Inti qieghed hawn: Grammar > Nouns and articles > Plurals ending in -s

Plurals ending in -s
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Tradott mill-Ingliz minn ...

The formula for the plural form:

noun + s

Examples of plural nouns that end in -s:

de tafel de tafels the table(s)
de computer de computers the computer(s)
de tovenaar de tovenaars the wizard(s)

Apostrophe

When a singular noun ends in a single vowel, you cannot simply add -s to it. After all, a single open vowel is a long vowel. If we add -s to it, it will turn into a (closed) short vowel. In order to keep the vowel long, we add an apostrophe?:

de auto de auto's the car(s)
het menu de menu's the menu(s)
het programma de programma's the program(s)

The single e at the end of a word is an exception as it is amute e, not a long vowel. Adding s will not change the mute e.

het gebergte de gebergtes the mountain range(s)
de gewoonte de gewoontes the habit(s), custom(s)
de boete de boetes the fine(s)

N.B. Correcting for hard and soft consonants is not necessary. An f stays an f and an s stays an s.

Now you probably wonder why we need two different endings for the plural form. We already had -en, which does its job perfectly well. As with many other linguistic phenomena, there is no rationale behind it. It would have been a lot easier if we would just stick to only one ending. But since we have to deal with two, we might as well have a look at the '-s nouns' and the '-en nouns'.


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L-ahhar aggornament May 18, 2007 ::