A noun may be either singular or plural. A singular noun names one person, place, thing, or idea.

Example: The farmer drove to the market in his truck.

A plural noun names more than one person, place, thing or idea.

Example: The farmers drove to the markets in their trucks.


Rules for forming plurals

The following are guidelines for forming plurals:

  1. To form the plural of most singular nouns, add -s. Examples: Street – streets, house – houses, painter – painters, shelter – shelters, event- events, hospital – hospitals.
  2. When a singular noun ends in s, sh, ch, x, or z, add – es.

Examples: dress-dresses, brush-brushes, ax-axes, coach-coaches, box – boxes, bench-benches, dish-dishes, waltz – waltzes.

  1. When a singular noun ends in o, add -s to make it plural.

Examples: Piano-pianos, solo-solos, cameo – cameos, concerto – concertos, patio-patios, studio-studios, radio-radios, rodeo – rodeos.

  1. For some nouns ending with a consonant and o, add -es.

Examples: hero – heroes, potato – potatoes, echo-echoes, veto – vetoes, tomato – tomatoes.



  1. When a singular noun ends with a consonant and y, change the y to i and add -es.

Examples: Library – libraries, activity – activities, story – stories, city – cities, berry – berries.

  1. When a singular noun ends with a vowel (a,e,i,o,u) followed by y, just add -s.

Examples: Valley – valleys, essay – essays, alley – alleys, survey – surveys, joy – joys.

  1. To form the plural of many nouns ending in f or fe, change the f to v and add -es or s.

Examples: Wife – wives, thief – thieves, loaf – loaves, half – halves, shelf – shelves, leaf – leaves, scarf – scarves, life – lives, calf – calves, elf – elves.

  1. For some nouns ending in f, add -s to form the plural. Examples: proof – proofs, belief – beliefs, motif – motifs, cliff – cliffs.
  2. Some nouns remain the same in the singular and the plural.

Examples: deer – deer, sheep – sheep, series – series, species – species, moose – moose, trout – trout.

  1. The plurals of some nouns are formed in special ways.

Examples: foot – feet, child – children, mouse – mice, man – men, woman – women, ox-oxen, tooth – teeth.

NBIf you don’t figure out the correct spelling of a plural noun, look it up in a dictionary.


Exercise 6

What is the plural form of each of the following nouns?

Example: scarf -scarves     1. tooth

  1. wife                 10. deer          18. child 26. fox
  2. giraffe             11. cliff            19. echo 27. bunch
  3. hero                12. auto           20. baby 28. ferry
  4. radio               13. studio       21. sky 29. flash
  5. potato            14. man           22. beach 30. ship
  6. belief              15. roof           23. eye
  7. thief                16. rodeo        24. volcan
  8.  cuff                17. moose      25. boss


Exercise 7

Write the plural form of each noun in brackets to complete each sentence correctly.

Example: I bought two ________________ from the shop. (loaf) loaves

  1. I used two different _______________ to cut the rope. (knife)
  2. She peeled the _______________ with a knife. (potato)
  3. They are feeding the noisy _____________. (goose)
  4. The tools are placed on the _____________. (shelf)
  5. John cut a few _______________ for the salad. (tomato)
  6. The ______________ are playing in the field. (child)
  7. Some ______________ are hiding in the ceiling. (mouse)
  8. The ______________ of the buildings must be repaired. (roof)
  9. The music helped them imagine the strange ________________. (story)
  10. Kelechi used creative ______________ to help young people sharpen their imagination.
  11. (activity)


See also






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