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plural

adjective

noun Grammar .

QUIZZES

TAKE THIS QUIZ TO SEE WHAT YOU KNOW ABOUT HIGH SCHOOL PUNCTUATION!

Origin of plural

Words nearby plural

Words related to plural

Example sentences from the Web for plural

And the plural could be knaidels, or knaidelach, or knaidlach, or knaideluch.

As GO is a word referring to the game, so its plural gos is.

Actually, the issue of plural vs. singular is orthogonal to the dilemma she wants to pose.

Illuminati is the plural of illuminatus, which means “enlightened.”

But as a great mentor once told me, the plural of anecdote is not data.

The emphasis here is upon the term "existences," and in its plural form.

Plaudit is a shout of applause, and is commonly used in the plural ; as, the plaudits of a throng.

She compelled him to take her in the plural , though he addressed her separately, but her tones had their music.

In the Old Testament the most frequent name is "Mizraim," in plural form.

Milton, in this passage, uses ‘many a friend’ with a plural verb.

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British Dictionary definitions for plural

adjective

Derived forms of plural

Word Origin for plural

Cultural definitions for plural

The grammatical category in nouns, pronouns, and verbs that refers to more than one thing. Most nouns become plural with the addition of -s or -es : hats , chairs , dishes , countries , and so on. Some nouns form the plural in other ways, as in children , feet , geese , and women . ( Compare singular; see agreement.)

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Plural Nouns: Rules and Examples

Most singular nouns are made plural by simply putting an -s at the end. There are many different rules regarding pluralization depending on what letter a noun ends in. Irregular nouns do not follow plural noun rules, so they must be memorized or looked up in the dictionary.

Plural Noun Rules

There are many plural noun rules, and because we use nouns so frequently when writing, it’s important to know all of them! The correct spelling of plurals usually depends on what letter the singular noun ends in.

2If the singular noun ends in ‑s, -ss, -sh, -ch, -x, or -z, add ‑es to the end to make it plural.

3In some cases, singular nouns ending in -s or -z, require that you double the -s or -z prior to adding the -es for pluralization.

4If the noun ends with ‑f or ‑fe, the f is often changed to ‑ve before adding the -s to form the plural version.

5If a singular noun ends in ‑y and the letter before the -y is a consonant, change the ending to ‑ies to make the noun plural.

6If the singular noun ends in -y and the letter before the -y is a vowel, simply add an -s to make it plural.

7If the singular noun ends in ‑o, add ‑es to make it plural.

With the unique word volcano, you can apply the standard pluralization for words that end in -o or not. It’s your choice! Both of the following are correct:

8If the singular noun ends in ‑us, the plural ending is frequently ‑i.

9If the singular noun ends in ‑is, the plural ending is ‑es.

10If the singular noun ends in ‑on, the plural ending is ‑a.

11Some nouns don’t change at all when they’re pluralized.

You need to see these nouns in context to identify them as singular or plural. Consider the following sentence:

Plural Noun Rules for Irregular Nouns

Irregular nouns follow no specific rules, so it’s best to memorize these or look up the proper pluralization in the dictionary.

person – people

How do you make mattress plural

This is a decidedly practical post. Here you’ll find all the rules (and non-rules) for making nouns plural. This is an area of some complexity in English, and I hope you find this article helpful reference. If you would like a hard copy of this material, click here to download a PDF version, including a linked table of contents:Spelling Rules for Plurals

Normal Nouns

Normal nouns are made plural simply by adding ans. Because normal nouns are very numerous, this is a very limited list.

Singular

Plural

artichokeartichokesbubblebubbleschartchartsdrumdrumeggeggs

Nouns ending in s, x, z, ch, or sh

Nouns that end ins, x, z, ch, or share made plural by addinges. The list below includes only a small sampling.

Singular

Plural

bossbossesbusbusesclassclassesfoxfoxesboxboxesaxaxesbuzzbuzzesfizzfizzeswitchwitchesstitchstitchesrashrashesdishdishesmarshmarshes

Nouns ending in y, preceded by a consonant

Nouns that end iny, preceded by a consonant, are made plural by replacing theywithies.

Singular

Plural

abilityabilitiesbatterybatteriescandycandiescitycitiesdaisydaisiesenergyenergiesfairyfairies

Nouns ending in y, preceded by a vowel

Nouns that end iny, preceded by a vowel, are treated like normal nouns: just adds.

Singular

Plural

daydaysplayplaystoytoysvalleyvalleys

Nouns ending in o, preceded by a consonant

Some nouns that end ino, preceded by a consonant, are made plural by addinges.

Singular

Plural

echoechoesheroheroespotatopotatoestomatotomatoestomatotomatoeszerozeroes

Other nouns that end inoand are preceded by a consonant are made plural by just addings. If in doubt, check a dictionary.

Singular

Plural

casinocasinosdiscodiscosegosegosIntrointrosinfernoinfernosphotophotospromopromosratioratios

Still other nouns ending in o and preceded by a consonant have both recognized plural forms: add eithersores. If in doubt, check a dictionary.

Singular

Plural

buffalobuffalos or buffaloeshalohalos or haloesmosquitomosquitos or mosquitoesgazebogazebosorgazeboestornadotornadosortornadoesembargoembargosorembargoes

Nouns ending in f or fe

Some nouns that end inforfebecome plural by changing theforfetoves.

Singular

Plural

calfcalveselfelveshalfhalvesknifeknivesleafleaveslifelivesshelfshelveswifewives

Other nouns that end inforfeare treated as normal nouns: just adds.

Singular

Plural

beliefbeliefsbriefbriefschefchefschiefchiefscliffcliffsgulfgulfsproofproofssafesafes

A small group of nouns that end in f can be made plural either way:

Singular

Plural

hoofhoofsorhoovesdwarfdwarfsordwarvesscarfscarfsorscarvesloafloafsorloavesstaffstaffsorstaveswharfwharfsorwharves

Irregular Plurals

Many nouns are just, well, different. There’s nothing to do but learn which these are. If in doubt, consult a dictionary.

Some nouns ending inusare made plural by changing theustoi.

SingularPlural
alumnusalumni
cactuscacti
focusfocusesorfoci
fungusfungusesorfungi
octopusoctopusesoroctopi
nucleusnuclei
radiusradii
stimulusstimuli

Some nouns ending inisare made plural by changing theistoes.

Singular

Plural

axisaxesanalysisanalysesbasisbasescrisiscrisesdiagnosisdiagnosesellipsisellipseshypothesishypothesesoasisoasesparalysisparalysessynthesissynthesessynopsissynopsesthesistheses

Some nouns ending inixorexare made plural by changing theixtoices.

Singular

Plural

appendixappendicesindexindicesmatrixmatricesvertexvertices

Some nouns ending ineauare made plural by changing theeautoeaux.

Singular

Plural

beaubeauxbureaubureausorbureauxchateauchateauxtableautableauxortableaus

Some nouns become plural by changing the ending toen.

Singular

Plural

childchildrenmanmenoxoxenwomanwomen

Some nouns become plural by changing the ending toa.

Singular

Plural

bacteriumbacteriacorpuscorporacriterioncriteriacurriculumcurriculadatumdatagenusgeneramediummediamemorandummemorandaphenomenonphenomenastratumstrata

Some nouns become plural by changingootoee.

Singular

Plural

footfeetgoosegeesetoothteeth

Some nouns become plural by changing the endingatoae.

Singular

Plural

antennaantennaeorantennasformulaformulaeorformulasnebulanebulaeornebulasvertebravertebrae

Some nouns become plural by replacingousewithice.

Singular

Plural

louselicemousemice

Some nouns don’t change at all between singular and plural forms.

Singular

Plural

aircraftaircraftdeerdeermeansmeansmoosemooseoffspringoffspringseriesseriessheepsheepspeciesspecies

Some nouns only have a plural form.

Plural

dregspliersgritsscissorsmumpsshortsnewsvictuals

Some nouns have only a singular form in ordinary usage (some of these, like money, cotton, and sugar can be plural when talking about particular kinds).

Singular

coffeemoneycornsilvercottonsugargoldwheat

Some nouns naming animals have two plural forms.

Singular

Plural

antelopeantelopeorantelopescodcodorcodselkelkorelksfishfishorfishesflounderflounderorfloundersgrousegrouseorgrousesherringherringorherringsquailquailorquailsreindeerreindeerorreindeerssalmonsalmonorsalmonsshrimpshrimporshrimpstrouttroutortrouts

Compound nouns are usually made plural by making the first noun part plural.

Singular

Plural

attorney-generalattorneys-generalbrother-in-lawbrothers-in-lawfather-in-lawfathers-in-lawmother-in-lawmothers-in-lawrun batted inruns batted insister-in-lawsisters-in-law

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How to Form the Plural of Any English Noun: 6 Simple Rules (with Examples and Exceptions)

Imagine living in a town with only one bookstore.

You walk in to see one lonelybooksitting on the onlyshelf.

Hungry, you walk down thestreetto the only fast foodrestaurantin town. Strangely, there’s only one kind ofhamburgeron the menu. You have no choice but to order that.

Then you go to your English class and find that you’re the onlystudentthis semester.

How boring life would be if there were only one of everything!

Well, never fear, plurals are here to save the day!

In real life, there would bebookstoresin your town with rows ofshelvesand hundreds ofbooksto choose from. Hungry? No problem. Walk down any of thestreetsin town and there’ll be countless fast foodrestaurantsservinghamburgersgalore. Next, step into your English class and it’s filled withstudentsfrom all over the world, chatting and laughing.

Now that’s more like it.

We really do need those plurals, don’t we? They make life so much more interesting.

So what are those mysterious plurals, and how do they work in English? Let’s take a brief look before we get down tosix specific spelling rules for making nouns plural. I’ll be giving you some common examples of nouns for each rule, as well as important exceptions to remember.

Your job is to find more nouns and add them to the list for each rule. Consider this an English plural reference guide that you can continue to use as your English advances.

How Do Plurals Work in English?

A singular noun in English refers to one person, thing, place or idea. A plural noun refers to more than one person, thing, place or idea.

What’s it like in your native language? Do you use the same word for both?

Some languages make no grammatical distinction between singular and plural. But in English,we do some fancy stuff to make our nouns plural.

The difference between the singular and plural forms of a noun are reflected in spelling. As you’ll see below,there are a number of spelling rules that can be applied to change a noun from singular to plural. The pronunciations of the plural and singular forms are usually slightly different as well.

Like many English rules, there are exceptions that apply only to certain plural nouns. What’s also interesting is that some nouns are always plural, some are always singular and some look the same in their singular and plural forms.

I know this may sound slightly overwhelming right now. But I’m going to simplify it for you and tell you exactly how these rules work. The list below would also be useful as a reference whenever you need to refresh your memory.

To apply these English plural rules in real-world contexts, the videos onFluentUare your best bet.

FluentU provides real English music videos, movie trailers, hilarious YouTube clips and more—allsupercharged with language learning toolslike interactive subtitles and fun quizzes. It’s an entertaining, natural way to learn English grammar that doesn’t even feel like studying.

How to Form the Plural of Any English Noun: 6 Simple Rules (with Examples and Exceptions)

1. When to Add-s

For most regular English nouns, you simply add the letter-safter the noun. Easy, right?

Here are a few common examples:

There are also specific word categories (…and some exceptions, unfortunately!) that you can learn in groups to make things even easier.

Nouns Ending in-thor-ph

If the noun ends in-thor-ph, simply add an-safter it, just like with the common words above.

Nouns Ending in-o

The general rule for nouns ending with the letter-ois to simply add-safter it.

Some common examples of such nouns are:

Exception: Add-esInstead

The exception to this rule is that for some nouns ending with the letter-o, you add-esafter the noun instead. There aren’t any strict grammar rules here, so pay attention to these words when you encounter them and try to memorize them.

potato → potatoes

tomato → tomatoes

hero → heroes

cargo → cargoes

Nouns Ending in-for-fe

The general rule is that for nouns ending in the letter-for-fe, you simply add an-sat the end.

Here are some common examples:

Exception: Use-vesInstead

The exception to this rule is that for some nouns ending in-for-fe, instead of adding-safter the noun,you drop the-for-feand add-ves.

Here are a few common examples that are helpful to remember:

leaf → leaves

knife → knives

Nouns Ending in-on

For most nouns ending in-on, you simply add-sat the end.

Exception: Use-aInstead

For certain nouns ending in-on,drop-onand add-aat the end of the word.

You probably won’t encounter this exception very often, but it’s still important to know—especially if you’re using English for school or science, where you might need to use these words:

criterion→ criteria

phenomenon→ phenomena

2. When to Add-es

Some nouns always end in-esin the plural form.

Nouns Ending in-s,-x,-z,-shor-ch

For nouns ending with the letters-s,-x,-z,-shor-ch, simply add-esafter the noun.

These examples show nouns with each of these endings:

Nouns Ending in-is

You still need-esto form the plural here, but you don’t just stick it onto the singular form.

For nouns ending in-is,drop the-isand then add-es.

Let’s look at some common examples:

axis→ axes

oasis →oases

crisis →crises

3. When to Add-ies

There’s only one common type of word where you need to add-iesin the plural form. However, as you’ll see below, there’s also an important exception to this rule.

Nouns Ending in-y

For nouns ending with the letter-y, the general rule is todrop the-yand add-iesafter the noun.

Exception: Just Add-s

Good news! There’s actually aneasy way to remember when you need this exception. Just look for a vowel before the letter-yin the singular form.

If a vowel comes before the letter-y, then it’s easy. You simply add-safter the noun.

way →ways

monkey →monkeys

toy →toys

guy →guys

4. When to Add-i

Here’s another easy rule that you only need for one type of word.

Nouns Ending in-us

For nouns ending in-us,drop-usand add-iat the end of the word.

A few common examples are:

5. When to Do Nothing

As we mentioned earlier, there are a couple types of words where you don’t need to learn different singular and plural spellings.

Nouns with the Same Plural and Singular Forms

Talk about easy! There are some words that are exactly the same in their singular and plural forms.

Some common examples are below. You might notice that a lot of these words have to do with biology or animals.

Nouns with No Singular Forms

Then there are some nouns that have no singular forms. This means they’re always plural. So you don’t need to learn a singular form, because there isn’t one.

In general, most of these are things that work in pairs. But we should be careful not to assume that this guideline applies to everything that works in pairs.

You’ll see these most often in clothing vocabulary, such as:

pants (or: trousers)

Nouns with No Plural Forms

These nouns are also calledmass nouns. They have no distinct plural forms. Typically, they refer to nouns that often come in groups, or nouns that are somewhat abstract. For example:

6. When to Remember Irregular Forms

If you’ve been an English learner for some time, you know there’ll always be special cases that don’t fit into any fixed formats or follow any rules. Here we have irregular nouns,which break all of the plural spelling rules we’ve discussed so far.

Yes, irregular nouns are like those children at the playground who walk up the slides instead of sliding down or who stand on the swings instead of sitting on them.

They do things differently from everyone else and that’s what makes them so interesting.

Okay, let’s look at some examples:

child → children (not “childs”)

mouse → mice (not “mouses”)

man → men (not “mans”)

woman → women (not “womans”)

die → dice (not “dies”)

With irregular nouns, there are basically no rules. As you can see, you cannot simply apply any of the rules and exceptions like we’ve done with the other regular nouns. So the only thing youcando is to close your eyes and memorize them and their plural forms.

So now, I hope you have a clearer picture of how to make nouns plural and spell them correctly. It may take some time to become familiar with the rules but that’s okay. To learn them quicker, print out a copy of these rules and keep them handy for your reference. Pretty soon, you’ll be an expert at plural spellings. Good luck!

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plural

adjective

noun Grammar .

QUIZZES

TAKE THIS QUIZ TO SEE WHAT YOU KNOW ABOUT HIGH SCHOOL PUNCTUATION!

Origin of plural

Words nearby plural

Words related to plural

Example sentences from the Web for plural

And the plural could be knaidels, or knaidelach, or knaidlach, or knaideluch.

As GO is a word referring to the game, so its plural gos is.

Actually, the issue of plural vs. singular is orthogonal to the dilemma she wants to pose.

Illuminati is the plural of illuminatus, which means “enlightened.”

But as a great mentor once told me, the plural of anecdote is not data.

The emphasis here is upon the term "existences," and in its plural form.

Plaudit is a shout of applause, and is commonly used in the plural ; as, the plaudits of a throng.

She compelled him to take her in the plural , though he addressed her separately, but her tones had their music.

In the Old Testament the most frequent name is "Mizraim," in plural form.

Milton, in this passage, uses ‘many a friend’ with a plural verb.

Explore Dictionary.com

What Is The Difference Between A “Respirator” And A “Ventilator”?

“Affect” vs. “Effect”: Use The Correct Word Every Time

Coronavirus: The Words You Need To Understand the News

The Best Words To Use During Unprecedented Times

What’s The Difference Between “i.e.” vs. “e.g.”?

“Meat” Used To Mean “Food” And Other Meanings That Narrowed Over Time

British Dictionary definitions for plural

adjective

Derived forms of plural

Word Origin for plural

Cultural definitions for plural

The grammatical category in nouns, pronouns, and verbs that refers to more than one thing. Most nouns become plural with the addition of -s or -es : hats , chairs , dishes , countries , and so on. Some nouns form the plural in other ways, as in children , feet , geese , and women . ( Compare singular; see agreement.)

What Is “Maundy Thursday,” And What Does “Maundy” Mean?

What Is The Difference Between “Furlough” vs. “Layoff”?

WORD OF THE DAY

force majeurenoun| [ French faw r s m a – zh œ r ] SEE DEFINITION

“Epidemic” vs. “Pandemic”

What Is The Difference Between “Quarantine” And “Isolation”?

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