To better improve your English writing skills, it’s very important to learn basic grammar and proper usage of words. One vital part is to learn how nouns form their plural the correct way.

Learn how Nouns Form their Plural

A plural noun is generally formed by adding -s to its singular form. Nouns ending in -s, -sh, -ch or -x form the plural by adding -es to the singular. Most nouns ending in -o also form their plural by adding -es to the singular. so it can improve your English writing.

Rule  1. To form the plural of most nouns just add s.

                Ex: chair-chairs                  pen-pens

                     shells-shells                    sock-socks

Rule  2. If the singular noun ends with s, sh, ch, x, or z, just add es.

                Ex: branch-branches       bunch-bunches

                      brush-brushes            box-boxes

Rule 3. Most nouns which end in o form their plural by adding es.

                Ex: volcano-volcanoes                   buffalo-buffaloes

echo-echoes                             tomato-tomatoes

                However, some nouns ending in o form their plural by adding s.

                Ex: zero-zeros                                   kilo-kilos

                      alto-altos                                      tango-tangos

                      magneto-magnetos

Modification: If the singular noun ends in o preceded by a vowel, just add s to form its plural.

                Ex: bamboo-bamboos                    studio-studios

                      photo-photos                             portfolio-portfolios

                      solo-solos

Rule 4 . If a singular noun ends in y with a consonant before it, change y to i and add es.

                Ex: story-stories                army-armies

                      duty-duties                 country-countries

                      cry-cries

Modification: If a singular noun ends in y with a vowel (a, e, i, o, u) before it, just add s.

                Ex: boy-boys                      day-days

                       monkey-monkeys        play-plays

                       valley-valleys

Rule 5. For some nouns which end in f or fe, change the f to v and add s.

                Ex: calf-calves                    half-halves

                       knife-knives                wolf-wolves

                       shelf-shelves

Modification:  For some nouns ending with f, just add s to form its plural.

                Ex: belief-beliefs                              proof-proofs

                     safe-safes                                    chief-chiefs

                     dwarf-dwarfs

Rule 6. Some nouns have the same singular and plural form. To use the plural form, use expressions that denote quantity as: a flock of sheep, a school of salmon.

                Ex: offspring-offspring                   moose-moose

                      series-series                               police-police

                      scissors-scissors

Rule 7. Some nouns form their plural by changing their spelling.

                Ex: foot-feet                                      goose-geese

                      louse-lice                                      mouse – mice

                      woman-women

Rule 8. Some nouns of foreign origin ending in um form their plural by changing um to a.

                Ex: medium-media                          millennium-millenia

                      agendum-agenda                     gymnasium-gymnasia

                       stratum-strata

            Those nouns ending in is, form their plural by changing is to es.

                Ex: analysis-analyses                      diagnosis-diagnoses

                      oasis-oases                                 synthesis-syntheses

                      parenthesis-parentheses

Those nouns ending in us, form their plural by changing us to i.

               Ex: alumnus-alumni                        nucleus-nuclei

                       fungus-fungi

Those nouns ending in on form their plural by changing on to a.

                Ex: automaton-automata             polyhendron-polyhedra

Rule 9. Most proper nouns form their plural by adding s.

                Ex: Sammy-Sammys                       Jack-Jacks

                       Jill-Jills

                Those proper nouns ending in s or z form their plural by adding es.

                Ex: buzz-buzzes                                gas-gases

Rule 10. Most compound nouns form their plural by adding s.

               Ex: passer-by   passers-by                 

attorney general-attorneys general               

                     chief of staff-chiefs of staff

maid of honor-maids of honor

                A few nouns ending in ful form their plural by adding s.

               Ex: mouthful-mouthfuls                               bucketful-bucketfuls

                     cupful-cupfuls                                          teaspoonful-teaspoonfuls

Rule 11. Numbers, letters, and words form their plural by adding an apostrophe and an s.

                Ex:                              90’s

Note: It is allowed to omit the apostrophe when the omission does not cause confusion.

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