Learn About German Plural Nouns With -n and -en endings

These nouns are typically feminine

Making a noun plural in English is pretty easy. You usually just pop an -s or -es at the end. The German language is still straightforward, but it does have some more rules to consider, due to the fact that German nouns have genders. This is a look at plural nouns that end with -n or -en. 

The nouns in this group start out as mostly feminine and add either –n or –en at the end to form the plural. There are no neuter nouns in this group and neither are there any umlaut changes when forming the plural.

For example:

Die Frau (the woman, singular) becomes die Frauen (plural).

Die Frau geht spazieren. (The woman is taking a walk.)

Die Frauen gehen spazieren. (The women are taking a walk.)

Nouns in this group add -en when the noun in singular ends in a consonant. For example, der Schmerz (the pain) becomes die Schmerzen (the pains). Exceptions to this rule are when the word ends in the consonants "l" or "r." Then the noun will only add -n.

For example:

die Kartoffel (the potato): die Kartoffeln (the potatoes)

der Vetter (the cousin): die Vettern (the cousins) 

When nouns in this group end in a vowel, -n will be added. Exceptions to this rule are when the vowels are the diphthongs "au" or  "ei."

For example:

die Pfau (the peacock): die Pfauen

die Bäckerei (the bakery):  die Bäckereien

Also, nouns that end with "in" add -nen in the plural. Die Musikantin (the female musician) becomes die Musikantinnen.

See the chart below for more examples of this plural noun group.

Nom. stands for nominative. Acc. stands for accusative. Dat. stands for dative. Gen. stands for genitive.

Plural nouns with –n/en endings

CaseSingularPlural
nom.
acc.
dat.
gen.
die Schwester (the sister)
die Schwester
der Schwester
der Schwester
die Schwestern
die Schwestern
den Schwestern
der Schwestern
nom.
acc.
dat.
gen.
der Mensch (the human)
den Menschen
dem Menschen
des Menschen
die Menschen
die Menschen
den Menschen
der Menschen
Format
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Your Citation
Bauer, Ingrid. "Learn About German Plural Nouns With -n and -en endings." ThoughtCo, Nov. 9, 2017, thoughtco.com/german-plural-nouns-n-en-endings-1444469. Bauer, Ingrid. (2017, November 9). Learn About German Plural Nouns With -n and -en endings. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/german-plural-nouns-n-en-endings-1444469 Bauer, Ingrid. "Learn About German Plural Nouns With -n and -en endings." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/german-plural-nouns-n-en-endings-1444469 (accessed December 15, 2017).