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Skip to 0 minutes and 8 seconds Plural. The formation of the plural.

Skip to 0 minutes and 14 seconds The Dutch plural can be formed in different ways. For example, with -en, like in “woorden”, “vrienden”, and “dagen”. But also with -s, like in “dochters”, “ouders”, “hobby’s”, and “foto’s”.

Skip to 0 minutes and 35 seconds The common ending for the plural is -en. So “dier” becomes “dieren”. Another one is with -s, used with a number of words, especially from foreign origin. Like “marathon”, or “marathons”. And words ending in unstressed -el, -en, -em, -er, and -e. For example, “ouder” and “ouders”. Words ending in a -a, -i, -o, -u, or -y, receive an apostrophe -s. “Foto” becomes “foto’s”.

Skip to 1 minute and 21 seconds Here you see some examples from the dialogues. [DUTCH SPOKEN] Hoeveel woorden ken jij? [DUTCH SPOKEN] We hebben dieren. With -en. [DUTCH SPOKEN] Ik houd van marathons. [DUTCH SPOKEN] Je hebt twee dochters. With -s. [DUTCH SPOKEN] Heb je hobby’s? [DUTCH SPOKEN] Heb je foto’s? With apostrophe -s.

Watch and read: plural

Watch the video about the plural in Dutch and read the explanation below.


The Dutch plural has different endings.
For example en as in: woorden, vrienden and dagen.
But also s as in: dochters, ouders, hobby’s, and foto’s.

The regular plural ending is –en: dier, dieren.
Another common plural ending is -s, which is used with a considerable number of words:

  • Many words originally of foreign origin, like marathon, marathons.
  • And words ending in unstressed -el, -em, -en, -er, -e. For example ouder, ouders.
  • Words ending in a, i, o, u or y, get an apostrophe with an -s, like foto, foto’s.

Practise with Quizlet

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Introduction to Dutch

University of Groningen

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