A mom and daughter visiting a colorful building in Spain
Spanish Articles

How to form the plural of Spanish nouns?

By: Natalia Molina Ceballos Tue Feb 13 2024

The plural for many Spanish nouns is formed by adding -s or -es to the singular form, similar to English. Let’s take a look at the following examples:

  • casa ("house") - casas ("houses")

  • dolor ("pain") - dolores ("pain")

If you have some experience in language learning, though, you might know there are some exceptions, but don’t worry. We’ll also cover these in this post, like the case of nouns that have two plural forms or those that don’t change form. Keep reading, and you will become an expert in Spanish plural nouns!

Table of Contents

    Nouns that form their plural by adding ‘-s’

    Some nouns form their plural simply by adding -s. Let’s start from the beginning and explore the various cases:

    • If a Spanish noun ends in a vowel, form the plural by adding -s:

      a, á
      la casa

      the house

      las casas

      the houses

      la mamá

      the mother

      las mamás

      the mothers

      e, é
      la calle

      the street

      las calles

      the streets

      el café

      the café

      los cafés

      the cafés

      el taxi

      the taxis

      los taxis

      the taxis

      o, ó
      el libro

      the book

      los libros

      the books

      el plató

      the set

      los platós

      the sets

      el espíritu

      the spirit

      los espíritus

      the spirits


      An exception to this rule is nouns ending in and , both with an accent mark. Make sure you continue reading to find out about these exceptional endings.

    Nouns that form their plural by adding ‘-es’

    Some nouns form their plural by adding -es. We’ve just seen the cases of the plural of nouns that end in a vowel, but what happens if a noun ends in a consonant? For most of these cases, the plural is formed by adding -es. Let’s take a look at some examples:

    • Nouns ending in -n, -r, -s, -l, -j, -d, or -y:


    Ending in
    consonant -n,
    -r, -s, -l, -j, -d

    el corazón

    the heart

    los corazones

    the hearts

    el taller

    the workshop

    los talleres

    the workshops

    el bus

    the bus

    los buses

    the buses

    el árbol

    the tree

    los árboles

    the trees

    el reloj

    the watch

    los relojes

    the watches

    la pared

    the wall

    las paredes

    the walls

    Ending in -y

    la ley

    the law

    las leyes

    the laws

    el buey

    the ox

    los bueyes

    the oxen


    Words borrowed from another language and ending in -y have a different way to form their plural. In these cases, drop the -y and add -is. Look:

    • el jerseylos jerséis

    • el penaltylos penaltis

    Let’s see a few more cases of nouns that form their plural by adding -es.

    • Some singular nouns in Spanish end in an accented vowel plus -n or -s. To make the plural, add -es and lose the accent mark:


      el avión

      the plane

      los aviones

      the planes

      el autobús

      the bus

      los autobuses

      the buses

    • Some other singular nouns of two or more syllables end in -en. For these, an accent mark needs to be added in the plural form:


      el examen

      the exam

      los exámenes

      the exams

      el joven

      the young person

      los jóvenes

      the youth

    • For Spanish nouns ending in consonants other than -n, -r, -s, -l, -j, -d, and -y, only add -s to make the plural. Look:


      el mamut

      the mammoth

      los mamuts

      the mammoths

      el tic

      the tic

      los tics

      the tics

    • There are a few nouns that end in -z. These require a small change in spelling to make the plural form: drop the -z, add -c and then -es:










    So far we have learned the main rules to making plural nouns in Spanish. Let’s recap quickly:

    • add -s for:

      • singular nouns that end in a vowel (except í and ú)

      • singular nouns that end in consonants other than -n, -r, -s, -l, -j, -d, -y

    • add -es for:

      • singular nouns that end in consonants -n, -r, -s, -l, -j, -d, -y, accented vowel + -n or -s, and -en

      • singular nouns that end in -z.

    If you’ve read this far, and want to continue, prepare to learn all about special cases next!

    What are the special cases of Spanish plural nouns?

    There are special cases of Spanish plural nouns, such as nouns that have two plural forms, nouns that don’t change in the plural form, nouns that denote objects which have two symmetrical parts, compound nouns, and several additional cases. Let’s take a closer look.

    1. Nouns that have two plural forms in Spanish

    In some cases, nouns will have two plural forms. This first exception is easy. Do you remember the nouns ending in stressed or that we mentioned previously? Well, for these you can either add -s or -es:


    el ají

    the pepper

    los ajís / los ajíes

    the peppers

    el bambú

    the bamboo

    los bambús / los bambúes

    the bamboos

    2. Nouns that don’t change in the plural form

    There are also nouns that don’t change in the plural form. Singular Spanish nouns with two or more syllables ending in vowel + -s (no accent mark) will not change in the plural. In these cases, you only need to change the article:

    el paraguas
    the umbrella
    los paraguas
    the umbrella
    el lunes
    los lunes
    la crisis
    the crisis
    los crisis
    the crises
    el pasamanos
    the handrail
    los pasamanos
    the handrails
    el virus
    the virus
    los virus
    the viruses

    3. Nouns that denote objects which have two symmetrical parts

    Some nouns in Spanish denote objects that are made out of two symmetrical parts. This type of noun can be used in either the singular or the plural form. Look at the following pictures and examples:






    A pair of children's scissors





    Photo of a man's face in black-and-white with his nose at center





    Salad tongues in a serving tray of lettuce

    However, in other cases, only the plural form is used to denote an object that has two symmetrical parts:


    4. Compound nouns

    In Spanish, compound nouns can be written in one or two words. For those made of one word only, always make the second half of the word plural. Look at an example here:


    el altoparlante

    the loudspeaker

    los altoparlantes

    the loudspeakers

    If you have a compound noun made out of two separate words, mark the plural only in the first word. Check out these examples:

    año luz
    light year
    años luz
    light years
    niño prodigio
    child prodigy
    niños prodigio
    child prodigies

    Final notes about plural nouns in Spanish

    Before you leave, let’s take a quick look at three extra cases with Spanish nouns and their plural forms.

    Nouns starting with stressed ‘a-’ or ‘ha-’

    There’s a group of nouns in Spanish starting with a stressed a- or ha-. These are feminine, but they take the masculine article in the singular form due to phonetic reasons {el agua ("water"), el hada ("fairy")}. In the plural form, these nouns take the feminine article.


    el agua

    the water

    el hada

    the fairy

    las aguas

    the waters

    las hadas

    the fairies

    el agua
    the water
    las aguas
    the waters
    el hada
    the fairy
    las hadas
    the fairies

    Do you want to learn more words that follow this pattern? Check out this list of Spanish feminine nouns starting with a stressed a- or ha-.

    Need a refresher on how to tell the gender of Spanish nouns? Look no further, we have a post for that!

    Uncountable nouns

    Uncountable nouns in Spanish are typically used in singular when you refer to them in general or talk about an indeterminate quantity. When used in plural, they refer to different types or units of the same matter. Look at the following example:


    ¿Tú tomas leche con frecuencia?

    Do you drink milk frequently?

    Este supermercado vende leches vegetales.

    This supermarket sells vegetable milk.

    In the example on the left, the noun leche refers to milk in general. In the example on the right, the word leches refers to different types of vegetable milk (soy, almond, etc.).

    Plural masculine as default

    In some cases, the plural masculine will be used as default. When referring to a plural noun that includes masculine and feminine members (for the case of living beings), Spanish takes the masculine plural:

    • padre + madre = padres ("parents")

    • hijos + hijas = hijos ("children")

    • rey + reina = reyes ("kings")

    • maestros + maestras = maestros ("teachers")

    Remember that when using a plural noun in Spanish it needs to agree with the other words that go with it. For instance, articles, adjectives, and nouns in Spanish have to agree in form. This will make your Spanish sound more natural. Happy learning!


    To sum up, making plural nouns in Spanish is pretty straightforward. Based on the noun ending in its singular form, all you need to do is add the right ending. Let’s recap the main points:

    • If a noun ends in a vowel, simply add -s to form the plural.

    • If a noun ends in a consonant, add -es for most cases.

    • If a noun ends in -z, drop the -z and add -ces.

    If you’re looking for an exercise to practice, we have created this simple activity where you can use what you’ve just learned. There is also a second exercise on singular and plural nouns in Spanish. Both exercises include an answer key for you to check your work.

    Downloadable Resources

    Elevate your language-learning journey to new heights with the following downloadable resources.

    How to form the plural of Spanish nouns~Nouns that start with a- TableHow to form the plural of Spanish nouns~activitiesHow to form the plural of Spanish nouns~ activities 2

    To embark on your next language adventure, join Mango on social!

    Ready to take the next step?

    The Mango Languages learning platform is designed to get you speaking like a local quickly and easily.

    Mango app open on multiple devices