In this lesson, we are looking at singular and plural forms of nouns. In English as well as in French, the word “singular” is used to denote a quantity of one whereas the word “plural” is used to refer to “more than one” of something. In English, nouns are usually marked as being plural by adding –s or –es.
Ex1: one book, two books
Ex2: One box, two boxes
In French, the most common rule for forming the plural of nouns is actually very simple.
→ add a final -s in the spelling to mark a noun as plural.
However, the final –s in French plural nouns is not pronounced, except when an association /a link (called “une liaison” in French) is needed.
Ex1: Un livre, deux livres = one book, two books
Ex2: Une femme aveugle, Cinq femmes aveugles (Sank fam za vuhgle) =” five blind women” (the association is needed here “za”)
Even if the –s is not pronounced, it is easy to know if a word is plural or singular because articles and verbs agree with the nouns. The table below shows the difference between singular and plural articles.
|Le livre est ouvert||the book is open||les livres sont ouverts||the books are open|
|la chaise est blanche||the chair is white||les chaises sont blanches||the chairs are white|
|Un livre||a book||Des livres||(Some )books|
|Une chaise rouge||a red chair||Des chaises rouges||(Some)red chairs|
Note: The Plural form of LE/LA= LES
The plural form of UN/UNE= DES
As you can imagine, the simple rule of adding -s doesn’t actually work in all cases. We do have irregularities in the French plural form and these irregularities have to be learnt by heart.