In the last days I have come across the question:

What is the singular of 'Ferien'?

Plural: die 'Ferien'

But what is the singular?

2 Answers 2


There is none, it's a plural word. If you want to talk about a single holiday, as it were, you'd use Ferientag or Urlaubstag. Very often people will say that they are taking a day off (nehmen sich einen Tag Urlaub) or using some comp time (Zeitausgleich nehmen).

The word directly derives from the Latin "feriae", which already was a plural-only word.

  • This is a case of a collaborative answer, which is not provided for by StackExchange. I think it would be more correct if Ingmar and @Carlster shared my +1. Aug 18, 2014 at 1:37
  • I don't really care all that much for the +1, honestly, but if Carlster would have wanted that point so badly I'm sure he would have provided an answer himself. That said, it was actually provided by a commenter, if memory serves, and he merely added that comment to my answer. It's all good as far as I'm concerned.
    – Ingmar
    Aug 18, 2014 at 3:19
  • Thanks for the kudos, @Walter, but I think guidot and I are all good :)
    – user6191
    Aug 18, 2014 at 11:34

In every language there are nouns that have only a plural form, but no singular. In German for instance Leute, Kosten, Ferien. The grammar term for such plural nouns is Latin Pluraletantum, which means " plural only". de.wikipedia has more information:



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