Singular and Plural 3

Singular and Plural

The next topic that we need to study in Nouns is numbers, or what is more commonly understood as Singular and Plural.

Before proceeding ahead let us answer the question why do we need to study numbers in nouns? The answer is two fold:

First, we could have a single item or more than one of the same in a sentence.
We need to adequately represent them.

Example:

We could have a single student studying; we could also have two or more students studying. We need to show that there is more than one student.

Second, the number of the subject (whether the subject is singular or plural) decides the
number of the verb.

Example:

The student (singular noun) studies (plural verb) Physics,
The students (plural noun) study (singular subjects) physics.

The rules for converting singular nouns to plural nouns are as follows:
By adding ‘-s’:

This is the simplest and the most common method of converting a singular noun to its plural form.
Example: Singular Noun Plural Noun

Boys – Boys

Chair – Chairs

Table – Tables

Computer – Computers

NOTE:

A few nouns ending with –o also convert to their plural form by simply adding –s;

Example: Singular Noun Plural Noun

Piano – Pianos

Commando – Commandos
NOTE:
A few nouns ending with –f or -fe also convert to their plural form by simply adding –s;

Example: Singular Noun Plural Noun

Chief – Chiefs

Cliff – Cliffs


By adding ‘-es’ to nouns ending with –s, -sh, -ch, -x, -o;

Example: Singular Noun Plural Noun

Dress – Dresses

Dish – Dishes

Branch – Branches

Tax – Taxes

Echo – Echoes

For nouns ending with –y preceded by a consonant change –y to –i and add –es;

Example: Singular Noun Plural Noun

Baby – Babies

Army – Armies

City – Cities

Some nouns ending with –f or –fe, by changing –f or –fe to –v and adding –es;

Example: Singular Noun Plural Noun

Thief – Thieves

Wife – Wives

NOTE:

Some nouns ending with –f or –fe, form their plural by either taking –s or –ves;

Example: Singular Noun Plural Noun

Dwarf – Dwarfs, Dwarves

Hoof – Hooves

Some nouns make their plurals by changing the vowel;

Example: Singular Noun Plural Noun

Man – Men

Woman – Women

Some nouns form their plurals by adding –en to the singular noun;

Example: Singular Noun Plural Noun

Ox – Oxen

Child – Children


Remember:

There are certain nouns which have the same form for Singular as well as Plural;

Example:

Swine, Sheep

Certain nouns which are names of instruments having two parts are always used in their plural form;

Example:

Spectacles, Scissors

NOTE:

Names of certain clothing items are always used in their plural form;

Example:

Trousers, Jeans

Certain nouns like names of subjects, some common diseases and some games are always in the plural form;

Example:

Physics, Measles, Billiards.

Certain Collective Nouns though singular in form are always used as plurals;

Example:

Poultry, Cattle, People.

Certain nouns have two forms as their plurals, both with different meanings;

Example: Singular Noun Plural Noun

Brother – Brothers (from the same parents)

Brethren (from the same community)

Cloth Cloths (pieces of cloth)

Clothes (garments)

Certain nouns have two meanings in the singular but one in plural;

Example: Singular Noun Plural Noun

Light – beam

Lights –

Lamps- a lamp

People – men & women

Peoples – nations – nation

Certain nouns have one meaning in the singular but two in plural;

Example: Singular Noun Plural Noun

Custom – habit Customs – habits – duties levied in the form of taxes.

Pain – suffering Pains – sufferings – efforts

Certain nouns have different meanings in the singular and the plural;

Example: Singular Noun Plural Noun

Air – atmosphere Airs – manners

Respect – regard Respects – compliments

NOTE:

Abstract nouns do not have plural forms, as they are uncountable;


Example:

Patriotism, Love, Empathy

A major advantage of studying the above rules is that it helps one to learn the spellings of plural nouns.

Source: Grammar.ccc

Join us and send your articles.

Register from Homepage

3 thoughts on “Singular and Plural

  1. bingo uk Apr 27,2010 5:37 pm

    Interesting post i totally agree with the other comments. Keep writing

  2. busy do Holandii Jun 9,2010 8:51 pm

    Ciekawy post, bede wpadal na twoja stronke czesciej zapewne

Leave a Reply