Plurals Their Agreements & Tu or Vous in French Explained


Plurals


    Many French words have plural forms. Plural nouns and adjectives can be formed by appending an -s to the singular, but remember that this -s is usually silent.
homme ("man") ⇒ hommes ("men")
femme ("woman") ⇒ femmes ("women")
chat noir ("black cat") ⇒ chats noirs ("black cats")

There are also plural forms for pronouns and verb conjugations. Consider parler ("to speak"):

PersonFrenchExample
IjeJe parle. — I speak.
You (familiar singular)tuTu parles. — You speak.
You (formal singular)vousVous parlez. — You speak.
HeilIl parle. — He speaks.
SheelleElle parle. — She speaks.
WenousNous parlons. — We speak.
You (plural)vousVous parlez. — You speak.
They (any group including a male)ilsIls parlent. — They speak.
They (all women)ellesElles parlent. — They speak.

Agreement


Pronouns, adjectives, and articles must agree with their nouns in both gender and number. Consider the examples below and note how the article and adjective change to agree with each noun.
Masculine singular: Le chat noir — The black cat
Masculine plural: Les chats noirs — The black cats
Feminine singular: La robe noire — The black dress
Feminine plural: Les robes noires — The black dresses

Not all adjectives change forms. For instance, riche is the same for both masculine and feminine singular nouns.

Tu or Vous?


French has two words for the subject pronoun "you": tu and vous. For a singular "you", tu should only be used for friends, peers, relatives, children, or anyone else who's very familiar to you. In all other cases and also for plurals, the more polite vous should be used to show respect. When in doubt, use vous.


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