Singular and Plural Nouns

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1 Singular and Plural Nouns Singular Nouns: When a noun means one only, it is said to be singular. boy, girl, book, church, box Plural Nouns: When a noun means more than one, it is said to be plural. boys, girls, books, churches, boxes RULES TO REMEMBER: 1. Rule 1: The plural of a noun is usually formed by adding -s to a singular noun. lamp lamps cat cats fork forks flower flowers chair chairs owner owners paper papers kitchen kitchens farm farms

2 2. Rule 2: Nouns ending in -s, -z, -x, -sh and -ch form the plural by adding -es. bus buses topaz topazes box boxes dish dishes church churches dress dresses brush brushes fox foxes bench benches waltz waltzes 3. Rule 3: Nouns ending in -y preceded by a consonant is expressed in plural form by changing -y into -ies. lady ladies city cities army armies injury injuries sky skies pony ponies berry berries baby babies 4. Rule 4: Nouns ending in -y preceded by a vowel is expressed in plural form by adding -s. boy boys day days donkey donkeys 2

3 essay essays turkey turkeys chimney chimneys toy toys play plays 5. Rule 5: a) Most nouns ending in -o preceded by a consonant is expressed in plural form by adding -es. hero heroes *Exceptions: The following nouns are expressed in plural form by adding -s only. piano pianos halo halos b) Most nouns ending in -o preceded by a vowel are expressed in plural form by adding -s. portfolio portfolios studio studios motto mottoes potato potatoes mosquito mosquitoes tomato tomatoes volcano volcanoes 6. Rule 6: Some nouns ending in -f or -fe are made plural by changing the -f or -fe to -ves. knife knives life lives wife wives *Exceptions: The following nouns are made plural by adding -s only. 3

4 roof roofs safe safes handkerchief handkerchiefs hoof hoofs staff staffs cliff cliffs wharf wharfs turf turfs shelf shelves wolf wolves loaf loaves leaf leaves thief thieves 4

5 THE FOLLOWING TABLES ARE INCLUDED FOR YOUR INFORMATION: Table 1: Learn the following singular nouns and their plural forms by heart: SINGULAR: athletics is gymnastics is an inning (in cricket) is data is economics is mathematics (the subject) is statistics (the subject) is physics is clothing is crockery is cutlery is jewellery is billiards is darts (the game) is fruit is furniture is gallows is game (wild animals) is hair is means (method) is sweepstakes is each man is each of them is each and everyone is everyone is every person is every boy and girl is every one of the girls is nobody is nothing is somebody is someone is either of the is neither of them is one of the girls is not one of the boys is one in ten is many a man is little is much is luggage is machinery is PLURAL: sports are the Olympic Games are innings are data are his mathematics are statistics (data) are clothes are means (income) are few are many are 5

6 mumps is measles is news is the number of... is a pair of trousers is tidings are cattle are leaves are glasses are spectacles are people are the police are the poor are folk are the odds are thanks are minutes (of a meeting) are remains are vermin are a number of... are trousers are pants are jeans are bellows are scissors are shears are pliers are compasses are Table 2: Irregular plurals: SINGULAR: man foot mouse tooth child goose ox PLURAL: men feet mice teeth children geese oxen Table 3: The following nouns have no singular (also see Table 1): ONLY PLURAL: scissors trousers cattle tweezers measles mumps 6

7 Table 4: Some nouns are always singular: ONLY SINGULAR: gold silver copper sugar cotton coffee *Some of these nouns may be used in the plural when different kinds are referred to, for example the different sugars in our diet. 7

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