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Third Preliminary Lesson

Lesson Objectives- Objetivas da Lição

  • This lesson presents how to pluralize nouns and adjectives in Portuguese. In Portuguese there are many ways to pluralize a word, dependent on how the word ends. It is perhaps necessary to explain that it is impossible to pluralize adverbs, conjunctions and others parts of speech.
  • After completing this lesson, the student will be able to recognize and produce forms of both singular and plural nouns and adjectives.

Formation of Plurals of Nouns and Adjectives- Formação de plurais de substantivos e adjectivos

1. For words ending with a vowel (other than ão), add a final -s:

mesa, mesa [table, tables]
contente, contentes [content]

Practice iii.1- Prática iii.1

2. Words ending in -ão form their plural by adding a -s or by changing -ão to -ães or -ões.

mão, mãos [hand, hands]
sermão, sermões [sermon, sermons]
pão, pães [bread, breads]

*It will necessary to learn these plural individually. They will be indicated in the vocabulary lists immediately after the singular form.

**For those speakers of Spanish, a trick that generally will give the plural in Portuguese is to pluralize the equivalent in Spanish and then take out the -n-.

mano, manos mão, mãos [hand, hands]
sermón, sermones sermão, sermões [sermon, sermons]
pan, panes pão, pães [bread, breads]
alemán, alemanes alemão, alemães [German, Germans]
león, leones leão, leões [lion, lions]

2.1 All words ending in –ção form their plural by substituting –ções.

coração, corações [heart, hearts]
situação, situações [situations, situations]

Practice iii.2- Prática iii.2

3. For words ending in -r, -s, -z, add -es.

cor, cores [color, colors]
mês, meses* [months, months]
inglês, ingleses* [English(man), English(men)]
rapaz, rapazes [boy, boys]

*Notice that if the accentuation falls on the last (ultimate) syllable in the singular form, accentuation in is unnecessary in the plural form as the word then follows general stress rules (emphasis on the penultimate, second-to-last, syllable).

3.1 Words ending in -s with stress in penultimate (second to last) syllable are the same in both singular and plural forms:

o lápis, os lápis [the pencil, the pencils]
o ônibus, os ônibus [the bus, the buses]
o tórax, os tórax [the thorax, the thoraxes]

Practice iii.3- Prática iii.3

4. For words ending in -m, change the -m to -n and add -s.

bom, bons [good]
homem, homens [man, men]
um, uns [one, ones; some; a few]
viagem, viagens [trip; voyage, trips; voyages]

Practice iii.4- Prática iii.4

5. For words ending in -al, drop the -l and add -is.

animal, animais [animal, animals]
tal, tais [such]
pardal, pardais [sparrow, sparrows]

Practice iii.5- Prática iii.5

6. For words ending in stressed -el, change the -el to -eis and write an acute accent (´) over the -é.

papel, papéis [paper; role, papers; roles]
hotel, hotéis [hotel, hotels]

 6.1 For words ending in unstressed -el, change the -el to -eis. Accentuation is maintained on the same syllable.

possível, possíveis [possible]
amável, amáveis [lovable]

Practice iii.6- Prática iii.6

7. For words ending in stressed -il, drop the final -l and add -s.

funil, funis [funnel, funnels]
barril, barris  [barrel, barrels]

 7.1 For words ending in an unstressed -i, drop the -il and add -eis. Accentuation is maintained on the same syllable.

fácil, fáceis [easy]
fóssil, fósseis [fossil, fossils]
difícil, difíceis [difficult]

Practice iii.7- Prática iii.7

8. For words ending in -ol, change the -ol to -ois and write an acute accent (´) over the -ó.

sol, sóis [sun, suns]
farol, faróis [lighthouse; headlight, lighthouses; headlights]

Practice iii.8- Prática iii.8

9. For words ending in -ul, change the -ul to -uis.

azul, azuis [blue]

Practice iii.9- Prática iii.9

10. A word ending in unstressed -ul adds -es to the complete form:

cônsul, cônsules [consul, consuls]

*Some words are nearly always plural and they’re conjugated with a plural verb.

Common examples include:

as férias [vacation]
as costas [back – body part]
os óculos [(eye)glasses]
os parabéns [congratulations]

Practice iii.10- Prática iii.10