019 Spanish Formation of Plural Nouns

1) If a noun ends in a vowel, make it plural by adding -s.

libro: libros

(libro + s)

pluma: plumas

(pluma + s)

chico: chicos

(chico + s)

señora: señoras

(señora + s)

2) The definite articles (el, la) also change in the plural form. They become “los” and “las.” The definite articles will be covered in depth in the next lesson.

el libro: los libros

la pluma: las plumas

el chico: los chicos

la señora: las señoras

3) If a noun ends in a consonant, make it plural by adding -es.

el borrador: los borradores

(borrador + es)

la universidad: las universidades

(universidad + es)

el profesor: los profesores

(profesor + es)

la ciudad: las ciudades

(ciudad + es)

4) If a noun ends in -ión, add -es and drop the written accent.

el avión: los aviones

la conversación: las conversaciones

la sección: las secciones

la televisión: las televisiones

Note: You may wonder why “avión” isn’t feminine. Notice that it doesn’t qualify for our rule which says that all nouns ending in -ción and sión are feminine.

5) If a noun ends in -z, add -es and change the z to c.

el lápiz: los lápices

la voz: las voces

el tapiz: los tapices

la actriz: las actrices

6) When the plural refers to two or more nouns of different genders, the masculine plural is used.

2 perros + 6 perras = 8 perros (not perras)
1 gato + 8 gatas = 9 gatos (not gatas)

7) A few nouns are “compound nouns,” that is, they are formed by combining two words into one.

(Example: abre + latas = abrelatas / open + cans = can opener)

8) These compound nouns are always masculine, and the plural is formed by changing the “el” to “los.”

el abrelatas
los abrelatas

el paraguas
los paraguas

9) Let’s review the rules for making nouns plural.

  • If a noun ends in a vowel, simply add -s.
  • If a noun ends in a consonant, simply add -es.
  • If a noun ends in a -z, change the z to c before adding -es.
  • If a noun ends in ión, drop the written accent before adding -es.
  • If the plural refers to a mixed group, use the masculine.
  • For compound nouns, change “el” to “los”.




Next: 020 Spanish Possessive Adjectives

Spanish Index

Word Document at: 019 Spanish Formation of Plural Nouns

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