Singular and Plural Number

Singular means one. Plural means more than one.



English nouns are either singular or plural.


 Singular: boy, man, wife

Plural: boys, men, wives


Singular Nouns:

A noun that shows only one person, thing, animal, or place is called a singular noun. 


Plural Nouns:

A noun that shows two or more persons, things, animals, or places is called a plural noun. 


 RULES OF FORMING PLURAL NOUNS


1. Singular Noun + s = Plural:


Plural nouns are formed by adding -s to the singular:

 Singular--------Plural

car--------cars

house--------houses

dog--------dogs

pet--------pets




Phonetic Tips: 

When a plural is formed by adding s to words ending in ce, ge, se or ze, the final es is pronounced as a separate syllable. For example, in each of the following examples, the singular noun consists of one syllable, whereas the plural noun consists of two syllables.

 Singular--------Plural

place--------places

page--------pages

voice--------voices

house--------houses

change--------changes

phrase--------phrases




2. +es after -s / -sh / -ch / -x / -z

If the ending -ch, -s, -sh, -x or -z of the noun is pronounced as /tʃ/, plural is formed by adding es. The ending es is pronounced as a separate syllable. 

 Singular--------Plural

branch--------branches

speech--------speeches

ditch--------ditches

watch--------watches

boss--------bosses

glass--------glasses

bus--------buses

lens--------lenses

chorus--------choruses

pass--------passes  

brush--------brushes

fish--------fishes

bush--------bushes

lash--------lashes

dish--------dishes

wish--------wishes  

box--------boxes

hoax--------hoaxes

fax--------faxes

six--------sixes

fox--------foxes

tax--------taxes




3. But if -ch is pronounced as “k”, just “s” is added at the end. 

 Singular--------Plural

Monarch--------Monarchs

Patriarch--------Patriarchs 

Matriarch--------Matriarchs

Stomach--------Stomachs

Hierarch--------Hierarchs




4. -f / -fe = -ves 

The final “-f” or “-fe” is replaces with “-ves” in the plural. 

 Singular--------Plural

calf--------calves

loaf--------loaves

half--------halves

self--------selves

life--------lives

wife--------wives




   

5. -f / -fe = -fs 


5. Most other nouns ending in “-f” or “-fe” form the plural simply by adding “-s”.

 Singular--------Plural

chief--------chiefs

hoof--------hoofs

dwarf--------dwarfs

reef--------reefs

gulf--------gulfs

roof--------roofs




  

6. There are also a few nouns ending in “-f” which can form the plural in two different ways.

For example:

 Singular--------Plural

hoof--------hoofs or hooves

staff--------staffs or staves

scarf--------scarfs or scarves

wharf--------wharfs or wharves



7. Consonant + O = -oes

If the noun ends in -o, “es” is added in the plural. 

 Singular--------Plural 

buffalo--------buffaloes

potato--------potatoes

cargo--------cargoes

mosquito--------mosquitoes

echo--------echoes

tomato--------tomatoes




 8. Vowel + O = -os

The following nouns are made plural by adding only “s”. 

 Singular--------Plural 

banjo--------banjos

patio--------patios

bamboo--------bamboos

photo--------photos

radio--------radios

video--------videos




9. Consonant + Y = -ies

If a consonant follows the ending letter “y”, “y” is omitted and “-ies” is added in the plural.  

 Singular--------Plural 

baby--------babies

lorry--------lorries

fly--------flies

navy--------navies

hobby--------hobbies

puppy--------puppies





 10. Vowel + Y = -ys

If a vowel follows the ending letter “y”, simply “-s” is added in the plural. “y” is not omitted. 

 Singular--------Plural

Boy--------boys

key--------keys

day--------days

toy--------toys

donkey--------donkeys

turkey--------turkeys




  

11. By changing vowels.       

 Singular--------Plural 

foot--------feet

louse--------lice

goose--------geese

tooth--------teeth

mouse--------mice

woman--------women




12. Some nouns have same words for plural and singular. 

 Singular--------Plural 

aircraft--------aircraft

music--------music

crossroads--------crossroads

series--------series

furniture--------furniture

sheep--------sheep




  

13. Foreign words

Some Greek and Latin words used for scientific purposes are made plural in the same way that they do in the original language.

 Singular--------Plural

analysis--------analyses

oasis--------oases

axis--------axes

parenthesis--------parentheses

basis--------bases

phenomenon--------phenomena

crisis--------crises

spectrum--------spectra

criterion--------criteria

stimulus--------stimuli

honorarium--------honoraria

stratum--------strata

hypothesis--------hypotheses

synopsis--------synopses

medium--------media

synthesis--------syntheses

nebula--------nebulae

thesis--------theses

nucleus--------nuclei

vertebra--------vertebrae



14. Hyphenated nouns

If two or more words are joined by hyphens, “-s” is added to the main word. 

 Singular--------Plural

 brother-in-law--------brothers-in-law

 daughter-in-law--------daughters-in-law

 father-in-law--------fathers-in-law

 mother-in-law--------mothers-in-law

 runner-up--------runners-up

 sister-in-law--------sisters-in-law

 son-in-law--------sons-in-law





15. Nouns ending in man usually form the plural by changing man to men. 

 Singular--------Plural

 gentleman--------gentlemen

 policeman--------policemen

 policewoman--------policewomen




16. Numbers and letters

Numbers, letters, and other symbols can be formed plurals by adding apostrophe s ['s]. 

 Singular--------Plural

 3--------3's

 b--------b's

 %--------%'s




17. Irregular plurals

The English language has not always used “-s” to form plurals. There are still a few words surviving from Old English, which do not use “-s” to form the plural. For example:

 Singular--------Plural

child--------children

mouse--------mice

foot--------feet

ox--------oxen

goose--------geese

man--------men

tooth--------teeth

woman--------women

louse--------lice



18. A few nouns do not change in the plural. For example:

 Singular--------Plural

deer--------deer

sheep--------sheep

salmon--------salmon





19. Plurals of proper nouns

To make a proper noun plural, we simply as s/es at the end of it. 

Note that, Proper nouns ending in y always form the plural simply by adding s, even when the y is preceded by a consonant.

 Singular--------Plural

Jill--------Jills

Grace--------Graces

Tom--------Toms

Jones--------Joneses

George--------Georges

Nancy--------Nancys



Select the correct answer

Q1. The news-----good.
are
is
is being
are being.
Q2. Negroes have black-----.
hairs
air
hair
hairy
Q3. Two-thirds of the work-----done.
be
are
have
is
Q4. Numbers are of-----types.
two
three
four
five
Q5. She is a student. Make it plural.
She is students.
They are student.
They are students.
None of them.
Q6. That is a foot of an animal. Make it plural.
This is feet of an animal.
These are foot of an animal.
They are the feet of animals.
Those are the feet of animals.
Q7. I am fond of-----.
vegetables
vegetable
vegetableses
None
Q8. The plural form of ‘louse’ is-----.
loise
lise
lice
louses
Q9. There are seven-----in the field.
sheap
sheaps
sheep
sheeps
Q10. Boxes have lids. Make it singular sentence.
The box have a lid.
The box has the lid.
A box has lids.
A box has a lid.
Q11. Every girl has a handkerchief. (Change the number)
Every girls have a handkerchief.
All girls have handkerchiefs.
All girls has handkerchiefs.
All girls have handkerchives.
Q12. Which one is plural?
brother-in-laws
brother-in-law
sister-in-law
sisters-in-law
Q13. Which sentence is correct?
A nurse is not doctors.
Nursing is not dictors.
Nurses are not doctors.
None of these.
Q14. He sold all his-----.
furnitures
furnitury
furniture
furnisheds
Q15. Which one is correct?
She has three sons-in-laws.
She has three son-in-laws.
They has three sons-in-law.
They have three sons-in-law.