French Grammar: «Plural»
From Polyglot Club WIKI
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"
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- des demi-heures (half-hours)
- des semi-remorques (semi-trailers)
VIDEOS[edit | edit source]
Plural of nouns in French: