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

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


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!


Q&A

Daniel

Kwiziq community member

8 May 2017

1 reply

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

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

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

9 May 2017

9/05/17

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 !

Savandhi

Kwiziq community member

20 March 2017

1 reply

bonjour Aurelie

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

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

20 March 2017

20/03/17

Bonjour Savandhi !

I found your question so pertinent that I added these exceptions to the lesson.
Have a look there :)

Merci et à bientôt !
Clever stuff underway!