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That’s how you learn the plural in Swiss German
Studying grammar is not everyone’s cup of tea, and there are certainly more exciting things to do. However, compared to other languages, Swiss German grammar is a piece of cake because Swiss German is not a codified language. Nevertheless, there are certain rules in our language that you should know if you want to improve your current language level.
How, for example, is the plural formed in Swiss German? Everything you need to know about pluralism can be found here.
Swiss German mainly knows 4 different forms of pluralism:
1. the plural is equal to the singular
2. the plural is formed by “umlaut”
3. the plural is formed by ending -e, always without umlaut
4. the plural is formed by ending -er, whereby always umlaut occurs, if the stem vowel is “umlautable”
1. The plural is equal to the singular
For most masculina and neutra that do not have an umlaut-enabled stem vowel
For all femininas ending on -ig, -igung, -et, -häit, -t, -ei and -schaft
For some Neutra
4. The plural is formed by ending -er, whereby umlaut always occurs if the stem vowel is umlautable
Exceptions and special cases
Feminina ending on -i
Special plural formation in words with “a” in the stem
Swiss German in the course of time
Even though Swiss German is not a codified language, our dialect is constantly changing. At present, a new form of pluralism is being identified by local language connoisseurs: the ‘Endungs-S’ (ending with S).
Derived from English, an “s” is more and more often added to the end of a word in Swiss German as well. In coffee you suddenly hear people ordering “drü Kafis” instead of “drü Kafi”. And children scream with joy when they see “two Chätzlis” instead of “two Chätzli”.
In addition to the influence of the English language, many Swiss also feel the need for a “real” form of majority. Especially when the plural corresponds to the singular, more and more Swiss people like to use newly created plural forms. The correct majority of “Theme” (theme) is “Theme”, but you often hear people say “Themes”. The same applies to the word “place”. The plural is identical to the singular, so also “place”. But many say “place”, which is grammatically wrong, but accepted by all.
Learn with us beyond the plural
With the plural education you have made a first big step to understand or speak Swiss German even better. If you want to learn more, sign up for our online course and benefit from lifelong access to all course material.