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:
- To form the plural of most singular nouns, add -s. Examples: Street – streets, house – houses, painter – painters, shelter – shelters, event- events, hospital – hospitals.
- 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.
- 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.
- For some nouns ending with a consonant and o, add -es.
Examples: hero – heroes, potato – potatoes, echo-echoes, veto – vetoes, tomato – tomatoes.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- For some nouns ending in f, add -s to form the plural. Examples: proof – proofs, belief – beliefs, motif – motifs, cliff – cliffs.
- Some nouns remain the same in the singular and the plural.
Examples: deer – deer, sheep – sheep, series – series, species – species, moose – moose, trout – trout.
- 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.
NB: If you don’t figure out the correct spelling of a plural noun, look it up in a dictionary.
What is the plural form of each of the following nouns?
Example: scarf -scarves 1. tooth
- wife 10. deer 18. child 26. fox
- giraffe 11. cliff 19. echo 27. bunch
- hero 12. auto 20. baby 28. ferry
- radio 13. studio 21. sky 29. flash
- potato 14. man 22. beach 30. ship
- belief 15. roof 23. eye
- thief 16. rodeo 24. volcan
- cuff 17. moose 25. boss
Write the plural form of each noun in brackets to complete each sentence correctly.
Example: I bought two ________________ from the shop. (loaf) loaves
- I used two different _______________ to cut the rope. (knife)
- She peeled the _______________ with a knife. (potato)
- They are feeding the noisy _____________. (goose)
- The tools are placed on the _____________. (shelf)
- John cut a few _______________ for the salad. (tomato)
- The ______________ are playing in the field. (child)
- Some ______________ are hiding in the ceiling. (mouse)
- The ______________ of the buildings must be repaired. (roof)
- The music helped them imagine the strange ________________. (story)
- Kelechi used creative ______________ to help young people sharpen their imagination.