English Grammar Simple Pluralisation Guide


Plural Noun Forms

Regular Plurals

The plural form of most nouns is created simply by adding the letter 's' to the end of the word .
For example:-
  • minute - minutes
Nouns that end in -ch, -x, -s, -sh, z or s-like sounds, the plural is formed by adding 'es' to the end of the word.
For example:-
  • church - churches | box - boxes | gas - gases | bush - bushes | ass - asses
Nouns that end in a single -z, the plural is formed by adding 'zes' to the end of the word.
For example:-
  • quiz - quizzes
Most nouns ending in -o preceded by a consonant also form their plurals by adding 'es' .
For example:-
  • potato - potatoes | tomato - tomatoes | volcano - volcanoes
However many newly created words and words with a Spanish or Italian origin that end in -o just add an 's'.
For example:-
  • photo - photos | piano - pianos | portico - porticos
Nouns ending in a consonant + y, drop the y and add 'ies'.
For example:-
  • party - parties | lady - ladies
Most nouns ending in -f or -fe, drop the f and add 'ves'.
For example:-
  • calf - calves | half - halves | wolf - wolves
Most words ending in -is, drop the -is and add -es.
For example:-
  • crisis - crises | hypothesis - hypotheses | oasis - oases

Irregular Plurals

There are many common nouns that have irregular plurals.
For example:-
  • child - children | person - people | foot - feet | mouse - mice | tooth - teeth
Some nouns have identical plural and singular forms, although they are still considered to have a plural form.
For example:-
  • aircraft - aircraft | fish - fish | headquarters - headquarters | sheep - sheep | species - species
Uncountable nouns on the other hand have no plural form and take a singular verb (is / was ...).
For example:-
  • advice | information | luggage | news
Some nouns (especially those associated with two things) exist only in the plural form and take a plural verb (are / were...).
For example:-
  • cattle | scissors | trousers | tweezers | congratulations | pyjamas
Nouns that stem from older forms of English or are of foreign origin often have odd plurals.
For example:-
  • ox - oxen | index - indices or indexes
In compound nouns the plural ending is usually added to the main noun.
For example:-
  • court martial - courts martial | son-in-law - sons-in-law | passer-by - passers-by

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