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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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  • 7
    Yes. Exception: springen, der Sprung ;-) (just kidding)
    – splattne
    Jan 18, 2012 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, 2012 at 11:54
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    @harper sigh. Of course you're right. Apparently an emoticon plus bold j/k wasn't enough.
    – splattne
    Jan 18, 2012 at 11:58
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    @jasperado It's der Schwung, but die Schwingung.
    – Em1
    Jan 18, 2012 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, 2012 at 16:46

3 Answers 3

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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 canoonet.eu. 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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No exception except for single-syllable words like "Schwung", "Sprung", "Dung" and composites. Oh, and there is a children's song "In einen Harung jung und schlank, der auf dem Meeresgrunde schwamm, verliebte sich o Wunder, 'ne alte Flunder". But that's just a quirky substitute for "Hering".

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