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Singular and Plural Nouns

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What Is a Noun?

  • Every word is a part of speech and has a role in our language. The biggest "star" of the English language is noun because it names things.
  • A noun names person, place, thing, feeling, idea, or any concept.

For example:

  • Shopkeeper
  • Bedroom
  • Bicycle
  • Love
  • Safety
  • Freedom

Are all nouns the same?

No! There are different types or classes of nouns.

  • Proper Nouns
  • Common Nouns
  • Abstract Nouns
  • Count and Noncount Nouns
  • Compound Nouns
  • Gerund Nouns
  • Collective Nouns

Forms of Nouns

There are different forms of nouns. Let's see what they are.

Singular Nouns

  • Singular means one.
  • A singular noun refers to only one person, place, or thing.

For example:

  • Mother
  • Doctor
  • Supermarket
  • School
  • Pencil
  • Basketball

Plural Nouns

  • Plural means two or more than two.
  • A plural noun refers to more than one person, place, or thing.

For example:

  • Mothers
  • Doctors
  • Supermarkets
  • Schools
  • Pencils
  • Basketballs

Changing Singular Nouns into Plural Nouns

Singular nouns can be changed into plural nouns using different rules.

Most plural nouns in English are regular. That means you can simply add -s or -es to make them plural.

To form regular plurals, follow these rules.

For most nouns, just add -s to make them plural.

For example:

  • window → windows
  • plate → plates
  • cat → cats
  • lamp → lamps

If a noun ends in s, z, x, sh, or ch, add -es to make them plural.

This is because it is difficult to pronounce an s after these letters since they have a similar sound.

For example:

  • boss → bosses
  • buzz → buzzes
  • box → boxes
  • wish → wishes
  • bunch → bunches

If a noun ends in a consonant (all letters except a, e, i, o, and u) followed by y, then change "y" to "i" and add -es to make them plural.

For example:

  • berry → berries
  • baby → babies
  • sky → skies

Irregular Plural Nouns

However some plural nouns are irregular. They do not follow the simple rules of adding -s or -es. They follow different rules or they do not follow any rules at all, so you need to remember each of them.

→ If a noun ends in a vowel followed by y, add -s to make them plural.

For example:

  • toy → toys
  • day → days
  • essay → essays

→ If a noun ends in a consonant followed by o, add -es to make them plural.

For example:

  • hero → heroes
  • tomato → tomatoes
  • volcano → volcanoes

Note: There are some exceptions to this rule:

  • solo → solos
  • piano → pianos
  • memento → mementos
  • halo → halos

→ If a noun ends in a vowel followed by o, add -s to make them plural.

For example:

  • studio → studios
  • cameo → cameos
  • portfolio → portfolios

→ For nouns ending in f and fe, change "f/fe" to "v" and add -es to make them plural.

For example:

  • shelf → shelves
  • half → halves
  • knife → knives

Note: There are some exceptions to this rule:

For example:

  • roof → roofs
  • safe → safes
  • grief → griefs
  • kerchief → kerchiefs
  • chef → chefs

→ For nouns ending in us, change "us" to "i" to make them plural.

For example:

  • syllabus → syllabi
  • fungus → fungi

→ Some nouns change a few letters or complete spelling. You have to memorize these nouns.

For example:

  • man → men
  • woman → women
  • child → children
  • person → people

→ Some nouns are the same in both singular and plural from.

For example:

  • deer → deer
  • sheep → sheep
  • fish → fish
  • series → series

→ Some nouns are always singular. They have no plural form.

→ Often, that is because these nouns are uncountable, so the singular form is used to refer to the entire quantity rather than one, two, or more countable items.

For example:

  • gold
  • silver
  • flour
  • sugar

→ Some nouns have no singular form. These nouns are always plural.

For example:

  • scissors
  • trousers
  • pants
  • glasses

→ Some nouns are used with modifiers. If that is the case, change the noun, not the modifiers.

For example:

  • daughter-in-law → daughters-in-law
  • brother-in-law → brothers-in-law
  • guest of honor → guests of honor
  • minister of education → ministers of education
Summary
  • A noun names personplacethingfeelingidea, or any concept.
  • There are different types or classes of nouns.
    • Proper Nouns
    • Common Nouns
    • Concrete Nouns
    • Abstract Nouns
    • Count and Noncount Nouns
    • Compound Nouns
    • Gerund Nouns
  • singular noun refers to only one personplace, or thing.
  • plural noun refers to more than one person, place, or thing.
  • Most plural nouns in English are regular. That means you can simply add -s or -es to make them plural.
  • The table below shows all rules to form regular plural nouns.
  • Rule Singular Noun Plural Noun
    For most nouns, just add -s window windows
    If a noun ends in szxsh, or ch, add -es boss
    buzz
    box
    wish
    bunch
    bosses
    buzzes
    boxes
    wishes
    bunches
    If a noun ends in a consonant (all letters except a, e, i, o, and u) followed by y, then change "y" to "i" and add -es berry berries
  • However some plural nouns are irregular. They do not follow the simple rules of adding -s or -es. They follow different rules or they do not follow any rules at all, so you need to remember each of them.
  • The table below shows all rules to form irregular plural nouns.
  • Rule Singular Noun Plural Noun Exceptions
    If a noun ends in a vowel followed by y, add -s toy toys N.A.
    If a noun ends in a consonant followed by o, add -es hero heroes There are some exceptions to this rule:
    • piano → pianos
    • memento → mementos
    • halo → halos
    If a noun ends in a vowel followed by o, add -s studio studios N.A.
    For nouns ending in f and fe, change "f/fe" to "v" and add -es shelf
    knife
    shelves
    knives
    There are some exceptions to this rule:
    • roof → roofs
    • safe → safes
    • grief → griefs
    • kerchief → kerchiefs
    • chef → chefs
    For nouns ending in us, change "us" to "i" syllabus syllabi N.A.
    Some nouns change a few letters or complete spelling. You have to memorize these nouns. man men N.A.
    Some nouns are the same in both singular and plural from. sheep sheep N.A.
    Some nouns are always singular. They have no plural form. gold no plural form N.A.
    Some nouns have no singular form. These nouns are always plural. no singular form scissors N.A.
    Some nouns are used with modifiers. If that is the case, change the noun, not the modifiers. daughter-in-law daughters-in-law N.A.

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