TNs, U43: Irregular Plurals (Plurals ending in -x)

Plural Nouns and Adjectives

Most French nouns and adjectives can be pluralized by adding an ending -s, like in English.

  • un hôteldes hôtels (hotels)
  • un jardindes jardins (gardens)

The plural forms for most words ending in -ail are regular and made with an -s at the end.

  • un détaildes détails (details)
  • un épouvantaildes épouvantails (scarecrows)

There are seven exceptions: un bail/des baux (leases), un corail/des coraux (coral(s)), un émail/des émaux (emails), un soupirail/des soupiraux (ventilators), un travail/des travaux (a job/works), un ventail/des ventaux (leaves or casements), un vitrail/des vitraux (stained glass(es)).

Words that do not end with an -s in the plural form typically end in -x. For instance, most words ending in -al change to -aux.

  • un animaldes animaux (animals)
  • un journaldes journaux (newspapers)

These words ending in -al are exceptions: un bal/des bals (balls/formal dances), un festival/des festivals (festivals), un carnaval/des carnavals (carnivals), un cal/des cals (calluses), un régal/des régals (treats or delights), un chacal/des chacals (jackals).

Add -x to the end of most nouns that end in -au, -eau, and -eu to pluralize them.

  • un tuyaudes tuyaux (pipes)
  • mon chapeaumes chapeaux (my hats)
  • le feules feux (the fires)

Seven masculine nouns ending in -ou also add an -x in the plural.

  • bijou/bijoux (jewels), caillou/cailloux (pebbles), chou/choux (cabbages), genou/genoux (knees), hibou/hiboux (owls), joujou/joujoux (toys), pou/poux (lice).

The plural forms of -au, -eau, -eu, and -ou words are homophones of their singular forms. In general, the best way to tell if a noun is plural is to listen carefully to its article. If you hear les or des, it's plural. Otherwise, it's probably singular.

Masculine & Feminine Adjectives

Similarly, masculine singular adjectives ending in -al take on -aux endings in the plural. However, feminine singular adjectives ending in -ale simply add an ending -s.

  • généralgénéraux (general)
  • généralegénérales (general)
  • idéalidéaux (ideal)
  • idéaleidéales (ideal)

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1 month ago


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