Forming the plural of nouns ending in -al

Look at these examples:

J'ai un animal familier. J'adore les animaux !
I have a pet. I love animals!

Tu as un cheval ? - Non, j'ai deux chevaux.
Do you have a horse? - No, I have two horses.

Il y a un hôpital dans ma ville. - Il y a trois hôpitaux ici !
There's one hospital in my town. - There are three hospitals here!

Je lis le journal tous les jours.  - Je déteste les journaux !
I read the newspaper every day. - I hate newspapers!

Note that most nouns ending in -al become -aux in the plural.

But as usual in French, there are some exceptions !

Here is a list of the most common ones:

des bals ([dancing] balls),
des carnavals,

des festivals,
des récitals,
des régals
(feasts/delights),
des chacals (jackals)
etc

 

See also Forming the plural of adjectives ending in -al 
and Forming the plural of adjectives ending in -al (exceptions)

 

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

Il y a un hôpital dans ma ville. - Il y a trois hôpitaux ici !
There's one hospital in my town. - There are three hospitals here!


Ce pianiste a donné cinquante récitals cette année.
This pianist gave fifty recitals this year.


J'ai un animal familier. J'adore les animaux !
I have a pet. I love animals!


Les chacals vivent en Afrique.
Jackals live in Africa.


Je lis le journal tous les jours.  - Je déteste les journaux !
I read the newspaper every day. - I hate newspapers!


Ils ont organisé plusieurs bals pour l'anniversaire de la Reine.
They organised several balls for the Queen's birthday.


"Plurals in French" by www.frenchspanishonline.com


Tu as un cheval ? - Non, j'ai deux chevaux.
Do you have a horse? - No, I have two horses.


"Les pluriel des noms" by youlearnfrench.blogspot.com


Q&A Forum 4 questions, 5 answers

JoanneB2Kwiziq community member

Using "en" when expressing quantity

In this question, the sentences are, "I have only two horses. He has twelve." My question concerns the second sentence. The sentence reads, "Il a douze," and is translated as "He has to horses." Wouldn't an "en" be necessary, "he has two of them," referring back to the previous sentence?

Asked 6 months ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Are you referring to this sentence?

Tu as un cheval ? - Non, j'ai deux chevaux.

If so, then the second sentence doesn't need en because it repeats the object (chevaux). However, you could say J'en ai deux. In this case, en refers back to cheval in the first sentence.

-- Chris.

Using "en" when expressing quantity

In this question, the sentences are, "I have only two horses. He has twelve." My question concerns the second sentence. The sentence reads, "Il a douze," and is translated as "He has to horses." Wouldn't an "en" be necessary, "he has two of them," referring back to the previous sentence?

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ClaudiaA1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Salut a tous

I have a pronunciation question. When do I know that the "ll" is pronounced "l" as in ville and when it is pronounced "y" as in vieille. 

Asked 6 months ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

Here is a comprehensive summary: https://www.lawlessfrench.com/pronunciation/ll/

ClaudiaA1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

merci

Salut a tous

I have a pronunciation question. When do I know that the "ll" is pronounced "l" as in ville and when it is pronounced "y" as in vieille. 

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DanielA2Kwiziq community member

If most of those exceptions are some kind od parties or similar events...

...then we could call them "party breakers" :p
Asked 2 years ago
AurélieKwiziq team member
Bonjour Daniel ! That can definitely help you remember these three: des bals des festivals des carnavals des récitals but unfortunately there are others: des régals des chacals ... I'm keeping this mnemotechnic in mind though ;) Bonne journée !
Daniel asked:View original

If most of those exceptions are some kind od parties or similar events...

...then we could call them "party breakers" :p

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SavandhiA2Kwiziq community member

bonjour Aurelie

Relevez des noms finissant avec -al qui sont exceptionnel, s'il vous plait
Asked 2 years ago
AurélieKwiziq team member
Bonjour Savandhi ! I found your question so pertinent that I added these exceptions to the lesson. Have a look there :) Merci et à bientôt !

bonjour Aurelie

Relevez des noms finissant avec -al qui sont exceptionnel, s'il vous plait

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Getting that for you now.