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Why is Pays de Galles masculine and not plural? Is it an exception?

Lisa B.A2Kwiziq community member

Why is Pays de Galles masculine and not plural? Is it an exception?

Asked 8 years ago
GruffKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Good question! I suspect you're comparing "Pays de Galles" with "Pays-Bas" and they do look like they both ought to be plural. In fact, however, "pays" is actually the same word in singular and plural form (a bit like "sheep" in English). It means land or lands, and the country names literally mean, The Land of the Galls (Le Pays de Galles = Wales), and The Low-Lands (Les Pays-Bas = Holland).

Lisa B.A2Kwiziq community member
That was a really good answer that clarified it for me completely. Thanks for making reference to "sheep" as it reminded me that there are indeed words that are used both for plural and singular forms of the same thing. Thank you.
Alvin S.B1Kwiziq community member

Is there a single comprehensive lesson that explains prepostitions used when talking able countries, states, regions, cities ?  I find having related information like this split into isolated lessons extremely confusing.

Why is Pays de Galles masculine and not plural? Is it an exception?

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