Franconian Beer Message Board

Plurals auf Deutsch
Posted by Nick B. on 2011-03-02 23:24:52
Barry, the website will show you the plural of a noun thus: "NOUN der Keller | die Keller" Hover over that with your mouse and you'll see it says "aricle sg article pl". Bookmark! If I could change one thing about the language to make it easier, it'd be the formation of plurals. Many of the difficult grammatical rules one has to learn in German actually serve to make the language colo(u)rful and flexible. Pluralisation, OTOH, appears to only serve to make it easy to spot the foreigners. The rules listed in those tables are nice, but the role of the exceptions are underplayed IMO. "A majority of German nouns [...]" like a 51% majority? ;-) (Okay, they're trying to not scare off young students.) Take Barry's case of "Keller". According to (nice tables there but only in German...the google translation sucks) masculine nouns ending in -er "do not" have -n endings in the plural. (I think Bauer is an exception due to the lack of a consonant before -er?) There's one Keller in Stiebarlimbach, and three Keller up on the Kreuzberg. One masculine Apfel, two Äpfel. One Vater, two Väter, one Garten two Gärten, one Wagen two Wagen...Wägen...Wagen. One Jürgen, two Jürgens? I thought I once learned that there are 12 ways of modifying nouns to form plurals, but I can only conjur up 8 in my head right now. This compared to...1 in English plus the irregular exceptions, mostly animals? It'd be nice if we had the 12 standard pluralisations, but then *always* had hard and fast rules about using them -- if they were always gender/case dependent for example, which they're unfortunately not. Here's an excerpt from the English version of what is called The Yellow Bible at my school: which lists 8 ways to form the plural. Unfortunately it doesn't make clear that the examples given are randomly chosen from the three genders, nor how common exceptions can be. It has excellent exercises, we used it a *lot* in the intensive course, despite a couple of very minor translation mistakes, the German version makes this clear...highly recommended as a supplement to a coursebook. Oh and then there are the occasional double meanings, whereby a noun has one plural for one meaning and another for another. Die Bank (financial bank) -> die Banken, but die Bank (bench) -> die Bänke. Even better the case of das Wort (word): die Wörter (many words), but die Worte (in the words of JFK, we are all Berliner). And then there's the greatest of all, Band, which has three meanings scattered across the genders and four plural formations. From NOUN1 der Band | die Bände [book volume] NOUN2 die Band | die Bands [Musikgruppe] NOUN3 das Band | die Bande/Bänder [physical object, rubber band] Okay then.
                           PluralE auf clarification by Nick B. on  2011-03-03 01:18:59
                             PluralE auf clarification by Barry on  2011-03-03 02:34:42
                           Plurals auf Deutsch by DonS on  2011-03-03 08:06:56