The German Plural

The Plural – Introdution

Good news first:

In plural you don´t have to decide between masculine, feminine, or neuter anymore: it´s always feminine.

Bad news:

There are different plural endings: “n/en”, “r/er”, “e” and “s”. There is even the possibility that the noun doesn´t change at all; you just have to change the article. And again: there is no universal rule that works in all cases.


It is best to write the plural form together with the noun on another line in your vocabulary list.

Plural with “n/en”

Masculine nouns that end in „ent“, „ant“, „and“, „or“, „ist“:

  • der Student – die Studenten
  • der Polizist – die Polizisten

Feminine nouns that end in „in“, „ion“, „ik“, „ung“, „tät“, „schaft“, „keit“, „heit“:

  • die Universität – die Universitäten
  • die Organisation – die Organisationen

99% of all nouns that end in „e“:

  • die Falsche – die Flaschen
  • die Tasse – die Tassen


Warning! For nouns that end in „in“, the „n“ is doubled

Example: „die Kellnerin“ – „die Kellnerinnen


Plural with “e”

Many masculine and neuter nouns:

  • der Baum – die Bäume
  • der König – die Könige

Many one-syllable feminine nouns:

  • die Nacht – die Nächte
  • die Hand – die Hände

Warning! For feminine nouns with a, o, u, always add an umlaut (ä, ö, ü).

For masculine nouns, usually add an umlaut (but not always).

Plural with “r/er”

›Many neuter, one-syllable nouns:

  • das Haus – die Häuser
  • das Kind – die Kinder

›In plural, an umlaut is usually added.

Warning! Feminine nouns NEVER have the ending „r“/“er“ for the plural form.

Plural with “s”

All nouns that end in a, i, o, u oder y:

  • das Sofa – „die Sofas
  • das Auto – die Autos
  • die Omi – die Omis
  • das Hobby – die Hobbys

Many foreign words:

  • das Team – die Teams
  • der Jobs – die Jobs

Family names:

  • die Meiers (= Familie Meier)
  • die Müllers (= Familie Müller)

Plural without an ending

If we don´t add an ending a, o and u usually require an umlaut

masculine und neuter words with the endings “-el”, “-er” and “en”

  • der Apfel – die Äpfel
  • der Vater – die Väter
  • das Brötchen – die Brötchen

Warning! Feminine nouns ending with “-el” form their plural with “n”.

Example: Die Kartoffel – die Kartoffeln

Plural of foreign words

Words taken from English usually end in „s“ in the plural form.

Words taken from Latin or Greek often have a special form:

  • das Museum – die Museen
  • das Praktikum – die Praktika

No plural form possible

Some words can‘t have a plural form. They have a singular form only:

  • das Obst  →  no plural form possible
  • die Milch  → no plural form possible
  • der Durst  → no plural form possible

No singular form possible

Some words can‘t have a singular form. They have a plural form only:

  • die Leute  →  no singular form possible
  • die Eltern  → no singular form possible
  • die Ferien  → no singular form possible

Further Information:

  • You can find all of the different rules that determine the article in: The German Gender.
  • There are several different articles. I talk about them in Chapter 2: The Articles.
  • How does the article change in the 4 cases? All about declension: The 4 Cases.
  • Some masculine nouns get an extra “n” at the end in accusative, dative and genitive. It´s called: N-Declension




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