Forming the plural of adjectives ending in -al (exceptions)

Most adjectives ending in -al change to -aux (masculine plural) or -ales (feminine plural) - see Forming the plural of adjectives ending in -al - but there are exceptions to that rule.

Look at these cases:

Ces tabourets sont bancals.
These stools are wobbly.

Ce sont des gens banals.
These are ordinary people.

J'adore les défilés navals!
I love naval parades!

The following adjectives are exceptions which take -s in the masculine plural form:

Masculine singular Masculine plural English
banal banals banal / ordinary
bancal bancals wobbly / rickety
fatal fatals fatal / lethal
naval navals naval
natal natals natal
glacial glacials   /  glaciaux freezing
final finals   /  finaux final

 

ATTENTION: 

Both plural forms of glacial and final are accepted in French: regular (glaciaux / finaux) and irregular (glacials / finals)

Il y a des vents glacials aujourd'hui! 
There are some freezing winds today!

Les derniers jours ont été glaciaux !
The last days have been freezing !

 

J'ai reçu mes résultats finaux.
I got my final results.

J'ai reçu mes résultats finals.
I got my final results.

 


See also Forming the plural of nouns ending in -al

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources


Ces tabourets sont bancals.
These stools are wobbly.


J'ai reçu mes résultats finals.
I got my final results.


Ce sont des gens banals.
These are ordinary people.


J'ai reçu mes résultats finaux.
I got my final results.


Il y a des vents glacials aujourd'hui! 
There are some freezing winds today!


Ces serpents sont particulièrement fatals.
These snakes are particularly deadly.


J'adore les défilés navals!
I love naval parades!


Les derniers jours ont été glaciaux !
The last days have been freezing !


Q&A Forum 4 questions, 12 answers

Julianne B2Kwiziq community member

Les derniers jours ont été glacials

The translation from this phrase is ‘the last days have been freezing’ - shouldn’t it be ‘les jours derniers’ as dernier in front of the noun implies the last time ever while after implies last most recent time according the the lesson on placement of dernier in relation to the noun

Asked 3 months ago
AlanC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

Actually dernier precedes the noun when it means most recent. For example, "son dernier livre" = "his latest book". It comes after the noun when it means previous.

So perhaps "les derniers jours" means the last few days (including today) and "les jours derniers" the previous days (but not today)?

 

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Strictly speaking, you are correct. But the French are all but strict. Often dernier precedes the noun and that seems to be the kind of default placement, when there is no real danger of misunderstanding.

Les derniers jours ont été glacials

The translation from this phrase is ‘the last days have been freezing’ - shouldn’t it be ‘les jours derniers’ as dernier in front of the noun implies the last time ever while after implies last most recent time according the the lesson on placement of dernier in relation to the noun

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DraganaC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Feminine forms

Are there feminine plural forms?
Asked 1 year ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

HI Dragana,

Indeed, these examples are all feminine and plural forms of adjectives-

Des pierres précieuses = Precious stones

Des averses glaciales = Icy showers

Des boissons fraîches = Cold drinks

Des chemises chères = Expensive shirts

Des pommes rouges Red Apples

Hope this helps! 

 

AlanC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
I think the point of Dragana's question is that only the masculine plural endings are given in this lesson. The reason, I suppose, is that only the masculine endings are irregular - the feminine endings are just -ales as normal.
DraganaC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Thank you Alan. That is exactly what I was asking. So fatal is fatales in Feminine Plural. 

CécileKwiziq team member
Yes indeed as in " femmes fatales"...

Feminine forms

Are there feminine plural forms?

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EngeniousC1Kwiziq community member

Banals/Banaux

Is this pair also interchangeable? This test question suggest otherwise: Which one of these plural forms is wrong? : géniaux, banaux, généraux, totaux
Asked 1 year ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer
No, the masculine plural form of "banal" is "banals".

.....except in the very rare case when the adjective "banal" us used in its other meaning: feudal (as in the "feudal system"). In that case the plural masculin is "banaux": "les moulins banaux" = the feudal mills where peasants could mill their grain paying a fraction of it to the lord of the land.

-- Chris (not a native speaker).

Banals/Banaux

Is this pair also interchangeable? This test question suggest otherwise: Which one of these plural forms is wrong? : géniaux, banaux, généraux, totaux

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CatherineB2Kwiziq community member

Re glacials/glaciaux and finals/finaux

Hi, Just to confirm that glacials/glaciaux and finals/finaux can be interchanged, with no rule as to when to use each one? Thanks, Catherine
Asked 3 years ago
AurélieKwiziq team member
Bonjour Catherine ! Yes that's correct, both spellings are perfectly acceptable and interchangeable.
SusanC1Kwiziq community member
One of the Kwizbot B1 tests marked "glaciaux" as wrong in a multiple choice question. It would only accept "glacials."
GaryB2Kwiziq community member
Yes because it was teaching the 'ls' exceptions
AurélieKwiziq team member
Bonjour Susan ! I've looked through all our questions, and they all accept glaciaux as a correct alternate answer. Do you have the specific question in mind by any chance? Merci et à bientôt !
CatherineC1Kwiziq community member

I was just marked incorrect in a test for writing des temps glaciaux.

Re glacials/glaciaux and finals/finaux

Hi, Just to confirm that glacials/glaciaux and finals/finaux can be interchanged, with no rule as to when to use each one? Thanks, Catherine

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