2 Plurals ending in -x
- The following nouns add an -x instead of an -s in the plural:
|un chapeau||a hat|
|un jeu||a game|
- a FEW nouns ending in -ou (MOST nouns ending in -ou add -s as usual)
|un bijou||a jewel|
|un caillou||a pebble|
|un chou||a cabbage|
|un genou||a knee|
|un hibou||an owl|
|un joujou||a toy|
|un pou||a louse|
TipAdding an -s or -x to the end of a noun does not usually change the way the word is pronounced. For example, professeur and professeurs and chapeau and chapeaux sound just the same when you say them out loud.
- If the singular noun ends in -al or -ail, the plural usually ends in -aux.
|un journal||a newspaper|
|un animal||an animal|
|un travail||a job|
TipThe plural of un œil (an eye) is des yeux (eyes).
3 Plural versus singular
- A few words relating to clothing are plural in English but NOT in French.
- A few common words are plural in French but NOT in English.
Grammar Extra!When nouns are made up of two separate words, they are called compound nouns, for example, les grands-parents (meaning grandparents), des ouvre-boîtes (meaning tin-openers). The rules for forming the plural of compound nouns are complicated and it is best to check in a dictionary to see what the plural is.
- Most French nouns form their plural by adding an -s to their singular form. If the singular noun ends in -s, -x or -z, no further-s is added in the plural.
- Most nouns ending in -eau or -eu add an -x in the plural.
- Most nouns ending in -ou take an -s in the plural, with a few exceptions.
- If the singular noun ends in -al or -ail, the plural usually ends in-aux.
- Adding an -s or -x to the end of a noun does not generally affect the way the word is pronounced.
- A few common words are plural in English but not in French, and vice versa.