Plural of Nouns

There are five different ways to form the plural in German: one of the following endings is added, and the stem vowel of many nouns is umlauted:

a => ä,   au => äu,   o => ö,  u => ü

Add an  -e
The plural of most masculine and neuter nouns is formed by adding an -e ending. Most masculine nouns are also umlauted, whereas neuter nouns are not. The plural of certain feminine nouns is also formed by adding an -e ending and umlaut.

Singular Plural
der Baum die Bäume
das Brot die Brote
das Sortiment die Sortimente
die Stadt die Städte
die Hand die Hände
die Nacht die Nächte
die Wand die Wände

Add an -er
Only a small group of nouns take the -er ending in the plural. Most of these are neuter, some are masculine, but none are feminine. All nouns in this group with an a, o or u stem vowel are umlauted in the plural.

Singular Plural
das Dorf die Dörfer
der Wald die Wälder
das Fach die Fächer

No change
Neuter and masculine nouns ending in -el, -en, or -er do not change in the plural, i.e. no ending is added and there is no umlaut.

Neuter nouns ending in –chen and –lein also fall into to this group.

Singular Plural
der Arbeiter die Arbeiter
der Wagen die Wagen
das Mädchen die Mädchen
das Fräulein die Fräulein
der Computer die Computer
der Container die Container
das Treffen die Treffen

Add an -n or -en
Most feminine nouns take an -n or -en ending in the plural. The stem vowel is not umlauted.

The same ending is also added to many foreign loan words, e.g. feminine nouns ending in -anz, -enz, -ie, -ek, -ik, -ion, -ur, -tät and also neuter nouns ending in -(i)um.

‘Weak masculine’ nouns also fall into this group. These nouns take an -(e)n ending in the plural and also in all singular cases other than the nominative (i.e. the accusative, dative and genitive).

’Weak masculine’ nouns (e.g. der Junge) take the plural ending -n or -en. The same applies to foreign loan words ending in -ant, -ent, -ist. (These nouns take the -n or -en in the accusative, dative and genitive singular). Likewise masculine loan words ending in -or take the plural ending -en.

Singular Plural
die Zeitung die Zeitungen
die Blume die Blumen
die Antwort die Antworten
die Studentin die Studentinnen
die Organisation die Organisationen
die Bibliothek die Bibliotheken
die Differenz die Differenzen
der Kunde die Kunden
der Kollege die Kollegen
der Tourist die Touristen
der Student die Studenten
der Praktikant die Praktikanten
der Professor die Professoren
das Zentrum die Zentren

Add an -s
The -s-ending is typical in most recent foreign loan words.

Singular Plural
das Hotel die Hotels
die Bar die Bars
das Handy die Handys
das Auto die Autos


der Computer die Computer
der Container die Container