Singular and Plural Nouns: Definitions, Rules & Examples

What are singular and plural nouns? English nouns are inflected for grammatical numbers, 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

Conclusion

In conclusion, understanding the distinction between singular and plural nouns is a crucial aspect of English grammar. Singular nouns refer to one person, place, or thing, while plural nouns refer to two or more. The formation of plurals can vary depending on the noun, but there are several common rules that can help guide you in forming plurals correctly. Additionally, irregular plurals, such as “children” and “teeth”, are an important part of the English language and should be memorized. With practice and a good understanding of these concepts, you can improve your ability to communicate effectively in English.

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Maha
Maha
2 years ago

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

Likhith gowda m
Likhith gowda m
2 years ago
Reply to  Maha

Ok

uulises
uulises
1 year ago

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

Mitchel joseph
Mitchel joseph
2 years ago

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

Likhith gowda m
Likhith gowda m
2 years ago
Reply to  Mitchel joseph

Ok

Ishan Singhal
Ishan Singhal
2 years ago

yes

anaya
anaya
2 years ago

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

Last edited 2 years ago by anaya
Adrija Manna
Adrija Manna
2 years ago

Very helpful

Lakshya
Lakshya
2 years ago

Gk

Judith Pillai
Judith Pillai
2 years ago

Very helpful, especially for young students.

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cayden
2 years ago

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cayden
2 years ago

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Yoham
Yoham
2 years ago

Yes

Anna antoni
Anna antoni
2 years ago

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Likhith gowda m
Likhith gowda m
2 years ago

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Mansab Alam
Mansab Alam
1 year ago

Join

uulises
uulises
1 year ago

lol my gos

RamaKant
RamaKant
1 year ago

Nice

Rahul
Rahul
1 year ago

Verry nice

akuwa William
akuwa William
1 year ago
Urvi
Urvi
1 year ago

It really helps me so much

Nessa Mae
Nessa Mae
1 year ago

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Nessa Mae
Nessa Mae
1 year ago
Nessa Mae
Nessa Mae
1 year ago

Very good and nice
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Akashi
Akashi
8 months ago

This is useful. Now I can learn grammer.

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