die Autosthe car – the cars
    die Mutti – die Muttisthe mum – the mums
    das Hobby – die Hobbysthe hobby – the hobbies
  • family names
    die Lehmanns (= the Lehmann family)

No Plural Ending

  • masculine nouns with the endings el, en, er
    der Löffel – die Löffelthe spoon – the spoons
  • neuter nouns with the endings chen, lein
    das Mädchen – die Mädchenthe girl – the girls

Singular or Plural

  • Most nouns can be used in the singular and the plural.
    der Geldschein – die Geldscheinethe banknote – the banknotes
    die Münze – die Münzenthe coin – the coins
  • Some nouns tend to be used only in the singular.
    das Geldthe money, der Hungerthe hunger, die Milchthe milk

    There is a plural form, “die Gelder”, but this has a different meaning.

  • Some nouns are used only in the plural.
    die Elternthe parents, die Leutethe people, die Ferienthe holidays

Show comments »

Leave a message