Dutch Plural

Dutch Plural

If you're trying to learn Dutch Plural which is also called Nederlands, check our courses about Plural and Singular... to help you with your Dutch grammar. Try to concentrate on the lesson and notice the pattern that occurs each time the word changes its place. Also don't forget to check the rest of our other lessons listed on Learn Dutch. Enjoy the rest of the lesson!

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Dutch Plural

Learning the Dutch Plural is very important because its structure is used in every day conversation. The more you master it the more you get closer to mastering the Dutch language. But first we need to know what the role of Plural is in the structure of the grammar in Dutch.

Dutch Plurals are grammatical numbers, typically referring to more than one of the referent in the real world. In the English language, singular and plural are the only grammatical numbers.

In Dutch the most common plural endings are en, s. But there are many others. There are two thing which have to be reckoned with. As a rule no Dutch word can and on a voiced consonant, like b, v or z. Chinese in Dutch is Chinees, its plural however is Chinezen with a z, but since z is voiced it has to be changed to its voiles counter part s.

The other rule concerns long and short vowels. A long vowel is one pronounced in front, a short one is pronounce at the back of the mouth (Arabic also has long and short vowels, but that has nothing to do with the place where it is pronounced ending on a vowel the vowel is always pronounced as a long vowel, however in a closed syllable one ending on a consonant the vowel is pronounce short. If in a closed vowel but with the duration!).

The rule is that in a open syllable that is one you want to have it pronounced long you have to write the vowel twice, like in man (a man) and maan (moon). Now given the word Chinees to make it plural you add en behind it giving Chineesen, but this is are two open syllable followed by a closed one Chi-nee-sen, so we have to write Chi-ne-sen. Finally the s is now voiced so we have to change it to a z giving Chinezen. Here are some examples:

English PluralDutch Plural
PluralMeervoud
my bookmijn boek
my booksmijn boeken
our daughteronze dochter
our daughtersonze dochters
I'm coldIk heb het koud
we're coldWij hebben het koud.
his chickenszijn kippen
their chickenhun kip

As you can see from the example above, the structure of the Plural in Dutch has a logical pattern. Locate the Plural above and see how it works with the rest of the sentence in Nederlands.

Grammar Tips:

While in English, the plural is formed by adding (s) to the singular form. In Dutch, to form the plural of nouns we add (-s, ‘s or –n) to words ending in a vowel and (-en) to words ending in a consonant. In general, the adjective’s ending is not changed. Here are some examples:

 

Een meisje (a girl) becomes: meisjes (some girls)

Een hond (a dog) becomes : honden (some dogs)

Een vrouw (one woman) becomes: vrouwen (some women)

Dit is mijn rode auto. (this is my red car) becomes: Dit zijn mijn rode autos (these are my red cars)

Een dak (a roof) becomes: daken (roofs) [here the pronunciation of the “a” becomes long]

 

This applies to most nouns and to most adjectives in Dutch.

There are exceptions, where the vowel of a single syllabel noun changes in the plural. Some examples:

Schip (a ship) becomes: schepen (ships)

Lid (a member) becomes : leden (members)

 

A second group of exceptions are nouns with a double vowel, where, as a rule, in the plural form, one vowel is dropped. Here are some examples:

School (a school) becomes : scholen (schools)

Boot (a boat) becomes : boten (boats)

Schaap (a sheep) becomes : schapen (sheep)

Stad (a city) becomes : steden (cities)

 

For some nouns the ending consonant is being doubled for the plural. A few examples :

Een kat (a cat) becomes : katten (cats).

De fles (the bottle) becomes : de flessen (the bottles).

 

For some nouns the ending consonant is being altered for the plural. A few examples :

Een doos (a box) becomes : dozen (boxes).

Een neef (a cousin) becomes : neven (cousins).

 


List of Plurals in Dutch

Below is a list of the Plurals and Singulars in Dutch placed in a table. Memorizing this table will help you add very useful and important words to your Dutch vocabulary.

English PluralDutch Plural
alligatoralligator
alligatorsalligators
bearbeer
bearsberen
birdvogel
birdsvogels
bullstier
bullsstieren
catkat
catskatten
cowkoe
cowskoeien
deerhert
many deerveel herten
doghond
dogshonden
donkeyezel
donkeysezels
eaglearend/adelaar
eaglesarenden/adelaars
elephantolifant
elephantsolifanten
giraffegiraffe
giraffesgiraffen
goatgeit
goatsgeiten
horsepaard
horsespaarden
lionleeuw
lionsleeuwen
monkeyaap
monkeysapen
mousemuis
micemuizen
rabbitkonijn
rabbitskonijnen
snakeslang
snakesslangen
tigertijger
tigerstijgers
wolfwolf
wolveswolven

Plural and Singular have a very important role in Dutch, therefore they need very special attention. Once you're done with the Nederlands Plural, you might want to check the rest of our Dutch lessons here: Learn Dutch. Don't forget to bookmark this page.


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