Plural Nouns in Spanish Grammar

How to form the plural of Spanish nouns

The plural form of a noun refers to multiple or more than one of something. When a noun is plural the accompanying article is also plural.

In Spanish grammar the plural ending is usually -s or -es and articles also take -s in their plural form. In general, nouns have a singular and a plural form, although this is not always the case: like in English, there are nouns that only exist in the singular (e.g. la saludhealth), and nouns that only exist in the plural (e.g. las faucesjaws).

Learn how to form the plural of Spanish nouns with Lingolia’s grammar lesson, then test yourself in the exercises below.

Example

los billetes de banco

las monedas

el dinero (no plural)

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Nouns ending in a vowel

Nouns that end in a vowel (a, e, i, o, u) usually take the plural ending -s.

Example:
el libro → los librosthe book → the books
la mesa → las mesasthe table → the tables

If the final letter is a stressed í or ú, then we add -es.

Example:
el jabalí → los jabalíesthe wild boar → the wild boars
el bambú → los bambúesthe bamboo → the bamboos

Nouns ending in a consonant

Nouns that end with the consonants -d, -j, -l, -n, and -r take the plural ending -es.

Example:
el ordenador → los ordenadoresthe computer → the computers
el reloj → los relojesthe clock → the clocks

A -z at the end of a word changes to -c before taking -es.

Example:
La cruz → las crucesthe cross → the crosses

Foreign words that end with a consonant form the plural with either -s or -es.

Example:
el club → los clubs/clubesthe club → the clubs

To Note

When the plural is formed by adding -es, the word gains an extra syllable. In order to keep the stress on the correct syllable, it may be necessary to add or remove an accent in some words.

Example:
el examen → los exámenesthe exam – the exams
la institución → las institucionesthe institution – the institutions

Special cases

Nouns that end with -s or -x and have an unstressed final syllable do not take any extra ending in the plural.

Example:
el cactus → los cactusthe cactus – the cacti
el tórax → los tórax the thorax – the thoraxes

However, if the final syllable is stressed, we add -es.

Example:
el autobús → los autobusesthe bus → the buses

Singular or plural?

Most nouns can be used in the singular and in the plural.

Example:
el elefante → los elefantesthe elephant → the elephants
la piscina → las piscinasthe swimming pool → the swimming pools

However, some nouns only exist in the singular.

Example:
el dineromoney
el hambrehunger

While some nouns only exist in the plural.

Example:
las faucesthe jaws
los víveressupplies

There are also nouns that have the same form in singular and plural.

Example:
un miércoles al mesone Wednesday a month
todos los miércoles al mesall Wednesdays in the month

Some nouns that are only plural in English can be singular or plural in Spanish.

Example:
una gafa/unas gafasglasses
una tijeras/unas tijerasscissors
el pantalón/los pantalonestrousers