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

Most adjectives ending in -al change to -aux (masculine plural) or -ales (feminine plural) - see Forming the plural of adjectives ending in -al - but there are exceptions to that rule.

Look at these cases:

Ces tabourets sont bancals.
These stools are wobbly.

Ce sont des gens banals.
These are ordinary people.

J'adore les défilés navals!
I love naval parades!

The following adjectives are exceptions which take -s in the masculine plural form:

Masculine singular Masculine plural English
banal banals banal / ordinary
bancal bancals wobbly / rickety
fatal fatals fatal / lethal
naval navals naval
natal natals natal
glacial glacials   /  glaciaux freezing
final finals   /  finaux final

 

ATTENTION: 

Both plural forms of glacial and final are accepted in French: regular (glaciaux / finaux) and irregular (glacials / finals)

Il y a des vents glacials aujourd'hui! 
There are some freezing winds today!

Les derniers jours ont été glaciaux !
The last days have been freezing !

 

J'ai reçu mes résultats finaux.
I got my final results.

J'ai reçu mes résultats finals.
I got my final results.

 


See also Forming the plural of nouns ending in -al

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources


Ces tabourets sont bancals.
These stools are wobbly.


J'ai reçu mes résultats finals.
I got my final results.


Ce sont des gens banals.
These are ordinary people.


J'ai reçu mes résultats finaux.
I got my final results.


Il y a des vents glacials aujourd'hui! 
There are some freezing winds today!


Ces serpents sont particulièrement fatals.
These snakes are particularly deadly.


J'adore les défilés navals!
I love naval parades!


Les derniers jours ont été glaciaux !
The last days have been freezing !


Micro kwiz: Forming the plural of adjectives ending in -al (exceptions)
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Q&A

engenious

Kwiziq community member

2 February 2018

1 reply

Banals/Banaux

Is this pair also interchangeable? This test question suggest otherwise: Which one of these plural forms is wrong? : géniaux, banaux, généraux, totaux

Chris

Kwiziq community member

2 February 2018

2/02/18

No, the masculine plural form of "banal" is "banals".

.....except in the very rare case when the adjective "banal" us used in its other meaning: feudal (as in the "feudal system"). In that case the plural masculin is "banaux": "les moulins banaux" = the feudal mills where peasants could mill their grain paying a fraction of it to the lord of the land.

-- Chris (not a native speaker).

Catherine

Kwiziq community member

12 June 2016

4 replies

Re glacials/glaciaux and finals/finaux

Hi, Just to confirm that glacials/glaciaux and finals/finaux can be interchanged, with no rule as to when to use each one? Thanks, Catherine

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

13 June 2016

13/06/16

Bonjour Catherine !

Yes that's correct, both spellings are perfectly acceptable and interchangeable.

Susan

Kwiziq community member

14 May 2017

14/05/17

One of the Kwizbot B1 tests marked "glaciaux" as wrong in a multiple choice question. It would only accept "glacials."

Gary

Kwiziq community member

1 February 2018

1/02/18

Yes because it was teaching the 'ls' exceptions

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

1 February 2018

1/02/18

Bonjour Susan !

I've looked through all our questions, and they all accept glaciaux as a correct alternate answer.
Do you have the specific question in mind by any chance?

Merci et à bientôt !
Thinking...