The rule to make a noun plural

Discussion in 'Nederlands (Dutch)' started by kenjoluma, Jan 12, 2011.

  1. kenjoluma Senior Member

    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.
  2. Timidinho

    Timidinho Senior Member

    Rotterdam, The Netherlands
    Dutch [&] Cape Verdean Creole

    I don't know what is the rule.

    But: appel can also be appelen
  3. killerbees Senior Member

    New Orleans, LA
    English [US]
    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: Jan 14, 2011
  4. Lopes

    Lopes Senior Member

    Dutch (Amsterdam)
    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'.

    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"
  5. Timidinho

    Timidinho Senior Member

    Rotterdam, The Netherlands
    Dutch [&] Cape Verdean Creole
    Kanarie - kanaries
    Bacterie - bacteriën
    Industrie - industrieën
  6. kenjoluma Senior Member

    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. :)


Share This Page