Category Archives: 4. Plurals

Plurals of simple nouns

The accurate use of genders and plurals is essential to prevent the ‘funny’ sounding sentences of coming out of your mouth.
I talk about genders on this article.

General rules for plurals:

  • Add ‘-s’ to nouns ending in vowels.
  • Add ‘-es’ to nouns ending in consonants.

But, of course, this is not just ANY language! So here it comes the exceptions. (I’m sorry.)

  1. Nouns ending in ‘-s’, of which the tonic syllable is not the latter, do NOT change.
    • Lápis (pencil)
    • Pires (saucer)
    • Atlas (atlas)
    • Ônibus (bus)
  2. Words ending in ‘-l’ goes to plural adding ‘-is’.
    • Metal (metal) – metais
    • Total (total) – totais
    • Papel (paper) – papéis
    • Anel (ring) – anéis
    • Azul (blue) – azuis
    • Sol (sun) – sóis
      • NOTE: nouns ending in ‘-il’ goes to plural adding ‘-is’.
        • Barril (barrel) – barris
        • Anil (indigo) – anis
        • Quadril (hip) – quadris
        • Perfil (profile) – perfis
  3. Words ending in ‘-ão’ mostly goes to plural adding ‘-ões’.
    • Coração (heart) – corações
    • Razão (motive) – razões
    • Balão (balloon) – balões
      • Exceptions ending in ‘-ães’.
        • Pão (bread) – pães
        • Cão (dog) – cães
        • Capitão (captain) – capitães
        • Alemão (German) – alemães
        • Guardião (guardian) – guardiães
      • Exceptions ending in ‘-ãos’.
        • Irmão (brother) – irmãos
        • Cristão (christian) – cristãos
        • Mão (hand) – mãos
        • Grão (grain) – grãos
        • Cidadão (citizen) – cidadãos
        • Vão (gap) – vãos
        • Chão (floor, ground) – chãos
  4. Some nouns have the phoneme of their tonic vowels changed when going to plural. (The featured vowels have a closed sound in the singular form and an open sound in the plural form.)
    • Fogo (fire) – fogos
    • Jogo (game) – jogos
    • Olho (eye) – olhos
    • Osso (bone) – ossos
    • Porco (pig) – porcos
    • Esforço (effort) – esforços
    • Ovo (egg) – ovos
    • Povo (people) – povos
    • Socorro (help) – socorros
    • Porto (port) – portos
    • Corpo (body) – corpos

Best wishes in your journey learning Portuguese. I am happy for the opportunity to be part of it.
Aimée