Singular and Plural Nouns: Definitions, Rules & Examples

Learn Singular and Plural Nouns in English Grammar with Pictures.

English nouns are inflected for grammatical number, meaning that if they are of the countable type, they generally have different forms for singular and plural.

This lesson discusses the variety of ways in which English plural nouns are formed from the corresponding singular forms, as well as various issues concerning the usage of singulars and plurals in English.

Singular and Plural Nouns in English

Rule 1

Most nouns are made plural by adding -s to the end of the singular form.

For Examples:

  • car – cars
  • bag – bags
  • table – tables
  • house – houses
  • dog – dogs

Singular and Plural NounsPin

Singular and Plural NounsPin

Rule 2

Singular nouns that end in ‘s’, ‘x’, ‘z’, ‘ch’, ‘sh’,or ‘ss’, form the plural by adding –es.

For Examples:

  • bus – buses
  • bench – benches
  • box – boxes
  • dish – dishes
  • truss – trusses
  • marsh – marshes
  • lunch – lunches
  • tax – taxes
  • blitz – blitzes
  • watch – watches

Excepting: 

  • fez – fezzes
  • gas –  gasses
  • quiz – quizzes
  • bus – busses

Rule 3

The plural form of some nouns that end in ‘f’ or ‘fe’ is made by changing the ending to -ves.

For Examples:

  • half – halves
  • hoof – hooves
  • calf – calves
  • elf – elves
  • shelf – shelves
  • leaf – leaves
  • loaf – loaves
  • thief – thieves
  • wolf – wolves
  • life – lives
  • knife – knives
  • scarf – scarves
  • wife –  wives 

Excepting:

  • cuff – cuffs
  • knockoff – knockoffs
  • chef – chefs
  • belief – beliefs
  • roof – roofs
  • chief – chiefs

Singular and Plural NounsPin

Rule 4

Nouns ending in -o:

Nouns that end in ‘o’ preceded by a vowel are made plural by adding -s.

For Examples:

  • radio – radios
  • stereo – stereos
  • video  – videos

Nouns that end in “o” preceded by a consonant are made plural by adding -es.

For Examples:

  • potato – potatoes
  • tomato – tomatoes
  • hero – heroes
  • echo – echoes
  • veto – vetoes
  • domino – dominoes

Excepting: 

  • piano – pianos
  • photo – photos
  • halo – halos
  • soprano – sopranos

Rule 5

Nouns ending in ‘y‘:

When the ‘y’ follows a consonant, changing ‘y’ to ‘i’ and adding –es:

For Examples:

  • city – cities
  • candy – candies
  • country – countries
  • family – families
  • cherry – cherries
  • lady – ladies
  • puppy – puppies
  • party – parties

When the ‘y’ follows a vowel, the plural is formed by retaining the ‘y’ and adding –s:

For Examples:

  • day – days
  • holiday – holidays
  • ray – rays
  • boy – boys
  • toy – toys
  • key – keys
  • donkey – donkeys

Singular and Plural Nouns in EnglishPin

Rule 6

Changing the spelling of singular noun:

For Examples:

  • person – people
  • ox – oxen
  • man – men
  • woman – women
  • caveman – cavemen
  • policeman – policemen
  • child – children
  • tooth – teeth
  • foot – feet
  • goose – geese
  • mouse – mice
  • mouse – lice

some nouns have different pluralsPin

Singular and Plural Nouns in EnglishPin

Rule 7

Some nouns use the same singular and plural form:

For Examples:

  • aircraft – aircraft
  • barracks – barracks
  • deer – deer
  • gallows – gallows
  • moose – moose
  • salmon – salmon
  • hovercraft – hovercraft
  • spacecraft – spacecraft
  • series – series
  • species – species
  • means – means
  • offspring – offspring
  • deer – deer
  • fish – fish
  • sheep –  sheep

irregular plural nounsPin

Rule 8

Some nouns are of Latin/Greek/French Origin:

For Examples:

Nouns of Latin Origin:

  • alumnus – alumni/alumnuses
  • apex – apices/apeces
  • appendix – appendices/ appendixes

Nouns of French Origin:

For Examples:

  • chateau – chateaux/chateaus
  • bureau – bureaux/ bureaus
  • tableau – tableaux/tableaus

Nouns of Greek Origin:

For Examples:

  • diagnosis – diagnoses
  • ellipsis – ellipses
  • hypothesis – hypotheses
  • oasis – oases

plurals - nouns from Latin and GreekPin

Singular and Plural Nouns in English | Images

Singular and Plural Nouns: Definitions, Rules & Examples 2Pin

Singular and Plural Nouns in EnglishPin

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Maha
Maha
1 year ago

Really it’s very useful to learn. Could you please give me pdf of this material?

Likhith gowda m
Likhith gowda m
6 months ago
Reply to  Maha

Ok

uulises
uulises
5 months ago

yes is very useful cuz in my classes were talking about that so i think this is useful

Mitchel joseph
Mitchel joseph
1 year ago

I will like to join to recieve acivities for my English class

Likhith gowda m
Likhith gowda m
6 months ago
Reply to  Mitchel joseph

Ok

Ishan Singhal
Ishan Singhal
11 months ago

yes

anaya
anaya
11 months ago

what will be the plural noun of belief?
‘beliefs or believes’

Last edited 11 months ago by anaya
Adrija Manna
Adrija Manna
11 months ago

Very helpful

Lakshya
Lakshya
10 months ago

Gk

Judith Pillai
Judith Pillai
9 months ago

Very helpful, especially for young students.

cayden
cayden
8 months ago

because i love to watch se

cayden
cayden
8 months ago

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Yoham
Yoham
8 months ago

Yes

Anna antoni
Anna antoni
7 months ago

Anna an

Likhith gowda m
Likhith gowda m
6 months ago

Likhith gowda m

Mansab Alam
Mansab Alam
5 months ago

Join

uulises
uulises
5 months ago

lol my gos

RamaKant
RamaKant
4 months ago

Nice

Rahul
Rahul
4 months ago

Verry nice

akuwa William
akuwa William
3 months ago
Urvi
Urvi
2 months ago

It really helps me so much

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