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French Language French Grammar: «Plural»

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This article explains how to use the plural in French.

In general, the French nouns form the plural by adding an '-s' to the singular:

  • un cahier / des cahiers (a notebook / notebooks)

You will find below the exceptions to this rule:

's', 'x' or 'z'[edit | edit source]

Singular nouns ending with 's', 'x' or 'z' do not change at plural:

  • le fils / les fils (the son / the sons)

'-au', '-eau' or '-eu'[edit | edit source]

Singular nouns ending with '-au', '-eau' or '-eu' ends with an '-x' at plural:

  • le feu / les feux (the fire / fires).

except :landau (s), sarrau (s ), bleu(s) , pneu (s )

'-ou'[edit | edit source]

Words ending in 'OU' take an 'S' except for the following words ending in 'X':

  • bijou (jewel)
  • caillou (pebble)
  • chou (cabbage)
  • genou (knee)
  • hibou (owl)
  • joujou (toy)
  • pou (louse)

'-al'[edit | edit source]

Singular nouns ending with '-al' change their termination to '-aux':

  • le cheval / les chevaux.

Some words have a regular plural and take an '-s'. The most common exceptions are : aval (downstream or approval), bal (ball, dance), carnaval, cérémonial, chacal (jackal), festival, narval (narwhal), récital, régal (delight), natal (native),

Glacial (cold) can be "glacials" or "glaciaux" in the plural

'-ail'[edit | edit source]

Words that ends with "ail" in plural take "s"

Except :

  • some words takes ''aux" in plural instead of "s" like : bail / baux (lease), émail / émaux (enamel), soupirail /soupiraux (basement window), vitrail / vitraux (stained glass), vantail / vantaux (door panel), travail / travaux (job), corail / coraux (coral)

Plural of compound names[edit | edit source]

Some names are composed of two words, sometimes three.In general, only nouns and adjectives take the plural mark. Verbs, adverbs and prepositions are invariable.

Exemples :

  • des sourds-muets (deaf-mute) = adjective+adjective
  • des porte-documents (portfolio) =verb+noun
  • des haut-parleurs (speakers) = adverb+noun

But the plural also depends on the meaning of the words.

Exemples :

  • des wagons-lits (sleepers coaches) = noun+noun, and there are several cars and several beds per car.
  • des kilomètres-heure (kilometres per hour) = several kilometres but only one hour.

"Demi" (half) et "semi" (semi) are invariable if they are placed before the name.

Exemples:

  • des demi-heures (half-hours)
  • des semi-remorques (semi-trailers)

VIDEOS[edit | edit source]

Plural of nouns in French:

Contributors

Vincent, 176.151.92.12, Mila99, Aourell, Ardnassac and DEMUIZON


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