How to make plural words in Amharic
Forming plurals in Amharic is a very easy and straightforward process.
If we were making plurals in English, we simply add an s at the end of the word.
In Amharic we add a ዎች (woch) sound to the end of the word.
Lets take the single nouns: ምግብ - migib - food, ድመት - dimet - cat and በር - ber - door.
|singluar - amhanglish
||add ዎች (woch)
|ምግብ ▶️- migb - food
||ምግብዎች ▶️ - migbwoch
|ድመት ▶️ - dimet - cat
||ድመትዎች ▶️ - dimetwoch -
|በር ▶️ - ber - door
||በርዎች ▶️ - berwoch
It's that simple!
Short form pluralization
Once you're comfortable with the above method, instead of always adding ዎች (woch) sound to the noun, you can simply convert the last letter of the noun to be the 7th alphabet family (ሳብዕ) and add ች 'ch' after it.
So, for ምግብ (migb) instead of ምግብዎች (migbwoch) you get ምግቦች (migboch) by taking the last letter ብ (b) and converting it to its 7th family letter ቦ (bo) and add the ች 'ch' at the end. This trick reduces redundancy in the sound and is the mosty widely used format.
|ምግብ - migb
||ምግቦች ▶️ - migboch
|ድመት - dimet
||ድመቶች ▶️ - dimetoch
|በር - ber
||በሮች ▶️ - beroch
While the above methods work for regular everyday use, there are a handful of words that have a different formal pluralizing formula.
Using the ዎች (woch) method to pluralize is ok and not wrong but in a formal setting it might be.
Some of these words are: እንስሳ (ensisa) animal, ቀለም (qelem) color, ወር (wer) month
While እንስሶች (ensisoch) , ቀለሞች (qelemoch) , ወሮች (weroch) work just fine, the proper plural version is እንስሳት (ensisat), ወራት (werat), ቀለማት (qelemat).
Test yourself. Can you find the plurals for these words?