Easy Learning Spanish

Forming plurals - Easy Learning Grammar Spanish

1   Plurals ending in -s and -es

  • In English we usually make nouns plural by adding an -s to the end (gardengardens; househouses), although we do have some nouns which are irregular and do not follow this pattern (mousemice; childchildren).
TipRemember that you have to use los (for masculine nouns) or las (for feminine nouns) with plural nouns in Spanish. Any adjective that goes with the noun also has to agree with it, as does any pronoun that replaces it.
  • To form the plural in Spanish, add -s to most nouns ending in a vowel (a, e, i, o or u) which doesn’t have an accent.
el librothe book
los librosthe books
el hombrethe man
los hombresthe men
la profesorathe (female) teacher
las profesorasthe (female) teachers
  • Add -es to singular nouns ending in a consonant (any letter other than a vowel).
el profesorthe (male) teacher
los profesoresthe (male/male and female) teachers
la ciudadthe town/city
las ciudadesthe towns/cities
  • Note that some foreign words (that is, words which have come from another language, such as English) ending in a consonant just add -s.
el disc-jockeythe DJ
los disc-jockeysthe DJs
  • Words ending in -s which have an unstressed final vowel do not change in the plural.
el paraguasthe umbrella
los paraguasthe umbrellas
el lunes(on) Monday
los lunes(on) Mondays
  • For more information on Stress, see Stress.
  • Most singular nouns ending in an accented vowel add -s in the plural, but those ending in í (and sometimes ú) usually have two possible plurals: with -es or -s.
el caféthe café
los cafésthe cafés
el sofáthe sofa
los sofásthe sofas
el jabalíthe boar
los jabalíes or jabalísthe boars
Grammar Extra!When nouns are made up of two separate words, they are called compound nouns, for example, el abrelatas (meaning the tin-opener) and el hombre rana (meaning the frogman). Some of these nouns don’t change in the plural, for example, los abrelatas, while others do, for example, los hombres rana. It is always best to check in a dictionary to see what the plural is.

2   Spelling changes with plurals ending in -es

  • Singular nouns which end in an accented vowel and either -n or -s drop the accent in the plural.
la canciónthe song
las cancionesthe songs
el autobústhe bus
los autobusesthe buses
  • Singular nouns of more than one syllable which end in -en and don’t already have an accent, add one in the plural.
el examenthe exam
los exámenesthe exams
el joventhe youth
los jóvenesyoung people
  • Singular nouns ending in -z change to -c in the plural.
la luzthe light
las lucesthe lights
la vezthe times
las vecesthe times
  • For further information on Spelling and Stress, see Spelling and Stress.

3   Plural versus singular

  • A few words relating to clothing that are plural in English can be singular in Spanish.
una braga(a pair of) knickers
un slip(a pair of) underpants
un pantalón(a pair of) trousers
  • A few common words behave differently in Spanish from the way they behave in English.
un mueblea piece of furniture
unos mueblessome furniture
una noticiaa piece of news
unas noticiassome news
un consejoa piece of advice
unos consejossome advice
Key points
  • Add -s to form the plural of a noun ending in an unaccented vowel.
  • Add -es to form the plural of most nouns ending in a consonant.
  • Drop the accent when adding plural -es to nouns ending in an accented vowel + -n or -s.
  • Add an accent when adding plural -es to words of more than one syllable ending in -en.
  • Change -z to -c when forming the plural of words like luz.
  • A few common words are plural in English but not in Spanish.

See related content

Spanish Dictionary
Spanish Dictionary
Language Learner's Blog: Spanish
Language Learner's Blog: Spanish
NEW from Collins!
NEW from Collins!
The Paul Noble Method
The Paul Noble Method
Translator
Translator
Create an account and sign in to access this FREE content
Register now or login in to access