Plural forms of nouns

Plural forms of nouns

Plural forms of nouns

1) Most singular nouns form the plural by adding ‘-s’.

e.g.

boatboats
catcats
riverrivers
carcars
houseHouses
bookbooks
birdbirds
pencilPencils

2) A singular noun ending in ‘s, x, z, ch, sh’ mostly makes the plural by adding ‘-es’.

e.g.

busbuses
wishwishes
pitchpitches
boxboxes
churchchurches
wishwishes
matchmatches
foxfoxes

3) There’s one exception to this rule. If the ‘-ch’ ending is pronounced with a ‘k’ sound, add ‘-s’ rather than ‘-es’:

e.g.

stomachstomachs
epochepochs

4) A singular noun ending in a consonant and then ‘y’ makes the plural by dropping the ‘y’ and adding ‘-ies’.

e.g.

pennypennies
spyspies
babybabies
citycities
daisydaisies
berryberries
activityactivities

5) With nouns that end in a consonant or a single vowel plus ‘-f or -fe’, change the ‘-f or -fe’ to ‘-ves’:

e.g.

knifeknives
halfhalves
scarfscarves

6) Nouns which end in two vowels plus ‘-f’ usually form plurals in the normal way, just add ‘-s’:

e.g.

chiefchiefs
spoofspoofs

7) Nouns ending in ‘-o’ can add either ‘-s or -es’ in the plural:

e.g.

solosolos
zerozeros
echoechoes
heroheroes

8) Those which have a vowel before the final ‘-o’ always just add ‘-s’:

e.g.

studiostudios
zoozoos
embryoembryos

9) Here’s a list of the most common nouns ending in ‘-o’ that are always spelled with ‘-es’ in the plural:

e.g.

buffalobuffaloes
dominodominoes
echoechoes
embargoembargoes
heroheroes
mosquitomosquitoes
potatopotatoes
tomatotomatoes
torpedotorpedoes

10) Here are some of the common nouns ending in ‘-o’ that can be spelled with either ‘-s or -es’ in the plural:

e.g.

mangomangos or mangoes
mementomementos or mementoes
mottomottos or mottoes
tornadotornados or tornadoes
volcanovolcanos or volcanoes

11) Plurals of foreign nouns

The plurals of words which have come into English from a foreign language such as Latin or Greek often have two possible spellings: the foreign plural spelling and an English one.

e.g.

WordForeign word pluralEnglish plural
antennaantennaeantennas
appendixappendicesappendixes
cactuscacticactuses
curriculumcurriculacurriculums
formulaformulaeformulas
indexindicesindexes
terminusterminiterminuses
thesaurusthesaurithesauruses
vortexvorticesvortexes

Note that there are a few nouns which have come into English from Latin which should always form their plural in the Latin way.

e.g.

algaalgae
alumnusalumni
larvalarvae

12) Irregular nouns

e.g.

womanwomen
manmen
childchildren
toothteeth
footfeet
personpeople
leafleaves
mousemice
goosegeese
halfhalves
knifeknives
wifewives
lifelives
elfelves
loafloaves
focusfoci
fungusfungi
nucleusnuclei
syllabussyllabi or syllabuses
thesistheses
crisiscrises
phenomenonphenomena
criterioncriteria
datumdata
apexapices
curriculumcurricula
datumdata
focusfoci
seriesseries
vitavitae
indexindices
ellipsisellipses
codexcodices
alumnialumnae
oxoxen
oasisoases
larvalarvae
diagnosisdiagnoses
analysisanalyses

13) Some nouns have the same form in the singular and the plural.

e.g.

aircraftaircraft
fishfish
deerdeer
sheepsheep
speciesspecies

Plural forms of nouns: Read and Remember

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Vocabulary Building

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