3.3.1 Morphemes for the formation of the plural


3.3.1.1 Regular formationof the plural with -s

The most common way of forming the plural is with the ending -s (exactly as it is in English; finally something simple).

Examples plural with -s
  le livre les livres
    book books
  le chemin les chemins
    way ways
  le garçon les garçons
    boy boys
  le papier les papiers
    paper papers
  la maison les maisons
    house houses
  la rue les rues
    street streets
  la table les tables
    table tables
  la fourchette les fourchettes
    fork forks

As you have probably noticed the final -s is only written but not voiced (there are again exceptions to this rule). To know whether the thing in question is in singular or plural (which is often of some importance) there are several possibilities of differentiation, for instance by pronouns and articles. Following some examples with articles:

Examples
  Je mange une pomme. Je mange des pommes.
  I eat an apple. I eat apples.
  J' achète une chemise. J' achète des chemises.
  I buy a shirt. I buy shirts.

As mentioned before the final -s is voiced, when a vowel or a mute h follows this final -s. Listen to the following sentences, there is a difference in the pronunciation of the final -s.

  Example    
les gouvernements européens
  the governments European
       
  les gouvernements corrumpus
  the governments corrupt
       
  les femmes intelligentes
  the women intelligent
       
  les femmes belles
  the women beautiful






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