https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ripcurlgirl

Three gender changing nouns when expressed as plurals.

I thought I would share this odd piece of trivia of which I have only just become aware.

There are 3 nouns that change gender in plurality and it is an exception that exists for these 3 nouns only.

un amour, un orgue and un délice - a love, an organ, a delight

For example:

Un amour heureux becomes des amours heureuses in the plural

Quel délice becomes Quelles délices in the plural.

Le grand orgue becomes Les grandes orgues in the plural.

C'est bizarre, non ?

December 14, 2017

12 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jrikhal

In case some are interested, here's an entry about these three nouns by the Académie Française, where you can see that, depending on the meaning and/or the language level, the plural may also have the same gender as the singular.

It would have been too simple if their plurals were always feminine, no? ;)

December 16, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ripcurlgirl

That was very interesting and has muddied the waters somewhat. Yes, apparently far too simple. Merci l'Académie Française !

December 16, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CommeuneTexane

Oh my word, too simple indeed...

Ah la belle langue, you never cease to amaze!

December 16, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lemniscatarum

What's the origin behind this?

December 14, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ripcurlgirl

A friend signed me up to a site called "Frantastique" as a gift. The site is based in France and the lessons are excellent and entertaining. Today's lesson emphatically pointed out that these 3 nouns are the only exception of gender changing nouns in the plural.

December 14, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lemniscatarum

Is there an explanation for why the agreement is like this?

December 14, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MathisDu

At the time, we didn't sure about the genders in France. We could use the feminine and the masculine for hundreds of words. But now, we kept only three words. I hope that my explanation is good. Have a good day!

December 14, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/aistobe

Very interesting. Merci de l'avoir partagé.

Il semble qu'il y avait aussi un film:

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amours,_D%C3%A9lices_et_Orgues

December 14, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ripcurlgirl

Merci du lien !

December 14, 2017

[deactivated user]

    As a French, I don't make the distinction between them :

    Un amour heureux -> Des amours heureux

    Quel délice -> Quels délices

    Le grand orgue/La grande orgue -> Les grands orgues/Les grandes orgues

    December 14, 2017

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

    Too bad! These used to be taught in elementary school, but I am not sure all elementary teachers are aware of these rules.

    December 14, 2017

    [deactivated user]

      It's the evolution of the language ! ^^

      December 15, 2017
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