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The plural of adjectives

Dans le dernier article, je vous parlais du féminin des adjectifs. À la demande générale, voyons maintenant comment former le pluriel des adjectifs !


The Agreement of Adjectives


An adjective qualifies a noun and agrees in gender (masculine/feminine) and number (singular/plural) with the noun.


Examples: un manteau vert (“vert” = masculine and singular adjective): a green coat/ une robe verte (“verte” = feminine and singular adjective): a green dress 👗


un ordinateur puissant (“puissant” = masculine and singular adjective): a powerful computer / des ordinateurs puissants (“puissants” = masculine and plural adjective): powerful computers


une chanson romantique (“romantique” = feminine and singular adjective): a romantic song / des chansons romantiques (“romantiques” = feminine and plural adjective: romantic songs



The Plural of Adjectives: General Rule


Generally, the plural of adjectives is formed by simply adding an "s" to the end of the word.


Examples: Un plat gourmand / des plats gourmands (a delicious dish/delicious dishes)


Un vêtement chaud / des vêtements chauds (a warm piece of clothe/warm clothes)


Un homme intelligent / des hommes intelligents (an intelligent man/intelligent men)


In the case of the feminine plural, an "s" is added to the feminine form of the adjective.


Basically:

Masculine

Feminine

Singular

Bon, joli, sympathique, grand

Bonne, jolie, sympathique, grande


Plural

Bons, jolis, sympathiques, grands

Bonnes, jolies, sympathiques, grandes

Note: There is no difference inpronunciation between singular and plural because the final "s" of the plural is silent (= it is not pronounced).



Special cases


1. Adjectives ending in "x" or "s" in the singular do not change in the masculine plural.

Masculine singular

Masculine plural

un enfant heureux, un animal dangereux

des enfants heureux, des animaux dangereux

un poisson frais, un chiffre précis

des poissons frais, des chiffres précis


However, in the feminine plural, they follow the general rule: an "s" is added to form the plural. (une musique joyeuse / des musiques joyeuses: a joyful music / joyful musics)



2. Les terminaisons irrégulières

​Masculine singular

Masculine plural

-al

national, royal, primordial, légal, spécial

-aux nationaux, royaux, primordiaux, légaux, spéciaux

-eau beau, nouveau

-eaux beaux, nouveaux

Examples: un document légal / des documents légaux, un moment spécial /des moments spéciaux


There are 7 exceptions : banal, bancal, fatal, final, glacial, natal, naval end by “-als” in the plural. (un meuble bancal / des meubles bancals)


In the feminine, they follow the regular rule. (une date spéciale / des dates spéciales).


Plural of colors












The colors are adjectives and follow the same rule.

Exceptions: "orange" and "marron" (brown) are invariable (no "s" in the plural).



The masculine takes precedence over the feminine


This rule means that an adjective is to be applied in the masculine plural if it describes a group of both male and female nouns.


- The adjective describes a group of only female nouns: the adjective is in the feminine plural.

Maria et Sofia sont intelligentes.(feminine plural)


- The adjective describes a group of only male nouns: the adjective is in the masculine plural

John et Michael sont malins. (masculine plural)


- The adjective describes a group of both male and female nouns: the adjective is in the masculine plural.

Maria et John sont grands et bruns. (masculine plural)


Exercise


To test your knowledge, match the adjectives in parentheses to masculine plural or feminine plural.


Start by reviewing the gender of the nouns if you have difficulty knowing when a noun is masculine or feminine.The answers are below the image.



Answers: 1. verts – 2. privées – 3. originaux – 4. bleues – 5. agréables – 6. puissantes – 7. pauvres – 8. marron – 9. banals – 10. exceptionnelles – 11. talentueux (masculin pluriel) / talentueuses (féminin pluriel) – 12. évidentes – 13. finals – 14. nouveaux – 15. orange – 16. belles



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