Singular and Plural Number

Kinds of Noun and Number in English Language

A word which indicates whether noun is singular or plural is known as a number.

There are two kinds of numbers:

The Singular Number
The Plural Number

Singular Number:

When a noun denotes a person/thing is one, it is called singular noun/number.

Examples : Boy, Girl, Book, Cap, Lake etc.

Plural Number:

When a noun denotes more persons/things is called plural noun/number.

Examples : Boys, Girls, Books, Caps, Lakes etc.

Forming of Plurals of Nouns:
(1) Plurals by adding “s”
Most of the nouns form their plurals by adding “s” to the singular.
  • Boy-Boys
  • Girl-Girls
  • Cap-Caps
  • Book-Books
  • Lake-Lakes
  • -
(2) Noun ends with “ch, sh, s, ss or x”
When a noun ends with “ch, sh, s, ss or x”, we add “es” to make plurals.
  • Catch-Catches
  • Church-Churches
  • Dish-Dishes
  • Wish-Wishes
  • Gas-Gases
  • Bus-Buses
  • Kiss-Kisses
  • Miss-Misses
  • Box-Boxes
  • Fox-Foxes
(3) Noun ends with “y” and preceded by a Consonant
When a noun ends with “y” and preceded by a Consonant, we add “i” in place of “y” and add “es”.
  • Baby-Babies
  • City-Cities
  • Copy-Copies
  • Family-Families
  • Army-Armies
  • Story-Stories
  • Faculty-Faculties
  • -
(4) Noun ends with “y” and is preceded by a Vowel
When a noun ends with “y” and is preceded by a Vowel we add “s”
  • Monkey-Monkeys
  • Donkey-Donkeys
  • Holiday-Holidays
  • Boy-Boys
  • Toy-Toys
  • Joy-Joys
  • Day-Days
  • Essay-Essays
(5) Noun ends with “f” or “fe”
When a noun ends with “f” or “fe” we change “f/fe” to “v” and add “es” to make plural.
  • Calf-Calves
  • Loaf-Loaves
  • Shelf-Shelves
  • Self-Selves
  • Knife-Knives
  • Thief-Thieves
Exceptions to this rule:
  • Handkerchief-Handkerchiefs
  • Safe-Safes
  • Proof-Proofs
  • Hoof-Hoofs
  • Gulf-Gulfs
  • Dwarf-Dwarfs
  • Cliff-Cliffs
  • Roof-Roofs
  • Rod-Rods
  • Belief-Beliefs
  • Puff-Puffs
  • -
(6) Noun ends with “o”
When a noun ends with “o”, we add “es” to the singular to make plural.
  • Buffalo-Buffaloes
  • Echo-Echoes
  • Hero-Heroes
  • Mango-Mangoes
  • Mosquito-Mosquitoes
  • Potato-Potatoes
  • Tomato-Tomatoes
  • -
Exceptions to this rule:
  • Bamboo-Bamboos
  • Photo-Photos
  • Dynamo-Dynamos
  • Piano-Pianos
  • Logo-Logos
  • Studio-Studios
  • Radio-Radios
  • Ratio-Ratios
(7) Some nouns are made plurals by changing inside vowel.
  • Man-Men
  • Woman-Women
  • Foot-Feet
  • Goose-Geese
  • Ox-Oxen
  • Mouse-Mice
  • Louse-Lice
  • Child-Children
(8) Some nouns have singular and plural same.
  • Sheep-Sheep
  • Fish-Fish
  • Deer-Deer
  • Gross-Gross
  • Music-Music
  • Public-Public
  • You-You
  • Score-Score
  • Piece-Piece
  • Hair-Hair
  • Furniture-Furniture
  • Education-Education
  • News-News
  • Wood-Wood
(9) Some nouns have different meanings in the singular and the plural.
  • Air – atmosphere
  • Airs – affected manners
  • Blind – unable to see because of injury.
  • Blinds – a screen for a window.
  • Character - the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual.
  • Characters - People in a novel, play, or film.
  • Content - Someone who is in a state of peaceful happiness.
  • Contents - the things that are held or included in something.
  • Custom - a tradition of behaving something that is specific to a particular society, place, or time.
  • Customs - the official Government department that collects the duties levied on imported goods.
  • Force - strength or energy as an attribute of physical action or movement.
  • Forces - an organized military force equipped for fighting on land, sea or air.
  • Good - having the required qualities of a high standard.
  • Goods - merchandise or possessions.
  • Manner - a way or method in which a thing is done or happens.
  • Manners - polite or well-bred social behavior OR etiquette one follows.
  • Spectacle - a visually striking performance or display OR Some visual scene.
  • Spectacles - a pair of glasses.
  • Wood - the hard fibrous material that forms of the branches of a tree, used for fuel or timber
  • Woods - an area of land smaller than a forest, that is covered with growing trees.
(10) Some nouns are used only in plural:
For Instrument
  • Scissors, Tongs, Pincers, Spectacles, Bellows etc.
For Dresses
  • Shorts, Trousers, Jeans, Stockings, Pajamas, Tights etc.
For Games
  • Billiards, Draughts etc.
For Diseases
  • Measles, Mumps, Rickets etc.
Name of subjects
  • Mathematics, Physics, Electronics, Computers, etc.
Other Nouns
  • Thanks, Stocks, Annals, Premises, Riches, Proceedings, Assets etc.
Forming of Plural Of Verbs:
In Present Tense we use does. But when we delete / hide does, we add ‘es’ to the verb.
  • He/She does go to school.
  • He/She goes to school.
  • He/She does drink milk.
  • He/She drinks milk.
Not all plural forms end with ‘s’, ‘es’ or ‘ies’.
  • Phenomenon - Phenomena (A fact Occurrence that appears / perceived)
  • Chateau - Chateaux (A large French country house / castle)
  • Thesaurus - Thesauri (A book lists words in groups)
  • Thesis - Theses (A preposition / hypothesis to be proved)
  • Symposium - Symposia (A conference / meeting to discuss a particular subject)
  • Graffito - Graffiti (A writing on the wall)
Related Topics :
Types of Noun in English Language
Types of Pronoun in English Language
Types of Verb in English Language
Types of Adverb in English Language
Types of Adjective in English Language
Kinds of Preposition in English Language
Types of Conjunction in English Language
Uses of Interjection words in English Language


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