In reading German newspapers, I keep on encountering instances, when die Information is used in its plural form, die Informationen. The most recent example is this sentence from Süddeutsche Zeitung:

In der Abgas-Affäre um weit überhöhte Schadstoffwerte bei Diesel-Fahrzeugen gehen nach Informationen von Süddeutscher Zeitung, NDR und WDR mehrere vom Bundestag zu Rate gezogene Experten hart mit der Autobranche und der Politik ins Gericht.

Dict.cc provides further examples of using die Information in its plural form:

Informationen austauschen = to share information

Informationen bekommen = to obtain information

Informationen einholen = to gather information

So, why is die Informationen used in all of the above examples? Would it be wrong to use the singular version of the noun in the above examples?


1 Answer 1


Your examples use the plural because it's more than a single piece of information.

In English, information exists only in singular, in German there is a valid plural --- Informationen. Using the plural is much more common cause mostly you are dealing with more than just a single bit of information. I wouldn't say it is completely wrong to just use the singular in German, but it sounds odd to me.

The notable exception is the desk with the big i sign: an information desk is referred to as "die Information" in German.

  • 2
    Two unrelated information desks would be "die Informationen" - for example "Die Informationen in beiden Hotels waren ganz ausgezeichnet". Quite rarely used.
    – gnasher729
    Aug 27, 2016 at 22:09

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