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Plural Nouns

Sep 1, 2022
  • This book is amazing. 
  • These books are amazing. 
  • The ticket was available a few hours back. 
  • The tickets were available a few hours back. 
  • The baby is sleeping. 
  • The babies are sleeping. 

The nouns in the first sentences of each pair denote only one thing. They are called singular nouns. But the second sentences in each of the pairs indicate the presence of more than one thing; therefore, they are called  plural nouns

What are singular and plural nouns? 

When a noun denotes one person or thing, it is said to be in the Singular Number, like. 

Boy, girl, bird, book, tree, car, etc. 

A noun denotes more than one person or thing, it is said to be in the Plural Number, like. 


Boys, girls, birds, books, trees, cars, etc. 

The nouns in the first sentences of the pairs can be easily comprehended by the reader, since they appear, in most cases, in their original forms. But when it comes to forming the plural forms of nouns from their singular counterpart, the process can get quite tricky at times. 

For example, the plural form of luggage is not luggage’s. It is luggage itself. 

We cannot form the plural form of every noun by simply adding the suffix -s to them. There are certain things; for convenience, let us say rules; to keep in mind while forming the plural forms of nouns from their singular forms.  


Rule 1

Most nouns take their plural form by adding -s to the singular, like. 

  • Boy, boys 
  • Girl, girls 
  • Book, books 
  • Pen, pens 
  • Car, cars 

Rule 2

Nouns ending in -s, -sh, -ch, or -x and most nouns ending in -o usually form their plural by adding -es to the singular, like; 

  • Class, classes 
  • Kiss, kisses 
  • Watch, watches 
  • Branch, branches 
  • Match, matches 
  • Dish, dishes 
  • Box, boxes 
  • Tax, taxes 
  • Buffalo, buffaloes 
  • Mango, mangoes 
  • Potato, potatoes 
  • Hero, heroes 
  • Cargo, cargoes 
  • Volcano, volcanoes 

Rule 3

There are some nouns ending in -o that form plural merely by adding-s to the singular, like; 

  • Piano, pianos 
  • Dynamo, dymanos 
  • Kilo, kilos 
  • Photo, photos 
  • Commando, commandos 
  • Memento, mementos 
  • Canto, cantos 

Rule 4

Nouns ending in -y, when preceded by a consonant, form their plural by changing -y into -i and adding -es, like; 

  • Lady, ladies 
  • Baby, babies 
  • Army, armies 
  • Story, stories 
  • City, cities 
  • Pony, ponies 

Rule 5

There are nouns ending in -f or -fe that form their plural by changing -for -fe into v and adding -es. They are; 

  • Thief, thieves 
  • Life, lives 
  • Half, halves 
  • Loaf, loaves 
  • Wife, wives 
  • Sheaf, sheaves 
  • Knife, knives 
  • Calf, calves 
  • Wolf, wolves 
  • Elf, elves 
  • Shelf, shelves 
  • Leaf, leaves 
  • Self, selves 

But nouns like scarf, dwarf, hoof, and wharf   take either -s or -ves in the plural; 

  • Dwarfs or dwarves 
  • Scarfs or scarves 
  • Wharfs or wharves 
  • Hoofs or hooves 

Most other words ending in -f  or-fe take their plural form by adding -s,  

  • Chief, chiefs 
  • Gulf, gulfs 
  • Safe, safes 
  • Cliff, cliffs 
  • Proof, proofs 
  • Handkerchief, handkerchiefs 

Rule 6

There are a few nouns that change the inside vowel of the singular to form their plural.  

For example: 

  • Man, men 
  • Goose, geese 
  • Mouse, mice 
  • Woman, women 
  • Foot, feet 
  • Tooth, teeth 

Rule 7

A few nouns form their plural by adding -into the singular.  

For Example: 

  • Ox, oxen 
  • Child, children 

Rule 8

Some nouns have their singular and their plurals alike.  

Swine, sheep, deer, luggage, aircraft, furniture, trout, salmon, series, species, spacecraft, etc. 

Rule 9

Some nouns are always used only in the plural: 

  1. Names of instruments that have two parts form a kind of pair. 
  • Bellows, scissors, spectacles, etc. 
  1. Names of certain articles of dress. 
  • Jeans, trousers, drawers, shirts, breeches, etc. 

Rule 10

Certain collective nouns, though they are singular in form, are always used as plurals  

For example:   

Poultry, cattle, vermin, people, gentry. 

Rule 11

Compound nouns generally form their plurals by adding -s to the principal word, like. 

  • Son-in-law – Sons-in-law 
  • Commander-in-chief – Commanders-in-chief 
  • Looker-on – Lookers-on 
  • Stepson – Stepsons 
  • Passer-by – Passers-by 

Rule 12

Abstract nouns are uncountable. They have no plural, like: 

Hope, charity, love, kindness, etc. 




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