Afrikaans Grammar. Plurals

Plural form of nouns

The Grammar in Easy Afrikaans only provides general rules based on the Pareto principle. They are not complete and do not cover all exceptions. For that you need a grammar book:)

The general rule is : Start

Most words are made plural in Afrikaans by adding an e.

So, boek 'book' becomes boeke 'books' or hond 'dog' becomes honde 'dogs'.

Of course, it isn't quite as simple as this as (and there are rules) a word like kop 'head' becomes koppe in the plural, but it is easier to listen and pay attention than try and remember that you double a consonant before a short vowel (or whatever).

Or by adding an s

Quite a few common nouns add an s in the plural instead of e.

Many of these are loan words coming from English rather than dutch. Regardless you just have to learn when a word is made plural with e or s.

Afrikaans Plurals with sStart

Here are a few examples of words made plural by adding an s.

Singular Plural
armarm arms
birdvoël voëls
brotherbroer broers
doctordokter dokters
daughterdogter dogters
keysleutel sleutels
routeroete roetes
sistersuster susters
sonseun seuns
televisionstelevisie televisies

Irregular Afrikaans Plurals

And some plurals are irregular.

These exceptions (e.g. plurals which do not end in an e or s in the plural) just have to be learnt, or acquired through exposure to the language.

Learning Afrikaans vocabulary has some suggestions to help with vocabulary acquisition. One useful tip is to active learning. Think about what you are doing and don't just repeat words endlessly. Maybe look for patterns. For example a few of these plurals end with g in the singular.

This lesson has some of the more common irregular plurals.Start

Singular Plural
daydag dae
nightnag nagte
flightvlug vlugte
womanvrou vrouens
childkind kinders