Forming plurals - Easy Learning Grammar French
1 Plurals ending in -s
- In English we usually make nouns plural by adding an -s to the end(garden → gardens; house → houses), although we do have some nouns which are irregular and do not follow this pattern (mouse → mice; child → children).
TipRemember that you have to use les with plural nouns in French. Any adjective that goes with the noun has to agree with it, as does any pronoun that replaces it.
- Most French nouns also form their plural by adding an -s to their singular form.
|un jardin||a garden|
|une voiture||a car|
|un hôtel||a hotel|
- If the singular noun ends in -s, -x or -z, no further -s is added in the plural.
|un fils||a son|
|une voix||a voice|
|un nez||a nose|
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.