Basic rules for forming plurals of noun

Number is that property of noun or pronoun which signifies whether only one person or thing or more than one is meant. On basis of the numbers noun are divided into two types mentioned below.

Singular noun– The noun which represents only one person, thing or place is called singular nouns for example child, book, leg etc.

Plural noun– The noun which represents more than one person, thing or place is called plural nouns for example children, books, legs etc.

You can transform singular noun or pronouns into plurals by following some basic rules as mentioned below.

Rule-1:  If singular noun ends with a consonant than add –s after it to make it plural. For example

  • Cook- Cooks
  • Parrots- Parrots
  • Actor- Actors
  • Book- Books
  • Kite- Kites
  • Bird- Birds
  • Key- keys

Rule-2:  If singular noun ends with –s, -ss, -sh,-ch,-x and -z than add –es after it to make it plural. For example

  • Kiss- Kisses
  • Bus- Buses
  • Brush- Brushes
  • Box-Boxes
  • Speech- Speeches (Stomach- Stomachs, Monarch-Monarchs, are exceptions)
  • Buzz-Buzzes

Rule-3:  (a) – If a word ends with –y and have any consonant before it then replace –y with –i and add –es to make it plural. For example

  • Copy- Copies
  • Duty- Duties
  • Baby- Babies

(b) – If a word ends with –y and have any vowel (a,e,i,o,u) before it then add -s to make it plural. For example

  • Boy- Boys
  • Essay-Essays
  • Play-Plays

Rule-4:  (a) – If a word ends with –o and have any consonant before it then add –es after -o to make it plural. For example

  • Mango-Mangoes
  • Hero-Heroes
  • Echo-Echoes

(b) – If a word ends with double vowel (a,e,i,o,u) then add –s after it to make it plural. For example

  • Zoo-Zoos
  • Woe-Woes
  • Bee-Bees

Rule-5:  If a word ends with –f or -fe then replace –f or -fe with v and add –es after it to make it plural. For example

  • Calf-Calves
  • Wife-Wives
  • Life-Lives
  • Thief-Thieves

Rule-6:  Some nouns can be make plurals by removing the centre vowel. For example

  • Man-Men
  • Feet-Foot
  • Louse-Lice
  • Tooth-Teeth

Rule-7:  To make compound nouns plural add –s with principal word. For example

  • Member of Parliament-Members of Parliament
  • Brother-in-law- Brothers-in-law
  • Step-sister- Step-sisters

Rule-8:  The words end with –us can be make plural by replacing –us with –i or –ii, similarly replace –um or on with-a, -is with –es, -ex with -ices. For example

  • Locus-Loci
  • Radius-Radii
  • Curriculum- Curricula
  • Criterion- Criteria
  • Axis- Axes
  • Vertex- Vertices

Rule-9:  If a word end with -man then to make it plural replace –man with –men. For example

  • Chairman- Chairmen
  • Woman-Women
  • Milkman- Milkmen
  • Gentleman- Gentlemen

Rule-10:  To make plurals of letters and figures add –s. For example

  • M.L.A- M.L.A’s
  • P- P’s
  • 4- 4’s

Rule-11:  There are some Nouns which are always used in singular form. There is no need to make their plural for example fruit, furniture, Mathematics, News, Physics, Politics and so on.

Rule-12:  There are some Nouns which are always used in plural forms for example Tongs, Vegetables, Trousers, Thanks, Cattle, shoes and so on.

Rule-13:  There are some Nouns which can be used in singular or plural form both for example Dozen, Deer, Fish, Score, sheep and so on.

Rule-14:  Many Nouns are used in two plural forms and both the forms have their different meaning. For example

Cloth

  • Cloths- pieces of cloth
  • Clothes- stitched cloth

Genius

  • Geniuses- Intelligent person
  • Genii-  ghost

Rule-15:  Some Nouns are used in singular and plural both forms but have different meanings in each form. For example

  • Custom- A habitual practice of a person or society
  • Customs- A tax levied on imports or exports by the customs authorities of a country, A habitual practice of a person or society
  • Good- To be desired or approved of
  • Goods- commodity, material

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