The rule to make a noun plural

kenjoluma

Senior Member
Korean
#1
Hi, everyone.


I just found there are some rules to make a Dutch noun plural. For example, zus(sister) becomes zussen, boom(wood) becomes bomen.

I thought it is very straightforward, however, I found another plural form... like, appel(apple) to appels, tafel(table) to tafels. Just like English!


I understood that one-syllable word tends to add -en while multi-syllable word simply put -s behind, and that's how I convinced myself. But ever since I learned broer(brother) becomes broers, not broeren,I am completely lost.


Is there any rule? Or is it completely irregular and I have to memorize all the cases?



Thank you for your answers in advance.
 
  • killerbees

    Senior Member
    English [US]
    #3
    Honestly, I think you've acquired all the rules available to you. Here is a handy resource, but I recommend learning the endings as you learn the words. You'll definitely start to get a feeling for what sounds (or looks) correct and what doesn't if you learn that way.

    Edit: As far as I can tell, words ending in -heid typically pluralize with -heden. Keep an eye out for the short vowel to long vowel plurals, too.
     
    Last edited:

    Lopes

    Senior Member
    Dutch (Amsterdam)
    #4
    I thought it is very straightforward, however, I found another plural form... like, appel(apple) to appels, tafel(table) to tafels. Just like English!
    As you may have noticed, the final sillables in those words are not accented, and the 'e' is schwa. For words like 'rebel' (pronounced rebél), 'appél', the plural is 'rebellen', 'appellen'.


    I understood that one-syllable word tends to add -en while multi-syllable word simply put -s behind, and that's how I convinced myself.
    Be very careful making any conclusions about multisyllable words. This one is definitely wrong: in composed words, for example, the plural has the same ending as the plural of the basic forms, so "keukentafels", but also "dennebomen", "schoonzussen". Besides that there are other multisyllable words that have plurals in -en: "schilderijen", "directeuren", fantasieën"
     

    kenjoluma

    Senior Member
    Korean
    #6
    Thank you for your answers!

    So, there IS some rules, but a lot of them, with a lot of exceptions, right? In that case, I'd rather say there is NO rules at all... getting started from scratch. :)

    Thanks.
     
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