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By suffixing verbs with "-ung" we can build nouns, e.g.:

prüfen - Prüfung
meinen - Meinung
richten - Richtung

All those nouns seem to have a female gender. Is that always true or do we have exceptions from that rule?

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Yes. Exception: springen, der Sprung ;-) (just kidding) –  splattne Jan 18 '12 at 11:17
    
I would not say that -ung is a suffix in Sprung. Instead it is a vovel change since the word base of the verb is spring. see: ich springe, ich sprang, ich bin gesprungen. –  harper Jan 18 '12 at 11:54
    
@harper sigh. Of course you're right. Apparently an emoticon plus bold j/k wasn't enough. –  splattne Jan 18 '12 at 11:58
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@jasperado It's der Schwung, but die Schwingung. –  Em1 Jan 18 '12 at 20:57
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I find it interesting that the natives don't know this, as it's one of the first things you learn as a foreigner! My teacher added humorously that it was the first and the last time we would come across a rule without an exception in the German language ... –  Stovner Jan 19 '12 at 16:46
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2 Answers

up vote 7 down vote accepted

AFAIK this is always true: all nouns ending with suffix "-ung" have female gender. There are some notes on the conversion verb - noun using that suffix at canoo.net. Furthermore, elexiko allows for searching for words sharing a certain suffix. The search returned zero matches for nouns ending on "ung" with male or neutral gender; only with gender set to female, elexiko returns matches (73, to be precise). So i assume there are in fact no nouns with other than female gender ending on "ung".

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I think that this is true. You have also some suffixes that require a male gender.

See: http://deutsch.lingo4u.de/grammatik/nomen/plural

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