Language: Is it better to use Singular or Plural form for items with counters?

I have a question for native German, Spanish, and French speakers.

In my game I have numerous items that have a ① graphical icon (showing the name of the item) and a ② numerical counter (00-99) below them - like :

(   ) 

trank (poción/potion)

② 00

In German, Spanish and French, is it better to use plural - like :?

(   ) 

tränke (pociones/potions)

② 00

In English, afaik, we usually use the plural because there’s far more of them. Singular only applies to 1.
If any one could give me some advice, I would greatly appreciate it!

I’m French native and I’d say yes. It’s like English.

XX potions

you could go

XX potion(s) but there is no need to go that far in a video game.

Plural forms is a fun problem. In English we only have two forms, but other languages can have up to 6.

Here’s a breakdown of how is normally solved:

Here’s some of the raw data often used to drive the above:

UE4 unfortunately doesn’t support plural forms, but it will in the future. I have no estimate for that work though.

Wow, thanks for info. I never knew it existed. From what I’ve glossed from it, it appears to be a method for programmatically (via code) outputting the proper noun form for languages based on specific rules.

I apologize for not being more clear; I admit my title wasn’t worded well.

In my case, since the singular or plural form of the noun is to be shown in an art asset (1 texture with a potion and the text “potion” overlapping it), we can only go with one or the other. Technically we could check the counter and switch the texture, but unfortunately that isn’t an option (memory constraints are extremely tight and code is locked).

Regardless, I will definitely refer to those links you kindly provided when I want to have control over noun forms in realtime. Thanks again for that cool info!


Thanks! info is very helpful! I took French back in high-school but even if I were fluent, I still wouldn’t know what’s more natural or passable for a native speaker.

XX potion(s) :wink: It’s comforting to here you say it’s not required to go that far for a video game. On a tangent…I think doing it that way is kind of fun, though, because it’s grammatical gameplay in a sense - use the (s) only if it’s 1. In other words, 1 is like the boss, because you have to stop your attack at a certain time.

French and English are apparently identical for potion and potions, huh? Cool stuff. But from what I checked, slapping an s onto the singular noun for German, Spanish and Italian (shoot I just remembered we’ve got Italian, too…) won’t work - though I wish it could.

Sorry for the rant. I thank you very much for your help, . Extremely appreciated!