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

Skip to 0 minutes and 14 secondsThe 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 secondsThe 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 secondsHere 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

Would you like to practise Dutch grammar? Please visit our grammar section on the plural on Quizlet (if you prefer Quizlet to open in a separate window, click the CTRL key while clicking the link).

Do you have any questions about Dutch grammar? Follow the links below for more information. Share your comments and questions in the discussion below.

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This video is from the free online course:

Introduction to Dutch

University of Groningen

Course highlights Get a taste of this course before you join:

  • Listen and repeat
    Listen and repeat

    Practise your speaking skills in Dutch: watch the video, listen carefully and repeat. The phrases are from the dialogues of week 1 of this course.

  • Watch and read: the time
    Watch and read: the time

    Watch and/or read about the principles of telling the time, with practical phrases, in Dutch.

  • Microphone
    Authentic audio samples

    Listen to learners of Dutch talking about themselves. Do you recognize some of it? And: an invitation and tool to send audio with you speaking Dutch!