Chapter 4 Plural Forms Of Nouns by PR Sarkar When a word denotes only one object, it is singular in number. When it denotes more than one object, it is plural in number. Rule 1 The general rule for forming plurals is to add -s to the word in the singular number: SINGULAR PLURAL dog dogs book books hand hands house houses town towns village villages Exceptions: If the noun ends in -ss, -sh, -ch, -x or -z, the plural is formed by adding -es to the singular: SINGULAR PLURAL class classes glass glasses bench benches brush brushes box boxes fox foxes topaz topazes Rule 2 If the last letter of the noun is -y and if -y is preceded by a consonant, the plural is formed by changing -y into -ies: SINGULAR PLURAL fly flies sky skies lady ladies family families city cities But if the final -y is preceded by a vowel, the plural is formed by adding only -s to the word in the singular number: SINGULAR PLURAL day days tray trays key keys monkey monkeys boy boys toy toys Rule 3 If the last letter of a noun is -o and if -o is preceded by a consonant, the plural is usually formed by adding -es to the singular: SINGULAR PLURAL hero heroes buffalo buffaloes echo echoes mango mangoes mosquito mosquitoes potato potatoes a. Some exceptions: cantos, mementos, solos, pianos, provisos. b. The plural of nouns ending in -oo, -io, -eo and -yo is formed by adding -s and not -es: SINGULAR PLURAL bamboo bamboos cuckoo cuckoos portfolio portfolios cameo cameos embryo embryos Rule 4 If a noun ends in -f or -fe, the plural is generally formed by changing -f or -fe into -ves: SINGULAR PLURAL life lives wife wives calf calves knife knives leaf leaves wolf wolves thief thieves Exceptions: The plural of nouns ending in -ief, -ff, -oof, -rf, -eef, is formed by adding only -s to the word in the singular number: SINGULAR PLURAL chief chiefs cliff cliffs proof proofs dwarf dwarfs reef reefs Rule 5 There are eight nouns which form their plurals by changing the inside vowels(s): SINGULAR PLURAL man men woman women foot feet tooth teeth goose geese mouse mice louse lice dormouse dormice Rule 6 There are some nouns which form their plurals by adding -en. SINGULAR PLURAL child children ox oxen brother brethren (brothers) Rule 7 In the case of compound nouns, plurals are fomrned by adding -s to the principal word: SINGULAR PLURAL father-in-law fathers-in-law daughter-in-law daughters-in-law passer-by passers-by step-brother step-brothers commander-in-chief commanders-in-chief Rule 8: Some nouns are singular in form but plural in meaning: cattle, people, swine, vermin, gentry, nobility, aristocracy, clergy, folk, etc. The Kaoravas wanted to steal the cattle of King Virata. Virtuous people get peace in life. Rule 9: Some nouns are plural in form but singular in meaning: mathematics, physics, politics, economics, whereabouts, gallows, ethics, etc. Rule 10 Some nouns have no plural form: alphabet, furniture, poetry, scenery, offspring, luggage, expenditure, issue (in the sense of child or children). Rule 11 a. Some nouns have only plural form: alms, annals, assets, bellows, riches. b. Some nouns have plural form but are used in the singular: means, news, innings. Rule 12 Some nouns have double plural forms but with different meanings: fish (many fish of the same variety) fishes (many fishes of different varieties) people (many people live in Calcutta) peoples (nations – many peoples of the world) System of Making Latin Plurals For Latin words ending in -um in the singular number, the plural is formed by replacing -um with -a. SINGULAR PLURAL vitum vita stratum strata datum data memorandum memoranda microvitum microvita medium media cash memo cash mema quantum quanta corrigendum corrigenda propagandum propaganda agendum agenda desideratum desiderata For Latin words ending in -us in the singular number, the plural is formed by replacing -us with -i: SINGULAR PLURAL radius radii lotus loti cactus cacti plexus plexi genius genii alumnus alumni Back to Case Next DO VERBS HAVE PLURAL FORMS?