Spelling reformA spelling reform was adopted in France in 1990 but it is not mandatory. Under this reform, the rules applying to compound nouns were changed when the noun is composed of a verb + a noun or a preposition + a noun. In these cases, the noun takes an -s only and always if the noun is plural.
|Un pare-brise||Un pare-brise|
|Des pare-brise||Des pare-brises|
|Un compte-gouttes||Un compte-goutte|
|Des compte-gouttes||Des compte-gouttes|
Compound NounsThe plural of nouns is generally formed by adding an “s” to the end of of the noun.
|un chien||des chiens|
|une amie||des amies|
|un chanteur||des chanteurs|
|un canard||des canards|
|une voiture||des voitures|
“des” is the plural of the indefinite articles “un” and “une”.
“les” is the plural of the definite article “le” and “la”.
Today’s lesson will be about the plural of compound nouns. The plural of compound nouns depends on the function of the words that compose the noun: adjective, noun, verb, adverb, preposition etc.. Remember to always check the dictionary for accurate answers as there are so many exceptions.
Noun + NounWhen the noun is composed of two nouns, both nouns take the plural form.
|une porte-fenêtre||des portes-fenêtres|
|un oiseau-mouche||des oiseaux-mouches|
|un chou-fleur||des choux-fleurs|
|un timbre-poste||des timbres-poste|
|une pause-café||des pauses-café|
Noun + Preposition + NounWhen the noun is composed of a noun, a preposition and another noun, only the first noun takes the plural form.