how Singular and Plural work in Spanish

¿Singular o plural?

Suppose you have a sweet tooth and inexplicably find yourself in a pastry shop, would you be content with buying one single pastelito (pastry) or is it more likely that you would end up paying for as many pastelitos (pastries) as your stomach can contain? What if, on your luckiest day, you won the lottery, would you get yourself a gigantic casa (house) in your favorite place in the whole world or rather purchase dozens of casas (houses), that is, one in each heavenly corner of the planet? Globalization and mass consumption teach us that quantity matters just as much as size does. We therefore ought to get under our belt that set of rules that enable us to switch and rightly differentiate between singular and plural forms of Spanish words.

The plural form of nouns terminating in vowels is obtained by adding an -s to the end.

libro (book) libros (books)
coche (car) coches (cars)
lámpara (lamp) lámparas (lamps)


 Nouns terminating in consonants are made plural by adding –es to the end.

señor (Mr., man) senores (men)
autoridad (authority) autoridades (authorities)
situación (situation) situaciones (situations)


Those nouns terminating in -z become plural by changing the final consonant to -c then adding –es.

luz (light) luces (lights)
pez (one fish) peces (many fish)
actriz (actress) actrices (actresses)

Exceptions to this rule are, among others, nouns mes and autobús (their plural forms being meses and autobuses, respectively).

Singular words ending in -s maintain the very same form when used in plural.

Lunes → Monday/Mondays
Paraguas → umbrellas/umbrellas
Crisis → crisis/crises


Now, being Spanish a sexist language on a par with all other Romance ones, when the plural refers to two or more nouns of different genders, the masculine gender prevails hence its plural form is used.

1 chico + 99 chicas = 100 chicos
111 profesores + 999 profesoras = 1000 profesores

Finally, there are a few Spanish words indicating objects which consist of two or more (often symmetrical) features, same as it occurs in English. Such words are generally referred to by employing their plural form.

Gafas → glasses
Pantalones → trousers
Tijeras → scissors

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