How to Master Plurals in Spanish Grammar (2023)

How to Master Plurals in Spanish Grammar (1)

February 19, 2021 by Michelle Margaret Fajkus Spanish Grammar 0 comments

Learning to form plurals in Spanish is relatively simple! This is good news for beginning Spanish learners like you.

In this lesson, discover how to make Spanish nouns and their definite articles plural by learning a handful of basic Spanish grammar rules.

The plural in Spanish (also known as the “number”) is similar to the plural in English. In both languages, the ending of a noun indicates whether the noun is singular (exactly one) or plural (more than one).

Are you ready to take the plunge into the world of plurality? Keep reading for a simple guide on mastering plurals in Spanish!

Beginner’s Guide to Plurals in Spanish

In English, we usually pluralize nouns by adding an -s to the end (for instance: “window” becomes “windows” and rose becomes “roses”), although some nouns are irregular and do not follow this pattern (for example: “woman” becomes “women” and “deer” remains “deer”).

Most plurals In Spanish also involve adding an -s or –es to the end of the word, although there are a handful of rules (and exceptions) to keep in mind.

How to Master Plurals in Spanish Grammar (2)

1. Match the Article to the Noun

Plurals in Spanish also take into account the gender of the noun (that is, whether it is masculine with el or feminine with la).

Whenever you form a sentence in Spanish, make sure the article agrees with its noun in both gender and number. So, if the word is singular, the article must also be singular. If the noun is feminine, its article must be feminine, too.

What are Definite Articles?

All four of Definite articles translate into English as the word “the.”

  • el – masculine, singular
  • los – masculine, plural
  • la – feminine, singular
  • las – feminine, plural

What are Indefinite Articles?

We use indefinite articles to refer to nouns in broad, general terms. In English, the indefinite articles are “a” and “an.”

  • un – masculine, singular
  • unos – masculine, plural
  • una – feminine, singular
  • unas – feminine, plural

2. Add -s to Nouns that End in Vowels

Make singular Spanish nouns that end in vowels plural by adding -s to the end. For example:

el pueblo → los pueblos (towns)

la niña → las niñas (girls)

la manzana → las manzanas (apples)

el brazo → los brazos (arms)

(Video) Singular and Plural Nouns in Spanish: Rules and Examples

3. Add -es to Nouns that End in Consonants

If a singular noun ends in a vowel plus y or the consonants l, r, n, d, z, j, s, x, or ch, add -es.For example:

el azul → los azules (blues)

el ratón → los ratones (rats)

el color → los colores (colors)

el director → los directores (directors)

Exception: Nouns that End in -ión

Add -es and drop the accent over the o if the noun ends in –ión.

Accent marks in Spanish add stress to the syllable that they accentuate. Occasionally, the accent mark is dropped when a word becomes plural. For example:

el camión → los camiones (trucks)

la elección → las elecciones (elections)

la cuestión → las cuestiones (issues)

Exception: Nouns that End in -z

If a noun ends in -z, change the -z to -c and add -es to make it plural.

el lombriz → los lombrices (earthworms)

la actriz → las actrices (actresses)

la luz → las luces (lights)

4. Only Change the Article to Plural When…

Some plurals in Spanish remain the same as in their singular form. In the following cases, the only change occurs in the article.

Nouns ending in -s or -x with an unstressed last syllable

el / los crises (crisis vs crises)

el / los tesis (thesis vs theses)

el / los lunes (Mondays) *this is the case for all days of the week except sábado and domingo)

When the second word in a singular compound noun is a plural noun

El / los espantapájaros (scarecrow/s)

El / los paraguas (umbrella/s)

El / los lavaplatos (dishwasher/s)

5. Use the masculine plural to refer to mixed-gender groups

For better or worse, Spanish defaults to masculine. If there is even one male in the mix, the word will automatically be in the masculine and plural.

(Video) PLURAL Nouns In Spanish | Learn Spanish Grammar

When there is a mixed group, however, the meaning of the word in Spanish is neutralized.

10 gatas + 1 gato = 11 gatos

10 female cats+ 1 male cat = 11 cats

1 chico + 99 chicas = 100 chicos

1 boy + 99 girls = 100 children

1 profesor + 999 profesoras = 1000 profesores

1 male teacher + 999 female teacher = 1000 teachers

6. Words Referred to in Plural Form

Lastly, a few Spanish words indicate objects which consist of two or more (often symmetrical) features, just as in English. Such words are generally referred to by employing their plural form.

Las gafas – glasses

Los pantalones – pants

Las tijeras – scissors

How to Master Plurals in Spanish Grammar (3)

Practice Your Plurals in Spanish

Try the following exercises to put your new knowledge of Spanish plurals to the test.

Write the correct plural form.

1. el libro

2. el lápiz

3. la universidad

4. el mapa

5. la conversación

6. el martes

7. la jaula

8. el cienpies

9. el rey

(Video) Let's learn Singular and Plural in Spanish!!

10. la voz

True or False?

1. If a noun ends in -o, make it plural by adding -es.

2. If a noun ends in -ión, make it plural by simply adding -es.

3. If a noun ends in -a, make it plural by adding -s.

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

5. If a noun ends in -z, make it plural by changing the z to c, and adding -es.

Click here to see the answer key.

Put Your Spanish Plurals to Good Use

Now that you’re a star at using plurals in Spanish, why not continue to improve your Spanish skills? Homeschool Spanish Academy offers flexible and fun Spanish classes personalized to your level.

Our native Spanish-speaking teachers from Guatemala will be glad to help you with grammar, spelling, and conversational skills. Sign up now for a free trial to see how quickly you’ll progress by talking to a professional, certified Spanish teacher!

Ready to learn more Spanish grammar? Check these out!

  • 10 Essential Ways to Use “Que” in Spanish
  • Solo vs Solamente: What’s the Difference?
  • What Is an Infinitive in Spanish?
  • How To Use the Spanish Verb ‘Parecer’
  • Having Fun in Spanish Using the Verb ‘Divertirse’
  • How to Use the ‘Personal A’ in Spanish: Do’s and Don’ts
  • Hacer Conjugation: Free Spanish Lesson, Exercises, and PDF
  • How To Write Dates in Spanish

Answer Key

Write the correct plural form.

1. los libros

2. los lápices

3. las universidades

4. los mapas

5. las conversaciones

6. los martes

7. las jaulas

8. los cienpies

9. los reyes

10. las voces

True or False?

1. False (add -s)

2. False (drop the accent mark)

(Video) How to form Singular and Plurals in Spanish - Basic Grammar

3. True

4. True

5. True

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Michelle Margaret Fajkus

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Michelle Margaret Fajkus is a bilingual writer and longtime yoga teacher. A former advertising copywriter turned bilingual elementary school teacher, she is now a freelance writer, editor and translator. A native Texan, Michelle has Mexican roots and learned Spanish in middle and high school. She has become more fluent thanks to living as an expat in Guatemala. She lives with her family on beautiful Lake Atitlan.

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(Video) How to form plural nouns in Spanish


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