How to Make French Nouns Plural

Part of the French Grammar For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Create plural nouns in French by adding an s or x, or by substituting aux for –al. Making French nouns plural, however, takes a different tack when it comes to family names and nouns that end in –s, x, or z. In French grammar, here's how you turn a singular noun into a plural noun:

  • For most nouns, you add -s to the end. For example: résultat (result) becomes résultats (results); fleur (flower) becomes fleurs (flowers).

  • Nouns that end in -au take -x in the plural. For example: bateau (boat) becomes bateaux (boats), and manteau (overcoat) becomes manteaux (overcoats).

  • Most nouns that end in -ou take -s in the plural, but some take -x. For example: chou (cabbage) becomes choux (cabbages), and bijou (jewel) becomes bijoux (jewels).

  • Nouns that end in -al drop that ending and use -aux in the plural. For example: journal (newspaper) becomes journaux (newspapers); animal (animal) becomes animaux (animals).

  • Nouns that end in -s, -x, or -z when they're singular don't change in the plural; you simply change the accompanying article. For example: un Français (a Frenchman) remains des Français (Frenchmen), and un virus (a virus) remains des virus (viruses).

  • Family names aren't pluralized in French. For example, the Martins lose the -s in French but keep the article: Les Martin.

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