A Dica do dia. O plural em português. As formas do plural em português.

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 every plural word there are different rules, so we will be looking at each one of them. But first take a look at this table:

Ending in Change to Add
-en -s
vowel -s
-ão -ãos -ães -ões
-s -es
-r -z -n -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. 

Casa Casas House Houses
Pé Pés Foot Feet
Açaí Açaís Açaí Açaís
Corpo Corpos Body Bodies
u us Defendant Defendants

Plural for words ending in R

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

Professor Professores Teacher Teachers
Ator Atores Actor Actors
Cantor Cantores Singer Singers
Sabor Sabores Taste / Flavor Tastes / Flavors
Amor Amores Love Love

Plural for words ending in Z

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

Gravidez Gravidezes Pregnancy Pregnancies
Raiz Raízes Root Roots
Matriz Matrizes Headquarter Headquarters
Rapaz Rapazes Boy Boys
Nariz Narizes Nose Noses

Portuguese plural for words ending in -M

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

Homem Homens Man Men
Garçom Garçons Waiter Waiters
Trem Trens Train Trains
Imagem Imagens Image Images
Garagem Garagens Garage Garages

 

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.

Animal Animais Animal Animals
Fiel Fieis Loyal Loyal
Barril Barris Barrel Barrels
Farol Faróis Lighthouse Lighthouses
Azul Azuis Blue Blue

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

Réptil Répteis Repitile Repitiles
Fértil Férteis Fertile Fertile
Têxtil Têxteis Textile Textiles

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.

Ônibus Ônibus Bus Buses
Lápis Lápis Pencil Pencils
Bônus Bônus Bonus Bonuses

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.

Francês Franceses French French
Camponês Camponeses Peasant Peasants
Norueguês Noruegueses Norwegian Norwegian
Inglês Ingleses English English
Freguês Fregueses Customer Customers

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.

s Meses Month Months

Portuguese plural for words ending in -X

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

Latex Latex Latex Latex
Xérox Xérox Xérox Xérox
Pirex Pirex Pirex Pirex

Portuguese plural for words ending in -ÃO

In the past we are explained to you about the plural os 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. 

Pão Pães Bread Bread
Alemão Alemães German German
Capitão Capitães Captain Captains
Órgão Órgãos Organ Organs
Irmão Irmãos Brother Brothers
Cidadão Cidadãos Citizen Citizens
Estação Estações Station Stations
Limão Limões Lemon Lemons
Razão Razões Reason Reasons

Portuguese plural for words ending in -zinho/a

The words that end in -zinho/a are diminutive forms of some word. 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.

Viagenzinha Viagenzinhas Little trip Little trips
Irmãozinho Irmãozinhos Little brother Little brothers
Mãezinha Mãezinhas Dear mother Dear mothers
Cidadezinha Cidadezinhas Little city Little 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.

Aguardente Aguardentes Spirit Spirits
Aeromoço Aeromoços Flight Attendant  Flight Attendants
Girassol Girassóis Sunflower Sunflowers

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

Quinta-feira Quintas-feiras Thursday Thursdays
Gentil-homem Gentis-homens Kind man Kind men

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

Palavra-chave Palavras-chave or Palavras-chaves Keyword Keywords
Couve-flor Couves-flor or Couves-flores Cauliflower Cauliflowers
Bomba-relógio Bombas-relógio or Bombas-relógios Time bomb Time bombs

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

Guarda-roupa Guarda-roupas Wardrobe Wardrobes
Guarda-sol Guarda-sóis Parasol Parasols
Guarda-chuva Guarda-chuvas Umbrella Umbrellas

If the compound form has a preposition with it, to form the plural you put only the first word in the plural.

Água-de-colônia Águas-de-colônia Cologne Cologne
Pé-de-moleque s-de-moleque
Cavalo-vapor Cavalos-vapor Horsepower Horsepower

Notice that 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 the name of a popular candy in Brazil.

That’s it!
Now we know about the plural in Portuguese, all that is left is to use what we have learned. If you have any questions or doubts, tweet us!

Until the next Dica!

Bye!

Ler esta Dica em Português           Leer esta Dica en Español
Click on the links below to see more related Dicas
Plural of words ending in vowels
Plural of the words ending in L
Plural of the words ending in ÃO
Words ending in Ção in Portuguese

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