Nouns are words that identify people, places, or things. But how do you make them plural? This article will explain everything you need to know about plurals and how to use them in sentences.
So, without further ado, let’s get into it:
Forming Plural Nouns
The first thing that you have to know is that nouns have two forms: singular and plural. Singular forms refer to a single person, place, or something.
For instance, Where is the ball?
In this sentence, the word “ball” is the noun, and it is singular because we are only talking about one ball.
If we were talking about more than one ball, the sentence would go Where are the balls?
In this case, we only have to add the letter ‘s’ at the end of the ball to make it plural. Nevertheless, this is not always the case.
Let’s take a look at some of the examples.”
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Plural Rule #1
The first rule is relatively straightforward. You only have to add the letter ‘s’ or ‘es’ at the end of the word to make it plural.
- orange – oranges
- pen – pens
Or, if the word ends with –ss, -x, -ch, or –sh, add the suffix ‘-es.’ For example:
- dress – dresses
- fox – foxes
- bench – benches
- dish – dishes
Plural Rule #2
Next up, if the noun ends with the letter ‘y’ and is preceded by a consonant, you add ‘-es’ and change the ‘y’ to an ‘i’.
- cherry – cherries
- puppy – puppies
However, if there is a vowel before the letter ‘-y’ (ey, ay, oy), simply add ‘–s’ without changing anything else. For example:
- monkey – monkeys
- toy – toys
- day – days
Plural Rule #3
The following rule is when a noun ends with the letter ‘o’, then you only add an ‘s.’
- pistachio – pistachios
- stereo – stereos
However, if there is a consonant before the’-o’, you generally add ‘-es.’
- hero – heroes
- veto – vetoes
There are some cases where just an ‘-s’ is added.
- piano – pianos
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Plural Rule #4
If a noun ends in “-f” or “-fe,” a special rule applies. You must add “-es” after “-v” and swap out “-f” or “-fe” for “-v”. For instance:
- wife – wives
- knife – knives
- loaf – loaves
Be careful, though, as again, there are exceptions to this rule. Not all words that end in ‘-“f” change in this way.
- chef – chefs
For nouns that end ‘-ff’, just add ‘-s’. Nothing else changes.
- cliff – cliffs
- puff – puffs
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Plural Rule #5
For some nouns that end in ‘-s’ or ‘-z’, you have to double the ‘-s’ or ‘-z’ and add ‘-es’. For example:
- fez – fezzes
- gas – gasses
As their name implies, irregular nouns don’t form plurals according to the usual rules. Regular plural nouns follow the guidelines we outlined above.
They are referred to as “irregular plurals.” Unfortunately, they only need to be learned and memorized because they don’t follow any patterns. Some of the most typical irregular nouns are listed below:
- child – children
- person – people
- man – men
- woman – women
- tooth – teeth
- foot – feet
- mouse – mice
- goose – geese
- ox – oxen
This guide can help you comprehend how to use nouns and the rules for plural nouns, but the practice is also necessary.
Unfortunately, as noted in the article, some nouns deviate from the norm. Therefore, it would be best if you made every effort to master them and put this theory into practice.
However, it’s not the end of the world. You can start using this article’s quiz or free online worksheets.
We also advise practicing one-on-one speaking with an English tutor. This makes it much simpler to remember grammar rules by applying them to actual conversation.