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The plural noun is used when people want to describe more than one object, person, animal, event, place or idea. The following endings are used for plural nouns in Dutch:
Most nouns get '-en' at the ending to form the plural. The following rule is used to form plural nouns:
noun + en
|Het bord (the plate)||De borden (the plates)||Ik zet de borden in de kast.||I put the plates in the cupboard.|
|De fiets (the bike)||De fietsen (the bikes)||Er staan fietsen op straat.||There are bikes on the street.|
|De dief (the thief)||De dieven (the thieves)||Zij zijn dieven.||They are thieves.|
|De mok (the mug)||De mokken (the mugs)||Wij gaan meer mokken kopen.||We are going to buy more mugs.|
Mind the following rules when forming the plural nouns:
1. Short vowels stay short and long vowels stay long.
Example: kop (mug) - koppen (mugs)
2. In the plural form, the double vowel from the last syllabe disappears.
Example: heer (sir) - heren (sirs)
3. If a singular noun ends in 'f' or 's', these consonants change into 'v' or 'z'.
Example: reus (giant) - reuzen (giants)
Besides in '-en' plural nouns can also end in '-s.
noun + s
Nouns that end in '–el', '-em', '-en', '-er', '-je' mostly end in '-s'. The table below shows some examples:
|Het hondje (the little dog)||De hondjes (the little dogs)||Hij heeft drie hondjes.||He has three little dogs.|
|De kalender (the calendar)||De kalenders (the calendars)||Kijk even naar die kalenders.||Have a look at those calendars.|
|De kogel (the bullet)||De kogels (the bullets)||Hij heeft geen kogels.||He ran out of bullets.|
|Het meisje (the girl)||De meisjes (the girls)||Meisjes letten jullie op?||Girls do you pay attention?|
Nouns that end in the single vowels '–a', '-i', '-o', '-u', '-y' get a '-'s' when forming the plural. The apostrophe is added to keep the long single vowel at the end long.
Take a look at the table below to see how the plural with '-'s' is formed:
|De baby (the baby)||De baby's (the babies)||Zij past op drie baby's.||She babysits three babies.|
|De auto (the cars)||De auto's (the cars)||De auto's rijden snel.||The cars drive fast.|
|De pinda (the peanut)||De pinda's (the peanuts)||Ik eet veel pinda's.||I eat a lot of peanuts.|
|De hobby (the hobby)||De hobby's (the hobbies)||Wij hebben veel hobby's.||We have a lot of hobbies.|
Nouns that end in '-heid' in the single form, end in '– heden' in the plural.
Some plural nouns end in –eren.
Nouns that end in the Latin suffix '–um', get an ending in '-a' in the plural.
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