Best way to memorize plurals.
Guten Tag. I was wondering people's ideas on the best way to memorize plurals. It's kind of exhausting learning nouns all the time but the necessity of learning them is very apparent. It kind of gets slightly frustrating learning a word and then not knowing the plural of the word, and then later going and trying to memorize that. I haven't focused much on plurals till now. Should I learn the plural version along with the singular or the word? Should I learn them separately. I appreciate your help.
Learn the gender and plural at the same time you learn the word.
Also, just keep plugging along. Eventually you start picking up patterns and reinforcing the correct plural for ones you forget and it doesn't become quite so much work to remember them.
There are no fast rules for German plurals, and they must be learned with the noun. However, the gender and form of the noun can give helpful clues as to the plural (with many exceptions of course). Some common endings (with many, many exceptions):
Masculine nouns get an -e, with some having an umlaut plus -e;
Feminine nouns (approx. 90%) get an -n or -en (or if ending in -in, get -innen);
Neuter nouns get an -e (approx. 75%) or generally monosyllabic get -er / umlaut plus -er (approx. 25%). Three get -n (Augen, Enden, and Interessen, because these end with the typical feminine -e). Diminutives get no ending.
Borrowed words typically get -s (Teams, Hotels, Partys, Babys, etc.)
Of course, there are many exceptions to the above. And for nouns that have two plurals, learn both (e.g. Bänke - benches; Banken - banks, or Wörter - many individual words, Worte - many connected words, as in a saying or quotation) :)
Sometimes I find trying to remember all the rules as difficult as remembering the plurals in the first case. But each to their own, I suppose. You should be able to find a lot of information on the internet.
Overall, keep trying, and you'll find that they'll eventually stick, one way or another. Even fluent English speakers make mistakes in English sometimes :)