Nouns and Adjectives: All Irregular Plurals in French in 1 Place

plural singular irregular nouns and adjectives in french

Forming Plural Nouns and Adjectives in French can be both straightforward and tricky. It all depends on the nature of plural nouns, and adjectives. Some nouns and adjectives are considered regular and easy to memorize, while others have irregular patterns and can take time to master.

Today, we help you learn how to form Irregular Plurals in French.

What is a Regular Plural of Nouns and Adjectives?

If we are talking about Irregular Plurals, first there must be a regular pattern, right?

Regular Plural of Nouns and Adjectives are formed the same way in most cases. The general rule tells us that we need to add the additional -s to an adjective or noun to form the plural.


  • Sg. un jardin-Pl. des jardins
  • Sg. une voiture- Pl. des voitures
  • Sg. un hôtel- Pl. des hôtels


Un chat noir – Des chats noirs

A black cat – Black cats

Une chemise verte – Des chemises vertes

Green shirt – Green shirts

If the singular noun and adjective end in -s-x, or -z,  nothing is added.

  • Sg. →une souris – Pl.→ des souris 
  • Sg. →un nez  – Pl.→ des nez 
  • Sg. →une noix – Pl. → des noix

There are plenty of French words that end in -s. Some of them are coming from English.

  • l’ananas m. (pineapple)
  • le bus (bus)
  • le bas (stocking)
  • le bras (arm)
  • le colis (package)
  • la fois (time)

Irregular Plurals of Nouns and Adjectives

Irregular Plurals in French, have a different pattern than a regular plural formation. In most irregular cases, nouns and adjectives need an-x instead of adding-s, but it may also require other spelling changes. What rule to apply depends only on the word’s ending. Let’s take a look at different possibilities.

1. Ending in -eau,-au-eu

Nouns and adjectives ending in -eau-au and -eu almost always form their plural by adding an -x instead of an -s. This rule applies to both masculine and feminine plural nouns and adjectives. For example:

Nouns ending in -eau

  • le bateau (boat) → les bateaux
  • le bureau (office, desk) → les bureaux
  • le cadeau (gift) → les cadeaux
  • le chapeau (hat) → les chapeaux
  • le château (castle) → les châteaux
  • le couteau (knife) → les couteaux
  • le gateau (cake) → les gateaux
  • le manteau (coat) → les manteaux
  • le morceau (piece) →les morceaux
  • l’oiseau (bird) → les oiseaux
  • le rideau (curtain) → les rideaux

Adjectives ending in -eau

Sg→nouveau (adj) – Pl. nouveaux

Notice that some of these words exist as loanwords in English, and in such cases, English often adds an -x as well.

Nouns ending in –eu

  • le cheveu (a single hair) → les cheveux (many hairs)
  • le jeu (game) → les jeux (games)
  • le lieu (place) → les lieux (places)
  • le neveu (nephew) → les neveux (nephews)

Exception is “le pneu → les pneus“, bleu – les bleus, landau- landaus

Nouns ending in – au

change au to aux

Sg →un tuyau (noun ) – Pl. des tuyaux

Nouns ending inal

change al to aux

  • l’animal (animal) → les animaux
  • le cheval (horse) → les chevaux
  • l’hôpital (hospital) → les hôpitaux
  • le journal (newspaper) → les journaux
  • un journal→des journaux
  • un accord international→ des accords internationaux 

Exception is “le bal → les bals”, “le festival – les festivals ” recital, régal

Adjectives ending in -al

change al to aux

  • idéal – idéaux

Nouns  ending in – ail

change ail to aux

  • bail (noun) – des baux
  • travail – des travaux
  • vitrail – des vitraux

Most of the other nouns that end in -ail have regular plural. e.g. les chandails.

The plural of the word ail (“garlic”) is, if you need it, regular. (The archaic plural aux listed in some dictionaries is practically never used in reality.)

Nouns ending in -0u

For nouns and adjectives that end in-ou, we form the plural by adding x.

  • un caillou-des cailloux
  • un chou- des choux
  • hibou – des hiboux
  • un joujou – des joujoux
  • un pou – des poux

Referring to Multiple Nouns

In case adjective refers to plural nouns, and if at least one is masculine, the adjective takes the masculine plural ending.

feminine + masculine = masculine plural adjective

Peter et Julie sont les gentils enseignants de mon fils.

Peter and Julie are my son’s kind teachers.

Unchanged Adjectives

There are some adjectives that remain unchanged in both feminine and plural forms.

These include

  • adjectives made from nouns (rose, fauve, mauve)

Il aime les sofas orange.

He likes orange sofas

  • multi-word colours

Elle aime les fauteuils jaune citron.

She likes the lemon yellow armchairs.

  • some colloquial adjectives ( chic, super, sympa )

Il aime les fauteuils chic.

He likes chic armchairs.

French Plural Worksheet


Mastering French Irregularities

Irregular Plurals just like Irregular Verbs in French can feel like your worst nightmare. The good thing is that if you don’t use written French that much, you probably don’t need to know all the spellings. When learning exceptions, you can always use mnemotechnique to help you remember the language.

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