Laura speaks Dutch #47: Singular or Plural

In this episode I’m going to give you people a hard time, because you really will have to work on some grammar. This time we focus on singular that turns in to plural. How does that work? Let’s find out.
In general the rule for plural means that we add something to the end of the word. That can be -en, -s or even -‘s. This may be confusing and for most people is. But there is a logic here. It depends on the number of syllables what ending to pick.

If we have a word of one syllable we use -en at the end.
Foot | Voet
Feet | Voeten
Head | Hoofd
Heads | Hoofden
Bag | Tas
Bags | Tassen

The last one is a little bit different, because the last s has been repeated one time extra. There is a clear reason for this and that is the pronounciation. Tasen sounds differently in Dutch then tassen. So the extra s ensures everything sounds the very same

With words that consist of multiple syllables we don’t add -en, but we use -s at the end of the word. So:
Telephone | Telefoon
Telephones | Telefoons
Shoulder | Schouder
Shoulders | Schouders
Suitcase, Bag | Koffer
Suitcase, Bags | Koffers

If the words ends on an -i, -a, -o, -u, -y we still will add an -s add the end, but write a single qoute between the word and the plural sign. You can’t hear that, but you can write that.
Taxi | Taxi -> Taxi’s
Cola | Cola -> Cola’s (like in an order at a bar)
Photo | Foto -> Foto’s

Of course we do have some strange exceptions:
Private Boat | Jacht and Jachten, but also Plezierjacht and Plezierjachten
City | Stad becomes Steden

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