Singular and Plural


Read through the explanations and examples, do the exercise that follows.

Also See:

Nouns
Plural Forms Exercise
Countable / Uncountable Nouns

Forming Plurals


  • Most of the nouns are made plural by adding an 's':

    pen - pens
    pencil - pencils
    book - books
    file - files



  • Nouns ending with s, ss, z, zz, x, ch, sh, and tch are made plural by adding "es" to the singular form:

    wish - wishes
    watch - watches
    fox - foxes
    bus - buses



  • If a noun's singular form ends with a consonant plus y, you must change the y to I and then add "es":

    baby - babies
    candy - candies
    sky - skies
    spy - spies


    Attention: Proper nouns are exceptions to the rule.

    the Wendys (not Wendies)
    the Kennedys (not Kennedies)


  • Some Irregular Plural Forms:

    man - men
    woman - women
    foot - feet
    tooth - teeth
    child - children
    medium- media


    Attention: A singular subject takes a singular verb, and a plural subject takes a plural verb. Therefore:

    The media are presenting the story inaccurately.
    Women are usually more sensitive than men.

    See subject verb agreement


    Forming Plurals Table


    Forming PluralsSingularPlural
    a. Most nouns take S at the end of their singular forms.camera
    lesson
    cameras
    lessons
    b. If the noun ends in S, Z, CH, SH, O, SS, or X, we add ES.potato
    pass
    tax
    potatoes
    passes
    taxes
    * EXCEPTIONS.radio
    photo
    radios
    photos
    c. If the noun ends in F or Fe, change F or FE to V, and add - ES.knife
    wife
    thief
    shelf
    knives
    wives
    thieves
    shelves
    d. If the noun ends in Y preceded by a consonant, change Y to I; and add -ES(ies)fly
    baby
    country
    city
    flies
    babies
    countries
    cities
    e. Some nouns have irregular plural formschild
    foot
    tooth
    man
    sheep
    children
    feet
    teeth
    men
    sheep

    Non-Singular/Plural Form Nouns


    SingularPluralNo Singular FormNo Plural Form
    pencil
    car
    city
    woman
    book
    dictionary
    lesson
    foot
    pencils
    cars
    cities
    women
    books
    dictionaries
    lessons
    feet
    cattle
    trousers
    scissors
    pliers
    police
    glasses
    pants
    shorts
    news
    information
    measles
    furniture
    baggage
    advice
    knowledge
    rubbish


    Singular/Plural of "Verb TO BE"


    a. A library is a useful building.
    Libraries are useful buildings.

    b. She is a clever girl.
    They are clever girls.

    c. Is it a new shelf?
    Are they new shelves?

    d. Are these boys hungry?
    Is this boy hungry?

    e. He isn't a worker.
    They aren't workers.


    Quick Exercise


    Change the following sentences from singular to plural or from plural to singular as in the examples.

    1. She is a beautiful lady.
    .

    2. A book is a good friend.
    .

    3. A small car is a great vehicle.
    .

    4. She is a smart girl.
    .

    5. It is an old church.
    .

    6. Is this man a worker?
    ?

    7. Is he a nice character?
    ?

    8. These pants belong to those women.
    .

    9. Are the students in the classroom?
    ?

    10. These glasses aren't for those women.
    .

    11. Are the bottles on the table?
    ?

    12. The brush is under the chair.
    .

    13. I am not a famous woman.
    .

    14. The pencils aren't in the boxes.
    .

    15. I like those barbies.
    .

    Correctness =
    Correct answers:
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