28 August 2009


Dutch nouns form their plural by the addition of either -s or -en to the singular.

A. when to add -s:
1. all nouns ending in unstressed -el, -en and -er.
tafel - tafels
jongen - jongens
spijker - spijkers
Exceptions: aderen, artikelen, christenen, engelen (angels), maatregelen, middelen, mosselen, redenen, wonderen
 2. nouns ending in -erd and -aard and designating masculine beings
sufferd - sufferds
grijsaard - grijsaards
Exceptions: Spanjaard - Spanjaarden
3. all diminutives ending in -je:
koekje - koekjes
huisje - huisjes
4. foreign words mostly of English and French origin
club - clubs
perron - perrons
5. nouns of French origin ending in -eur and -trice
auteur - auteurs
actrice - actrices
ingenieur - ingenieurs
6. foreign words ending in -ier and -oor take -s when referring to people and -en when referring to things
kruidenier - kruideniers
winkelier - winkeliers
portier - portiers
Except: officier - officieren, scholier - scholieren
7. a few native Dutch word denoting male beings
broer - broers
bruidegom - bruidegoms
kok - koks
8. many foreign words ending in -e
dame - dames
garage - garages
9. foreign words ending in unstressed -ie
familie - families
patitie - petities
B. when to add -'s:
Nouns ending in -a, -o and -u (all foreign origin)
firma - firma's
auto - auto's
paraplu - paraplu's
C. when to add -en:
1. nouns with the suffix -sel and compounds with -sel
beginsel - beginselen
opstel - opstellen
toestel - toestellen
When the -en suffix is added to nouns to form the plural the ff. spelling changes apply:
2. nouns with aa, ee, oo or uu drop one vowel an the open syllable produced by the suffixing of -en
maan - manen
peer - peren
muur - muren
3. nouns with long vowels or diphthongs ending in -s change to z
Chinees - Chinezen
huis - huizen
kies - kiezen
4. nouns ending in -ms, -ns and -rs change to z
gems - gemzen
gans - ganzen
vers - verzen
Exceptions: dans - dansen, kikvors - kikvorsen, koers - koersen, krans - kransen, lans - lansen, mens - mensen, pers - persen, prins - prinsen, tendens - tendensen, wals - walsen, wens - wensen
5. nouns with long vowels or diphthongs ending in -f change to v
brief - brieven
neef - neven
Exceptions: nouns of Greeks origin ending in -graaf fotograaf - fotografen, paragraaf - paragrafen
nouns ending in -lf and -rf change to v
golf - golven
wolf - wolven
Except: elf - elfen
6. nouns containing a short vowel and ending in a consonant double the consonant to preserve the short vowel
bok - bokken
fles - flessen
mus - mussen
7. nouns with middle vowels i and a change to e and add -en
lid - leden
stad -steden
schip - schepen
smid - smeden
8. nouns ending in -heid change to -heden
moeilijkheid - moeilijkheden
schoonheid - schoonheden
D. when to add -n:
Nouns ending in -e
echtgenote - echtgenoten
seconde - seconden
bladzijde - bladzijden
E. when to add -ien:
Nouns ending -oe, -o
koe - koeien
vlooi - vlooien
F. these nouns can be pluralized by adding -eren
kind - kinderen
blad - bladeren
ei - eieren
Suggestion: Dutch grammar has so many rule Exceptions. Try to learn the Exceptions.
1. baby                                        11. ski
2. raam                                        12. dansen
3. gans                                         13. kloof
4. filosoof                                    14. kaars
5. spel                                         15. letter
6. film                                          16. eis
7. ader                                          17. dak
8. schoonheid                                18. leraar
9. plooi                                         19. been
10. secretaresse                            20. oom

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About this Blog

I make this blog for foreigners who will live in this country, THE NETHERLANDS. Foreigners who are engaged or married they have to learn a lot of things about their new home like the culture, architectures, landscape, government, dikes etc. Especially the Dutch language which is very important in their social life. It is very difficult if they cannot communicate with other people. Most people speak Dutch, only few speaks English.
For visitors and readers, this will give you an idea what this country is. This small country ranks no. 5 in the economic stability in EUROPE. Their architectures like palaces, castles, dikes, ports (air and sea) are amazing.
Their culture is very interesting.

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