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  #1  
Old August 02, 2016, 06:40 PM
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Smile Noun plurals

Hi,
I'm a beginner in studying Spanish, and now I just got stuck in this little part of the grammar: the plural of nouns.

I've read on a site that nouns ending in a vowel or "é" add "-s". Also, nouns ending in a consonant add "-es". These are the two main rules. Now, the same site says that a noun ending in a stressed vowel other than "é" adds "-es". But another site says that nouns ending in "á" or "ó" add "-s", just like for "é", thus invalidating the first one, and that those ending in "í" or "ú" can add both "-s" or "-es" (jabalí -> jabalís/jabalíes). What are the truths?

Also, a site says that nouns ending in "ión" drop the tilde in plural. I've seen nouns dropping the tilde even if they don't end in "ión", but just "ó" and a consonant, no matter whether "n" or something else. When is the tilde dropped and does it concern only "ó" or it's the same for the rest?

And the last one: I've read that the nouns ending in "x" don't change in plural, and neither do those ending in "s" if the emphasis is not on the last syllable. But what happens if the emphasis IS on the last syllable or it is a monosyllabic word?

Thanks for your time!
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  #2  
Old August 02, 2016, 07:01 PM
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I understand that you can think there is some discrepancy. That's probably because not any one site teaches all the rules.

Spanish plurals are quite simple.
And they aren't limited to nouns. Adjectives (including articles) must also agree in number with the noun they modify.

Look here for the eight simple rules they list.

Here is another site that adds at least one more rule. And they cover when accented vowels are no longer necessary (because the stressed syllable doesn't need to be marked when an additional syllable is added through pluralization).

Here is a video.

If these don't answer most of your questions, we can answer them.
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  #3  
Old August 03, 2016, 02:57 PM
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Thank you for your answer, Rusty.

I've taken a deeper look into these rules, checked much more sites and most of my questions are now answered. My first one though still remains una duda. Most of the sites says that the nouns ending in tonic "á" or "ó" add "-es", and those which add "-s" are exceptions. Diccionario panhispánico de dudas says exactly the opposite [para b].
Can a native speaker clarify how it is nowadays?

Also (this is pure curiosity), are there in Spanish oxytone words ending in "x"?

Thanks!
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  #4  
Old August 03, 2016, 03:49 PM
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Trust what is said in el diccionario panhispánico de dudas. Paragraph b says that there was some vacillation, but not now. The norm is to simply add '-s'. Since this is the standard, you can't go wrong, but there will be native speakers that still use improper plurals. In fact, there are native speakers in every language that make mistakes while speaking or writing, so I wouldn't get too hung up on it.

el fax - los faxes (o los fax, según algunos diccionarios) (burofax, telefax)
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Old August 04, 2016, 05:23 AM
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Los fax. Faxes is a popular plural invented by people who never learnt of any Spanish word ended in -x and most probably modelled after the English plural with some additional influence of facsímiles being the plural of facsímil. As a general rule, words ended in -x are invariable:

el nártex - los nártex
el córtex - los córtex

These are the couple I know and remember now. Surely there are more of them.
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Old August 04, 2016, 08:56 AM
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Thank you for your answer, aleCcowaN.

I know that words ending in -x are invariable. My curiosity though was if there exists words in -x with more than a syllable and accented on the last syllable. Because they taught such words (along those in -s) add "-es" but gave as example only words in -s.

(incorrect example of what I mean: el francéx - los francexes)

¡Saludos!
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  #7  
Old August 04, 2016, 02:23 PM
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Although aleCcowaN disagrees, I gave you two such examples above.

el burofax (the singular form is accented on the last syllable)
los burofaxes (now the accent is on the penultimate syllable)
los burofax (as some dictionaries list the plural)
el telefax, los telefaxes

el moradux, los moraduxes (o los moradux)

When a polysyllabic word ends in 'x', there's no need for an accent mark over the vowel of the last syllable. Since that syllable ends in a consonant other than 'n' or 's', it is stressed.

Last edited by Rusty; August 04, 2016 at 02:31 PM.
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  #8  
Old August 04, 2016, 02:48 PM
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I did see, but both of those are compound words. And if the plural of fax is fax, they can't be burofaxes or telefaxes. I tend to believe aleCcowaN that fax is the correct plural.
As for moradux, I can't even find its meaning . Is it a compound word consisting dux (doge) or?
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  #9  
Old August 04, 2016, 03:23 PM
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Your answer is in the Diccionario Panhispánico de Dudas, and it makes no difference that the words Rusty quoted are compound nouns.

Quote:
f) Sustantivos y adjetivos terminados en -s o en -x. Si son monosílabos o polisílabos agudos, forman el plural añadiendo -es: tos, pl. toses; vals, pl. valses, fax, pl. faxes; compás, pl. compases; francés, pl. franceses. En el resto de los casos, permanecen invariables: crisis, pl. crisis; tórax, pl. tórax; fórceps, pl. fórceps. Es excepción a esta regla la palabra dux, que, aun siendo monosílaba, es invariable en plural: los dux. También permanecen invariables los polisílabos agudos cuando se trata de voces compuestas cuyo segundo elemento es ya un plural: ciempiés, pl. ciempiés (no ciempieses); buscapiés, pl. buscapiés (no buscapieses), pasapurés, pl. pasapurés (no pasapureses).
Those words come from other languages, so you won't find them massively in Spanish. Make sure that you know how to make the plurals of the words that are commonly found in the language as you are learning it and later you'll start feeling when a word needs "s" and when "es".
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  #10  
Old August 04, 2016, 05:03 PM
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Well, that's just a part of me which wants to know every single detail if possible.

Thank you for your advice!
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