Portuguese Plural

Ejemplo del plural en portugués: As garrafas e os copos.

What’s up! Tudo bem? In today’s free Portuguese lesson, we are going to talk about the Portuguese plural

Plural in Portuguese

The Portuguese plural can be a little tricky, but don’t worry because we are here to help you! Studying Portuguese with us will make sure you understand how to speak in the plural form. For different ending words there are different Portuguese plural rules so we will be looking at each one of them. But first, take a look at this table:

Ending inChange toAdd
vowel -s
-ão-ãos -ães -ões 
-s -es
-r -z -es
-m-ns 
-al -el -ol -ul-l to -is 
-il-es or -eis 

 

Plural for words ending with a vowel

Let’s start with plural words ending in a, e, i, o, u. The rule is simple: If the word ends in a vowel and it’s singular, just adding an S at the end of the word makes it plural. 

CasaCasasHouseHouses
PéPésFootFeet
AçaíAçaísAçaíAçaís
CorpoCorposBodyBodies
uusDefendantDefendants

 

In case you want to practice more and to do some exercises to practice how to get the plural for words that end in a vowel check our dica about this kind of plural.

Plural for words ending in R

If a word ends in R, just add -ES at the end.

ProfessorProfessoresTeacherTeachers
AtorAtoresActorActors
CantorCantoresSingerSingers
SaborSaboresTaste / FlavorTastes / Flavors
AmorAmoresLoveLove

 

 

Plural for words ending in Z

Similarly to the rules previously mentioned, if a word ends with a -Z, then we must add -ES at the end.

GravidezGravidezesPregnancyPregnancies
RaizRaízesRootRoots
MatrizMatrizesHeadquarterHeadquarters
RapazRapazesBoyBoys
NarizNarizesNoseNoses

 

Portuguese plural for words ending in -M

When a word ends with an -M, to make it plural we must replace -M with -NS.

HomemHomensManMen
GarçomGarçonsWaiterWaiters
TremTrensTrainTrains
ImagemImagensImageImages
GaragemGaragensGarageGarages

Portuguese plural for words ending in L

There are two types of plurals for words ending with an L. If the word ends in -al, -el, -il, -ol, -ul, and the tonic syllable is in the end then we switch -L for -is.

AnimalAnimaisAnimalAnimals
FielFieisLoyalLoyal
BarrilBarrisBarrelBarrels
FarolFaróisLighthouseLighthouses
AzulAzuisBlueBlue

For words ending in -il that have a previous syllable with an accent mark, then there is a change from -il to -eis.

RéptilRépteisRepitileRepitiles
FértilFérteisFertileFertile
TêxtilTêxteisTextileTextiles

As you can see, plural for words ending in L is one of our most difficult cases, so we prepared a special dica for you to practice with exercises and audio the plural of words ending in L. Be aware that even the singular pronunciation of words ending in L can be tricky!

Plural for words ending in S

We also have two rules for words ending with the letter S. If the word has an accent in the first syllable, nothing happens basically, the word stays the same.

ÔnibusÔnibusBusBuses
LápisLápisPencilPencils
BônusBônusBonusBonuses

If the words have an accent in the ending syllable, then we add an -ES. After becoming a plural word, the accent mark is taken away.

FrancêsFrancesesFrenchFrench
CamponêsCamponesesPeasantPeasants
NorueguêsNorueguesesNorwegianNorwegian
InglêsInglesesEnglishEnglish
FreguêsFreguesesCustomerCustomers

To help you a little more, here’s a tip: if the word ends in -S and is a monosyllable, to make the plural you’ll just add -ES.

sMesesMonthMonths

 

Portuguese plural for words ending in -X

The words ending in -X also don’t vary in the plural form, they stay the same.

LatexLatexLatexLatex
XéroxXéroxXéroxXérox
PirexPirexPirexPirex

 

Portuguese plural for words ending in -ÃO

In the past, we explained to you the plural of words ending in -ão. The words are made plural in various ways, depending on the rules that apply. Check all the rules in our old Dica about this. 

PãoPãesBreadBread
AlemãoAlemãesGermanGerman
CapitãoCapitãesCaptainCaptains
ÓrgãoÓrgãosOrganOrgans
IrmãoIrmãosBrotherBrothers
CidadãoCidadãosCitizenCitizens
EstaçãoEstaçõesStationStations
LimãoLimõesLemonLemons
RazãoRazõesReasonReasons

Portuguese plural for words ending in -zinho/a

The words that end in -zinho/a are diminutive forms of some words. To turn them into the plural form you just add -S at the end too. Don’t remember your Portuguese lesson about diminutive? Check out our Dica about this and see that the diminutives don’t express only little things.

ViagenzinhaViagenzinhasLittle tripLittle trips
IrmãozinhoIrmãozinhosLittle brotherLittle brothers
MãezinhaMãezinhasDear motherDear mothers
CidadezinhaCidadezinhasLittle cityLittle cities

 

Portuguese plural for compound nouns

When we have compound nouns the plural form can vary too. The compound words that don’t have a hyphen follow the same rules as the simple nouns.

AguardenteAguardentesSpiritSpirits
AeromoçoAeromoçosFlight Attendant Flight Attendants
GirassolGirassóisSunflowerSunflowers

However, if the compound word has a hyphen, the rules change. If the word is formed by a noun+adjective or noun+number both of them are going into the plural form.

Quinta-feiraQuintas-feirasThursdayThursdays
Gentil-homemGentis-homensKind manKind men

When both words are nouns, you can choose to put only the first element or both in the plural:

Palavra-chavePalavras-chave or Palavras-chavesKeywordKeywords
Couve-florCouves-flor or Couves-floresCauliflowerCauliflowers
Bomba-relógioBombas-relógio or Bombas-relógiosTime bombTime bombs

If the compound word is formed by a verb+noun, just the noun goes into the plural:

Guarda-roupaGuarda-roupasWardrobeWardrobes
Guarda-solGuarda-sóisParasolParasols
Guarda-chuvaGuarda-chuvasUmbrellaUmbrellas

If the compound word has a preposition within it, to form the plural structure we need to put the first word in the plural only.

Água-de-colôniaCologne water
Pé-de-moleques-de-moleque
Cavalo-vaporHorsepower

Note that horsepower (cavalo-vapor) follows the same rule because it has a hidden preposition. And the word pé-de-moleque doesn’t have a translation because it’s a typical Brazilian sweet.

Portuguese Plural Exercises

Let’s practice some of the different cases with Portuguese Plural exercises!!

Exercise 1: Regular Plurals

Add the plural form of the following Portuguese nouns:

  1. Livro (book)
  2. Casa (house)
  3. Jardim (garden)
  4. Cachorro (dog)
  5. Caneta (pen)

Exercise 2: Irregular Plurals

Write the plural form of these irregular nouns:

  1. Cão (dog)
  2. Mão (hand)
  3. Pão (bread)
  4. Cidadão (citizen)
  5. Alemão (German)

Exercise 3: Words Ending in -ão

Choose the correct plural form for words ending in -ão:

  1. Avião (airplane) – A) Aviões B) Aviãos C) Aviãoes
  2. Coração (heart) – A) Coraçãos B) Corações C) Coraçães
  3. Irmão (brother) – A) Irmãos B) Irmões C) Irmães
  4. Balão (balloon) – A) Balãos B) Balões C) Balães
  5. Mão (hand) – A) Mãos B) Mães C) Mões

Exercise 4: Words with Orthographic Changes

Write the plural forms of the following words that change orthographically:

  1. Animal (animal)
  2. Funil (funnel)
  3. Azul (blue)
  4. Anel (ring)
  5. Papel (paper)

Pronto, galera!
We already know about the plural in Portuguese, so now all we have to do is use what we’ve learned. If you have any questions, send us a tweet!

See you next time!
Tchau!

Click on the links below to see more related tips

Plural of words ending in L
Plural of words ending in ÃO
Words ending in Ção in Portuguese

S sound in Portuguese

Answers:

Exercise 1: Regular Plurals Answers

  1. Livros
  2. Casas
  3. Jardins
  4. Cachorros
  5. Canetas

Exercise 2: Irregular Plurals Answers

  1. Cães
  2. Mãos
  3. Pães
  4. Cidadãos
  5. Alemães

Exercise 3: Words Ending in -ão Answers

  1. A) Aviões
  2. B) Corações
  3. A) Irmãos
  4. B) Balões
  5. A) Mãos

Exercise 4: Words with Orthographic Changes Answers

  1. Animais
  2. Funis
  3. Azuis
  4. Anéis
  5. Papéis

This post is also available in: English Português (Portuguese) Español (Spanish)

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