CONVERSA Almost as simple as adding -s

Spanish Noun Plural: The Fundamentals

For an English speaker, Spanish grammar is sometimes quite hard to grasp, for example grammatical gender. However, sometimes grammar can be quite similar between languages who share long-past roots, like English and Spanish! Today, we’ll talk about the noun plural, so if you want to learn Spanish AND enjoy free online activities, keep with us!

NOUN PLURAL IN SPANISH

Nouns have two numbers both in English and in Spanish, singular (1) and plural (+1). The way we turn a singular noun into plural in Spanish is very similar to English. For the most part, we add -s at the end of the word and we get the plural.

Example: banana/bananas; chair/chairs

But there are many nouns where -s is not enough, we might have to add -es, change the end consonant, or change the word altogether (i.e: box/boxes; elf/elves; mouse/mice). Much like in English, in Spanish there are exceptions and special cases, but the general rules are go something like this:

General rules of the plural

If the noun ends in vowel we simply add -s
*EXCEPT: if the final vowel is -í or -ú (with accent), adding  -s or -es will both be valid, but -es is preferred

  • plátano = plátanos
  • silla = sillas
  • tabú = tabúes or tabús

If the word ends in vowel + y, traditionally we form the plural with -es, however some new nouns acquired from foreign languages may be formed just by adding -s and turning -y into -i

  • Ley = leyes
  • Jersey = jerséis

If the noun ends in consonant, we add -es

  • sol = soles
  • jardín = jardines

*note some consonants will change as by Spanish spelling rules (z>c)

  • pez = peces

If the noun ends in -s or -x, there will be no changes
*EXCEPT:
if noun is only one-syllable long then the plural is formed with -es

  • cactus = cactus
  • dúplex = dúplex
  • vals = valses

These are the main rules, but as with any language, there are many exceptions to the rule. Of course, not even Spanish-speakers know all there is to know, because it can get quite complicated. We recommend you stick to these, though, and you’ll be safe 90% of the time. Why make our lives harder, eh?

If you liked this post, check out our free online activity below and practice forming some plurals. Remember to click the lightbulb if you can’t get it right and want to know the final answers!

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