Number Singular & Plural


There are two numbers in English -the Singular number and the Plural number.

A noun that denotes a single/one person or thing is called Singular.
as- book, pencil, car, tiger, man.

A noun that denotes more than one person or thing is called Plural.
as- books, pencils, cars, tigers, men.

How to form Plurals-

1. By adding -s; as

paper- papers;       clock- clocks
computer- computers;   train- trains
cloud- clouds;       chair- chairs

2. By adding -es to the singular nouns ending in -s, -sh, -ch or -x; as

box- boxes;       beach- beaches
bus- buses;        bush- bushes
match- matches   kiss- kisses

3. By adding -es to nouns ending in -o; as

mango- mangoes;     potato- potatoes
commando- commandos;     photo- photos
ratio- ratios;      logo- logos

4. By changing -y into -i and adding -es to the nouns ending in -y, preceded by a consonant; as

city- cities;       story- stories
lady- ladies;     army- armies

5. By changing -f or -fe into v and adding -es; as

wife- wives;         wolf- wolves
half- halves;         leaf- leaves
knife- knives;       self- selves

other words ending in -f or -fe take -s; as

chief- chiefs;     cliff- cliffs
proof- proofs;   gulf- gulfs

6. Some plurals are formed by changing vowel of the singular noun; as

man- men;        foot- feet
woman- women;      tooth- teeth
louse- lice;

7. Some nouns have singular and plural alike; as

sheep, deer, aircraft, spacecraft, dice, series etc.

dozen, hundred, score (used with numerals to show plural)
for example- I bought three dozen mangoes.
She has two hundred rupees now.

8. Some nouns only have plural forms; as

scissors, tongs, spectacles
jeans, trousers, shorts
assets, annals, proceeds etc.

9. Some nouns look plural but are singular; as

physics, electronics, economics, etc. (subjects)
measles, rickets, etc. (diseases)

10. Compound nouns form the plural by adding -s to the principal word; as

son-in-law    sons-in-law
stepson   stepsons
commander-in-chief    commanders-in-chief
daughter-in-law    daughters-in-law
manservant          menservants

~ Certain collective nouns although singular in form, are always used as plurals; as

cattle, vermin, poultry, gentry, people

There are your poultry in my field.
People are gathering outside the church.
Every year vermin destroy our crops

~ Some nouns have different meanings in singular and plural; as

Force- strength;         Forces- troops
Iron- a metal;             Irons- fetters
Good- well being, benefit;     Goods- merchandise

color- hue;               colors- hues, a flag of a regiment
Spectacle- a sight;        Spectacles- sights, eye-glasses
Effect- result;              Effects- results, property.

So this is all about Number and how to make plurals of nouns. You might have observed that there were certain exceptions while making the plural.

You will become familiar with all these nouns if you read books, newspapers, magazines or on the internet. And if you know nouns and their plurals, that you think you should share then you can share in the comment section.

Thanks for reading:)

Spread the love

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *