https://www.duolingo.com/Xneb

Plural Endings in Danish

Xneb
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I have seen a lot of people seem to be confused as to which ending to use for the plural of a word. There is a lot to go through, but I'll try and simplify it as much as I can. The examples I have taken come from Danish: An Essential Grammar, however some I've altered to words I know are in the course.


  • Monosyllabic n-words ending in a consonant: add -e. For example:

    En hund -> To hunde
    En fugl -> To fugle

  • Polysyllabic nouns: add -(e)r. For example:

    En pige -> To piger
    En regning -> To regninger

    If final vowel is stressed, add -er
    En by -> To byer
    Et træ -> To træer

  • Ending in -dom: add -me. For example:

    En ejendom -> To ejendomme

  • Ending in unstressed -er: add -e. For example:

    En dansker -> To danskere

  • Ending in -hed, -i and -ion: add -er. For example:

    En lejlighed -> To lejligheder
    Et konditori -> To konditorier En station -> To stationer

  • Ending in -skab when -skab isn't used in a literal sense: add -er. For example:

    Et landskab -> To landskaber, however;
    Et køkkenskab -> To køkkenskabe

  • Ending in -um: drop -um and add er. For example:

    Et museum -> To museer

  • Ending in -el, -en and -er: swap e and consonant and add sometimes add -r. For example:

    En kartoffel -> To kartofler
    En tallerken -> To tallerkner or To tallerkener
    Et eksempel -> To eksempler
    En fader -> To fædre
    Et nummer -> To numre

  • With short stressed vowel and single consonant: double consonant and add -e(r). For example:

    En bus -> To busser
    En hat -> To hatte

  • Some loanwords also have their own special endings, relating to the original language. For example:

    Et faktum -> To fakta
    En muffin -> To muffins

  • Sometimes, both Danish or original language endings are possible, but these tend to be exclusively for English loanwords. For example:

    En cowboy -> To cowboys or To cowboyer

  • However, more often than not, Danish will add its own inflections, or it will be a zero plural. For example:

    Et drama -> To dramaer
    En baby -> To babyer
    En film -> To film


Hopefully that covers enough to help you guess the ending, but remember (and a bit of a disclaimer here) there are many many exceptions and irregular nouns (such as En sko -> To sko, En mand -> To mænd, En and -> To ænder). Best of luck, and hopefully this has formatted correctly so you can understand it.

3 years ago

6 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Esperakantisto

The Tips and Notes section for Plurals (https://www.duolingo.com/skill/da/Plurals) has, I believe, two small typos:

en kartoffel (a potato) adds -en but then drops the e before the l to become kartoflen (the potato) en tallerken (a plate) adds -en and drops the e before the n to become tallerknen (the plate).

As written, the above section seems to properly apply to a section on the definite/indefinite. In the context of plurals, however, I think the words should be "kartofler" and "talerkner".

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Xneb
Xneb
Mod
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Thanks for pointing that out, I have fixed it now in the incubator (it may take some time for them to update on the main website though)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Esperakantisto

In the above twelve rules, the last three are formatted somewhat differently than the others. (I assume that this entire guidance section is used somewhere in the course of a Danish lesson.) Unlike the first nine rules, the last three lack the “bullet” character at the beginning. Also the last three rules have "for example" tacked on as a so-called “comma splice,” which is considered substandard in English. Those two words should form sentences on their own.

Some loanwords also have their own special endings, relating to the original language. For example:

Sometimes, both Danish or original language endings are possible, but these tend to be exclusively for English loanwords. For example:

However, more often than not, Danish will add its own inflections, or it will be a zero plural. For example:

Also, please note that the possessive its, as in the 12th rule, takes no apostrophe. It’s always means “it is.”

Kind regards, Eriko

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Esperakantisto

Thanks, Xneb, for fixing these minor points so promptly. -- Eriko

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/chaered
chaered
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One minor nitpick: You wrote "Ending in unstressed -er: add -e. For example: En dansker -> To dansker". The example contradicts the rule.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Xneb
Xneb
Mod
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Sorry, that was a typo. Fixed it now, thanks for pointing it out

3 years ago
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