Plural Nouns The rules and the exceptions.
Add –sto most nouns • skateboard – skateboards • painting – paintings • ticket – tickets • bee - bees
Add –esto nouns that end with a hissing sound (s, ss, sh, ch, x, z, zz) • wrench – wrenches • walrus – walruses • compass - compasses • toolbox – toolboxes • buzz of bees - buzzes of bees
Add –s to most nouns that end in o preceded by a vowel or consonant Words that follow the rule: Exceptions to the rule: potato – potatoes tomato - tomatoes echo – echoes hero – heroes jingo – jingoes no – noes • radio – radios • piano – pianos • auto – autos • igloo – igloos
More o exceptions: Some nouns ending with the letter o preceded by a consonant can form the plural two ways • zero- zeros or zeroes • buffalo – buffalos or buffaloes • cargo – cargos orcargoes • desperado – desperados ordesperadoes • halo – halos orhaloes • mosquito – mosquitos ormosquitoes
When a noun ends in y If a consonantcomes before the y, change the y to iand add es If a vowel comes before the y, just add -s monkey – monkeys alley – alleys play – plays turkey - turkeys • butterfly – butterflies • flurry – flurries • deputy – deputies • battery – batteries • dairy - dairies
Nouns Ending in f, fe, ff For most nouns ending in f, fe, or ff, change the f to -ves Just add –s to a few nouns that end in f, fe, ff surf - surfs giraffe – giraffes cliff – cliffs belief – beliefs safe – safes chef – chefs ref - refs • calf - calves • elf - elves • half - halves • knife - knives • life - lives • loaf - loaves • self - selves (ourselves, yourselves, themselves) • shelf - shelves • thief - thieves • wife - wives
MORE...Nouns Ending in f, fe, ff For some nouns ending in ife, change the f to a v and then add -s Some nouns ending in f, fe, ffhave two forms of the plural dwarf - dwarfs or dwarves hoof - hoofs or hooves scarf - scarfs or scarves staff - staffs or staves wharf - wharfs or wharves • wife - wives • life - lives • knife - knives
Nouns Ending in i Most nouns that end in i form the plural by adding the letter s. Some nouns ending with the letter i form the plural both by adding s and/or es taxi-taxis-taxies alkali-alkalis-alkalies chili-chilies • ski – skis • alibi-alibis • khaki-khakis • rabbi-rabbis
Nouns That Have Irregular Plural Forms Some nouns change their vowels in the middle of the singular form when forming the plural Compounds of words man and woman form plurals the same way: woman – women mailman - mailmen • goose – geese • foot - feet • louse - lice • man - men • mouse - mice • tooth - teeth
More... Nouns That Have Irregular Plural Forms Several nouns form the plural by adding the letters -en Some words with descriptive adjectives and hyphens form the plural by adding the correct affix to the noun portion of the word. father-in-law/fathers-in law mother-in-law /mothers-in-law brother-in-law/ brothers-in-law sister-in-law /sisters-in-law attorney-general /attorneys-general • child - children • ox - oxen
Even More... Nouns That Have Irregular Plural Forms There are a number of animals that have the same singular and plural form: There are also some animal names that form the plural using -s or -esform: antelope - antelope or antelopes cod - cod or cods elk - elk or elks fish - fish or fishes flounder - flounder or flounders grouse - grouse or grouses herring - herring or herrings quail - quail or quails reindeer - reindeer or reindeers salmon - salmon or salmons shrimp - shrimp or shrimps trout - trout or trouts • bison - bison • deer - deer • moose - moose • sheep - sheep • swine - swine
If all else fails... • Use a dictionary or spell check!