Unit 1.2

Number of nouns

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Introduction

Nouns [sustantivos] are words used to name people, things, and animals with gender and number.

The number of nouns [números de los sustantivos] can be singular or plural.

Form

The noun is placed:

  • after a determiner (this can be an article, a possessive, a demonstrative);
  • Before an adjective when it is accompanied by it.

The number of nouns can be singular or plural.

The plural of nouns is formed through the ending –s o –es, depending on the ending of the word in the singular, following these rules:

Nouns ending in a vowel:

When nouns end in a vowel,-s is added to the end.

Singular Plural
la cama las camas
el coche los coches
el zapato los zapatos

Nouns ending in a consonant:

When nouns end in a consonant, –es is added to the end;

Singular Plural
el rey los reyes
la pared las paredes
el papel los papeles

Monosyllabic or sharp nouns (accented on the last syllable) ending in –s, –es is added at the end.

Singular Plural
el inglés los ingleses
la tos las toses
el país los países

 

Example

Nouns ending in vowel:

  • Hay una cama sin hacer;
  • Las dos camas son muy cómodas.

Nouns ending in consonant:

  • Tres cuadros de la pared están torcidos;
  • La casa tiene cuatro paredes y un techo;
  • Hay un inglés en la playa;
  • A los ingleses les gusta el clima de España.

 

Use

The number of nouns is used to express the singularity (singular) or plurality (plural) of a concept.

singular noun is used to represent one element; a plural noun is used to describe more than one element, i.e., a set of identical individuals.

Summary

Nouns are words used to name people and things. They have gender and number. The plural noun is determined by the articles los (masculine) and las (feminine).

The plural of both masculine and feminine nouns is formed by adding -s to the singular form. There are exceptions, however, when we add -es or -ces.

For example:
— «El marroquí» ⇒ «Los marroquíes» = Words ending in i or –u tónicas.
— «El rey» ⇒ «Los reyes» = Words ending in consonants.
— «La voz» ⇒ «Las voces» = Words ending in –z change to plural for –ces.

Check the contents of the {Form} section. Then move on to the {Example} section, which shows you the usage in context.

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