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3 Tips For Remembering German Plurals Posted by on Jan 28, 2020 in Grammar, Language

There are a lot of rules in German for forming plurals. In English it is a bit easier, as we mostly just add an “s” onto the end of the word (of course there are still some exceptions). The other day when I was teaching a fitness class, I realized I didn’t know what the plural of “der Hals” (the neck) was and one of my participants told me a great Eselsbrücke (mnemonic) to remember it! This inspired me to write this post for you.

Tip 1: Use Eselsbrücken

Eselsbrücken (literally translates to: donkey bridges) are mnemonics to help you remember certain things. Here is the one that I got told, for the plural of “the neck”:

Die Gans hat einen Hals, die Gänse haben Hälse.

Translates to: the goose has a neck, the geese have necks.

Here you not only remember one plural word, but two: “die Gänse” and “die Hälse“. Here is another post on Eselsbrücken if you want to learn more.

Tip 2: When plural, all genders turn to “die” in the nominative and accusative case

For example:
der Mann                                die Männer
(the man)                                  (the men)
das Brot                                  die Brote
(the bread)                             (the bread – plural)
der Stuhl                               die Stühle
(the chair)                                (the chairs)
die Pflanze                            die Pflanzen (note that “die” stays the same)
(the plant)                               (the plants)

Tip 3: Most feminine nouns end with -n, -en or -nen when plural

For example:
die Frau                                 die Frauen
(the woman)                          (the women)
die Toilette                           die Toiletten
(the toilet)                                (the toilets)
die Katze                                die Katzen
(the cat)                                    (the cats)
die Bäckerin                           die Bäckerinnen
(the female baker)                 (the female bakers)

 

I hope these three easy tips were helpful. I will write another post on plurals with some more tips, regarding the masculine and neutral nouns soon.

Thank you for reading,

Larissa

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About the Author: Larissa

Hello I'm Larissa. I live in Germany and I am half German and half English. I love sharing my passion for Germany with you through my posts! Apart from writing posts I teach fitness classes in Munich.


Comments:

  1. Jeffrey Ingber:

    Delighted to encounter your website. I am looking forward to learning German, and learning, as part of the process, from your instruction.

    • Larissa:

      @Jeffrey Ingber Hi Jeffrey,

      Thanks for reading the blog! I hope you enjoy learning German just as much as we enjoy writing these posts for you 🙂

      Larissa


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