(PHP 4 >= 4.2.0, PHP 5, PHP 7, PHP 8)

ngettextPlural version of gettext


ngettext(string $singular, string $plural, int $count): string

The plural version of gettext(). Some languages have more than one form for plural messages dependent on the count.



The singular message ID.


The plural message ID.


The number (e.g. item count) to determine the translation for the respective grammatical number.

Return Values

Returns correct plural form of message identified by singular and plural for count count.


Example #1 ngettext() example


(LC_ALL, 'cs_CZ');
printf(ngettext("%d window", "%d windows", 1), 1); // 1 okno
printf(ngettext("%d window", "%d windows", 2), 2); // 2 okna
printf(ngettext("%d window", "%d windows", 5), 5); // 5 oken


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User Contributed Notes 6 notes

kontakt at somplatzki dot de
16 years ago
It's useful to know how the .po-file has to look like when using ngettext:

msgid "item"
msgid_plural "items"
msgstr[0] "Produkt"
msgstr[1] "Produkte"

In php:

echo ngettext('item', 'items', $number);
Mike Robinson
10 years ago
Even though "hek at theeks dot net"'s answer is valid, I would not recommend using the abs() hack recommended. Even though it is by far the most common, not all languages treat (n != 1) as plural. Other languages are much more complex, for example, here is how you determine plurals in Macedonian.

n==1 || n%10==1 ? 0 : 1

In Arabic there are actually 5 different types of plurals:

n==0 ? 0 : n==1 ? 1 : n==2 ? 2 : n%100>=3 && n%100<=10 ? 3 : n%100>=11 ? 4 : 5

If you are using only specific languages that use the (n != 1) format AND -1 is singular, by all means, use abs(), but be careful and don't forget that you have done this when adding a new language to your project 3 years down the road.
tokul at users dot sourceforge dot net
16 years ago
According to GNU gettext manual third argument is unsigned long integer. It must be positive number. If n is negative, it might be evaluated incorrectly in some languages.
peter at ints dot net
14 years ago
Example for russian lang:
"Plural-Forms: nplurals=3; plural=n%10==1 && n%100!=11 ? 0 : n%10>=2 && n%10<=4 && (n%100<10 || n%100>=20) ? 1 : 2;\n"
msgid "File"
msgid_plural "Files"
msgstr[0] "Файл"
msgstr[1] "Файла"
msgstr[2] "Файлов"

echo ngettext("File", "Files", $number);
hek at theeks dot net
14 years ago
Beware of one difference between the GNU gettext API and the PHP binding of it, which is that the GNU gettext functions that accept a $count parameter all expect (indeed, being compiled C, require) that $count be unsigned, while the PHP binding does not.

Thus, the PHP gettext functions will happily accept negative numbers. The one potentially irritating consequence of this is that -1 is treated as plural, which sits well with some people and not so well with others. (As a picky native speaker of English, my personal opinion is that both "the temperature is minus one degree Fahrenheit" and "four apples minus five apples leaves minus one apple" but others may feel that "four apples minus five apples leaves minus one apples" sounds better.)

The upshot: You may want to abs($count) before passing numbers to gettext.

Bonus points: If your application includes user preferences, you might offer a "treat -1 as singular" option to your users, then choose $count or abs($count) to pass to gettext based on each user's preference.
mike-php at emerge2 dot com
18 years ago
Section 10.2.5 in the GNU gettext manual explains the ngettext function:

(Sorry, but the Add Note function prevents me from including a long URL which points right to that section of the manual.)
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