help when 'Plural' syntax is not accepted
The "zero" case can be treated specially in French: if you use a number in the translation, treat it as singular only.
But like in English, the message can also use the negation if the number is spelled in a sentence like "Il n'y avait aucun livre" or "il n'y a pas de livre" where sometimes such negative form implies a plural for the noun, depending on the meaning of the noun: "Il n'y a pas de livres" is also correct with the plural, applicable only to enumeratable things, and means "not one and not even more than one").
- So the "zero" case may be added optionally to any translation, in addition to the 1st (singular) and 2nd (plural) forms.
- This "zero" case should not be used at all if the number is displayed with digits as "0", which must be treated with the singular.
For some sentences where the number is a small integer quantity, you can specialize the translation to spell that number instead of formatting it with digits. This would apply only if the maximum number is small and spelled as a single word (0 treated specially with the "zero" case, or other integers from 1 to 16, or one of 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 100 and 1000, each using a special case for these values and nàot depending on the default plural rules even if grammatical French rules still apply to these numbers: 1 may be special-cased but the translation should use a singular form for nouns, adjectives and verbs, all other special cases should use the plural form); all other values should be formatted using digits and the standard French plural rules:
- abs(n) <= 1 (including n=0.5 or n=0) : use the singular (1st form, used by default)
- abs(n) > 1 (including "n=1.5) : use the plural (2st form, optional, otherwise display the 1st form)
Note that the 2nd form is also optional in French translations, as it may be the same when the form is grammatically invariant in some cases (such cases also occur in English). For example,
- "1 face" vs. "2 faces" (because the noun "face" has no mute mark of the plural in its singular form, you need a second form to mark the plural)
- "1 dos" vs. "2 dos" (because the noun "dos" is already terminated by a mute "s" which then remains invariant in the plural)
But if you add some other terms in the translation, you may see the difference of plural form in dependant adjectives or verbs that require marking the singluar or plural distinctly:
- "1 dos courbé" vs. "2 dos courbés" : now you need the two forms in translations
- "1 dos se courbe" vs. "2 dos se courbent" : now you need the two forms in translations
- "1 dos à courber" vs. "2 dos à courber" : one form remains sufficient in translations; the verb "courber" is invariant as an infinitive as it has no subject with which to match a number); if you translate the second form, it should be identical to the 1st form intended for singular, also used by default.