THE PLURAL OF NOUNS

Most nouns form the plural by adding s or es.

Examples

SingularPlural

boat

boats

hat

hats

house

houses

river

rivers

A noun ending in y preceded by a consonant makes the plural with -ies.

Examples

SingularPlural

a cry

cries

a fly

flies

a nappy

nappies

a poppy

poppies

a city

cities

a lady

ladies

a baby

babies

There are some irregular formations for noun plurals. Some of the most common ones are listed below.

Examples of irregular plurals

SingularPlural

woman

women

man

men

child

children

tooth

teeth

foot

feet

person

people

leaf

leaves

half

halves

knife

knives

wife

wives

life

lives

loaf

loaves

potato

potatoes

cactus

cacti

focus

foci

fungus

fungi

nucleus

nuclei

syllabus

syllabi/syllabuses

analysis

analyses

diagnosis

diagnoses

oasis

oases

thesis

theses

crisis

crises

phenomenon

phenomena

criterion

criteria

datum

data

Some nouns have the same form in the singular and the plural.

Examples

Singular

Plural

sheep

sheep

fish

fish

species

species

aircraft

aircraft

Some nouns have a plural form but take a singular verb.

Examples

  • news The plural of nouns 17 The news is on at 6.30 p.m.
  • athletics The plural of nouns 17 Athletics is good for young people.
  • linguistics The plural of nouns 17 Linguistics is the study of language.
  • darts The plural of nouns 17 Darts is a popular game in England.
  • billiards The plural of nouns 17 Billiards is played all over the world.

Some nouns have a plural form and take a plural verb.

Examples

  • trousers The plural of nouns 17 My trousers are too tight.
  • jeans The plural of nouns 17 Her jeans are black.
  • glasses The plural of nouns 17 Those glasses are his.

others include:

  • savings, thanks, steps, stair, customs, congratulations, tropics, wages, spectacles, outskirts, goods, wits

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