Learn German A1: Plurals & Pronunciation Lesson 11. The Language introduced in this free course is centered around realistic everyday situations. While, the emphasis is first and foremost on using German, but we also aim to give you an idea of how the language works, so that you can create sentences your own.
While, you will learn how to make plurals in German and how to pronounce. Meanwhile, you can find ways to pronounce in German in following lesson also:
Fertig? Los! (Ready? Go!)
Table of Contents
The pronunciation of “ch” and “sch“.
Here we’ll take a look at the pronunciations.
Drei – zwei – eins – los! (3 – 2 – 1 – go!)
You might have wondered about the strange sounds and spellings of “ch” and “sch“. Here, we’ll take a closer look at them.
sch: The German “sch” is pronounced like the “sh” in “sheep”.
Schnitzel (breaded meat) ; Schnaps (liqueur) ; Schmidt ; Entschuldigung ; Tschüss ;
Next up: “ch”! The “ch” is the quintessential German sound – it is what gives the language its supposed brutality. It sounds a bit like a hissing cat and it’s hard to learn.
Ich ; Mich (me) ; schlecht (bad) ;
The pronunciation of “v” and “w“:
Die Weißwurst ist gut! (The white sausage is good!)
Germany loves sausages. Every region has its own sausage – there are about 1500 different kinds of them. While, The “Weißwurst” (white sausage) is from Munich.
“W” in German is pronounced like a “v” in English.
Wie heißt du? (What’s your name?)
|Wie geht’s? (How’s it going?)|
|Auf Wiedersehen! (Goodbye!)|
|Woher kommst du? (Where are you from?)|
On to “v”!
In words of German origin, “v” is pronounced like an f, as in “vier” (four).
The “v” in “vier” and the “f” in “fünf” are pronounced the same way.
Der Vater ist müde. (The father is tired.)
Every rule has an exception…
German has imported lots of words from Latin, like November, Video, Virus. In these words, “v” is also pronounced like the English “v”. We’ll learn more words like these later in the course!
Ok, so let’s sum up what we’ve learned:
|“W” is pronounced like an English v,|
like in Wurst (sausage), wie (how)
|“V” is pronounced like f in words of German origin,|
like in Vater (father), vier (four)
|“V” is pronounced like an English v in words of Latin origin,|
like in November, Video, Virus
The Pronunciation of Umlauts
Do you know the famous umlauts?
The German alphabet has three wonderful extra letters, the so-called umlauts: meet ä, ö and ü.
Their pronunciation differs slightly from their dot-less cousins a, o and u. You’ll get the hang of it!
Tip: The key to mastering the umlauts is simply to repeat what you hear, multiple times!
The Umlaut “ä” is pronounced like “a” But, when you say “ä“, your tongue must be arched towards the roof of your mouth.
“Ä” is pronounced similarly to the “e” in “bet” or “end” in English.
Vater – Väter; (father – fathers)
“Ü” has no equivalent in English. It is pronounced like the “ie” in the German word “vier“. While saying the sound, round your lips as if you were whistling, with them almost completely closed.
Mutter – Mütter; (mother – mothers)
Here are some words we learned containing “ü“:
Ö: Say the German vowel “e” and then round the lips as for “o“.
Tochter – Töchter ; (daughter – daughters)
We’ve learned these words containing “ö“:
|Schönen Tag! (Have a nice day!)|
Gute Arbeit! (Great job!) Now you can pronounce many German words!
Plurals in German
German nouns do not simply add -s to form their plurals. While, There are various ways to form a plural in German, So we will go through these ways one by one. But you have to be careful as these are only broad guidelines, and there are many exceptions in German. Therefore, always make sure that you learn the plural forms of new nouns as you meet them.
Group 1 Plurals:
Hast du Kinder? (Do you have children?)
To form the plural of “das Kind” (the child), Like many neuter nouns, “das Kind” adds -er.
Most masculine and neuter nouns add the plural ending -e or -er.
Meine Freunde sind lustig. (My friends are funny.)
|das Kind (the child)||die Kinder (the children)|
|der Tisch (the table)||die Tische (the tables)|
|der Freund (the friend)||die Freunde (the friends)|
Group 2 Plurals:
Most feminine nouns take the plural ending -n
Meine Schwestern sind langweilig. (My sisters are boring.)
Meine Tanten sind sehr sympathisch. (My aunts are very likeable.)
If the noun already ends in -n, we add -nen.
Meine Freundinnen sind nett. (My friends are nice.)
|die Schwester (the sister)||die Schwestern (the sisters)|
|die Freundin (the female friend)||die Freundinnen (the female friends)|
|die Cousine (the female cousin)||die Cousinen (the female cousins)|
|die Tante (the aunt)||die Tanten (the aunts)|
|die Kellnerin (the waitress)||die kellnerinnen (the waitresses)|
Group 3 Plurals:
Some nouns, mostly the ones that came to German from other languages, form the plural by adding -s.
Es gibt viele Bars und Cafés in Berlin. (There are many bars and cafés in Berlin.)
|Café, Bar, Disco (cafe, bar, disco)||Cafés, Bars, Discos (cafes, bars, discos)|
|der Cousin (the male cousin)||die Cousins (the male cousins)|
|der Opa (the grandpa)||die Opas (the grandpas)|
|die Oma (the grandma)||die Omas (the grandmas)|
|die kamera (the camera)||die kameras (the cameras)|
Even though these words ” Oma” & ” Opa ” aren’t of foreign origin, still they form the plural by adding -s.
“Der Cousin” forms the plural with -s. “Die Cousine” forms the plural with -n, As mentioned before.
Group 4 Plurals:
Some nouns form the plural by turning their vowel (a, o, u) into an umlaut (ä, ö, ü), like the nouns for close family members.
|die Mutter (the mother)||die Mütter (the mothers)|
|der Vater (the father)||die Väter (the fathers)|
|die Tochter (the daughter)||die Töchter (the daughters)|
|der Sohn (the son)||die Söhne (the sons)|
|der Bruder (the brother)||die Brüder (the brothers)|
Group 5 Plurals:
Some nouns don’t change in the plural, like masculine nouns ending in -el or -er.
Meine zwei Onkel sind Lehrer. (My two uncles are teachers.)
Many job titles end in -er, so they stay the same in the plural.
|der Onkel (the uncle)||die Onkel (the uncles)|
|der Enkel (the grandson)||die Enkel (the grandsons)|
|die Lehrer (the teachers)||die Lehrer (the teachers)|
|das Fenster (the window)||die Fenster (the windows)|
Here are the plurals we have learned so far. This is a lot of information to absorb at once, but don’t worry. It’s best to always learn a noun with its plural!
As you continue to practice and use your German it will become easier and easier to remember the gender and plural forms of nouns. But don’t be afraid to make mistakes, even if you completely forget the gender of a noun a German speaker will still be able to understand what you are saying, and that is what is most important: being understood, communicating ideas.
|Most masculine & neuter nouns||-e or -er||Freunde, Kinder|
|Most feminine nouns||-n or -nen||Tanten, Freundinnen|
|Most foreign nouns||-s||Discos, Cousins|
|Most close family members||ä, ö, ü||Mütter, Brüder|
|Masculine nouns ending in -er and -el||stay the same||Onkel, Lehrer|
Hope It Helps!
Weiter so! (Keep it up!)
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