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The Noun Number (Singular, Plural) Rules



The number means indicating one or more than one noun. Two numbers exist in our language, singular, and plural. 
A noun that denotes only one person, thing, or place is known as a singular noun—for example, chair, student, book, class, city, country, match, etc.

A noun that expresses more than one person, place, or thing is known as a plural noun—for example, catches, feet, hands, roofs, chairs, glasses, etc.

Rules of Forming the Plural of a Noun

Rule-1. 
Most nouns can be made plural when “s” is added to the singular noun.

Examples

Singular Plural
       Boy         Boys
       Student         Students
       Table         Tables
       Book         Books
       Pen         Pens
       Cat         Cats
      Teacher         Teachers
      Pencil         Pencils
      Desk         Desks
      Apple         Apples
      Youth         Youths
      Stone         Stones
      Path         Paths
      Nose         Noses
      Hand         Hands
      Tree         Trees
     Waiter        Waiters
     Eye        Eyes
      Meter        Meters

Rule-2.
The plurals of most nouns that end in (s, ss, x, z, ch, sh) are formed by adding “es” to the singular.

Examples

Singular Plural
         Gas            Gases
         Dress            Dresses
         Match            Matches
         Catch            Catches
         Sandwich            Sandwiches
         Box            Boxes
         Bus            Buses
         Class            Classes
         Church            Churches
         Glass            Glasses
         Fox                               Foxes
         Dish            Dishes
         Bench            Benches
        Wishes            Wishes
        Fish            Fishes
        Kiss            Kisses
        Branch            Branches
        Bunch            Bunches
        Coach            Coaches
        Inch            Inches
        Bush           Bushes
       Ax           Axes
       Tax          Taxes
       Topaz          Topazes

Rule-3.
Nouns ending in a vowel (a, e, I, o, u) + “-y” can be converted to plural form by adding “s” to the singular.

Examples

Singular Plural
Head1Key Head2Keys
Head1Play Head2Plays
Head1Way Head2Ways
Head1Day Head2Days
Head1Turkey Head2Turkeys
Head1Tray Head2Trays
Head1Chimney Head2Chimneys
Head1Valley Head2Valleys
Head1Toy Head2Toys
Head1Trolley Head2Trolleys
Head1Kidney Head2Kidneys
Head1Donkey Head2Donkeys
Head1Jersey Head2Jerseys
Head1Monkey Head2Monkeys
Head1Cowboy Head2Cowboys



Rule-4.
Nouns ending in “y” proceeded by consonant form plurals by dropping “y” at the end and adding “-ies” instead of it.

Examples 

Singular Plural
Head1Baby Head2Babies
Head1Country Head2Countries
Head1Cry Head2Cries
Head1Cherry Head2Cherries
Head1Try Head2Tries
Head1Story Head2Stories
Head1Army Head2Armies
Head1Lady Head2Ladies
Head1City Head2Cities
Head1Duty Head2Duties
Head1Diary Head2Diaries
Head1Fly Head2Flies
Head1Teddy Head2Teddies
Head1Puppy Head2Puppies
Head1Dictionary Head2Dictionaries
Head1Library Head2Libraries
Head1Lily Head2Lilies
Head1Fairy Head2Fairies
Head1Party Head2Parties
Head1Sky Head2Skies
Head1Strawberry Head2Strawberries

Rule-5.
Nouns ending in “o” form the plural by suffixing “es.” 

Examples 

Singular Plural
Head1Potato Head2Potatoes
Head1Hero Head2Heroes
Head1Tomato Head2Tomatoes
Head1Cargo Head2Cargoes
Head1Volcano Head2Volcanoes
Head1Negro Head2Negroes
Head1Buffalo Head2Buffaloes
Head1Echo Head2Echoes
Head1Motto Head2Mottoes
Rule-6.
But some nouns ending in “o” take “s” in their plural form. 

Examples 

Singular Plural
Head1Logo Head2Logos
Head1Video Head2Videos
Head1Solo Head2Solos
Head1Studio Head2Studios
Head1Photo Head2Photos
Head1Kilo Head2Kilos
Head1Radio Head2Radios
Head1Bamboo Head2Bamboos
Head1Piano Head2Pianos
Head1Cameo Head2Cameos
Head1Folio Head2Folios
Head1Portfolio Head2Portfolios
Head1Dynamo Head2Dynamos
Head1Hippo Head2Hippos
Head1Rhino Head2Rhinos
Head1Kangaroo Head2Kangaroos
Head1Mosquito Head2Mosquitos

Rule-7.
In plural of the following nouns, we drop “f” or “-fe” at the end and adding “-ves.”

Examples 

Singular Plural
Head1Wife Head2Wives
Head1Knife Head2Knives
Head1Shelf Head2Shelves
Head1Wolf Head2Wolves
Head1Thief Head2Thieves
Head1Life Head2Lives
Head1Loaf Head2Loaves
Head1Calf Head2Calves
Head1Half Head2Halves
Head1Leaf Head2Leaves
Head1Self Head2Selves
Head1Sheaf Head2Sheaves
 

     
But some nouns end in “f” take “s” in the plural form.

Examples

Singular Plural
Head1Proof Head2Proofs
Head1Cliff Head2Cliffs
Head1Belief Head2Beliefs
Head1Roof Head2Roofs
Head1Gulf Head2Gulfs
Head1Chief Head2Chiefs
Head1Chef Head2Chefs
Head1Handkerchief Head2Handkerchiefs
Head1Hoof Head2Hoofs
Head1Dwarf Head2Dwarfs
Head1Grief Head2Griefs
Head1Reef Head2Reefs
Head1Safe Head2Safes
Head1Turf Head2Turfs
Head1Puff Head2Puffs
Head1Sheriff Head2Sheriffs



Rule-8.
Some nouns ending in “-is” in the singular form changed to “-es” in the plural form.

Singular Plural
Head1Basis Head2Bases
Head1Synopsis Head2Synopses
Head1Hypothesis Head2Hypotheses
Head1Diagnosis Head2Diagnoses
Head1Crisis Head2Crises
Head1Analysis Head2Analyses
Head1Oasis Head2Oases
Head1Thesis Head2Theses

Rule-9.
The plural of irregular nouns is formed in different ways. 
  
Examples 

Singular Plural
Head1Man Head2Men
Head1Child Head2Children
Head1Person Head2People
Head1Woman Head2Women
Head1Datum Head2Data
Head1Tooth Head2Teeth
Head1Ox Head2Oxen
Head1Mouse Head2Mice
Head1Goose Head2Geese
Head1Foot Head2Feet
Head1Penny Head2Pence
Head1Penny Head2Pence
Head1Louse Head2Louse
Head1Die Head2Dice
Head1Phenomenon Head2Phenomena


Note: The plural of the mouse that we use with our computer is either mice or mouses. 

Rule-10.
The following nouns have no corresponding singular and should be used with plural verbs.
Scissors
Annals
Trousers
Matins
Dregs
Gallows
Artillery
Pincers
Poultry
Shorts
Bellows
Goods
Gentry
Goods
Police
People etc.

These nouns can be made singular by using a pair of before them. For example
a pair of jeans
a pair of spectacles
a pair of pliers
a pair of shoes

Examples

  • The police have arrested him.
  • My shorts are dirty.
  • People are angry. 

Rule-11.
The following nouns are used in singular form only. These nouns always take singular verbs.
Information, advice, scenery, news, business, stationery, mischief, issue, innings.

Names of some subjects like
Mathematics
Physics  
Economics
statistics
Food, substances, and materials are always singular.
Grass, steel, bread, milk, snow, cotton, glass.

Examples
  • We defeated their team by an innings.
  • Economics is easy to learn.
  • The scenery of Kashmir is beautiful.
  • This bread is stale. 
Rule-12. 
The singular and plural forms of some nouns are identical. It does not matter whether we are referring to one of them or hundreds of them. We can use them in singular or plural without changing their form. 

Examples

Singular- Plural
Sheep
Craft
Salmon
Deer
Wages
fish
offspring
apparatus
duck
swine

Examples
  • The wages of sin is death.
  • Our wages have been increased by 10%.
  • I bought a sheep for my son.
  • Sheep are grazing in the field.
Rule-13.
The following nouns express number, length, weight, money, measure, etc. when these nouns are proceeded by a numeral (adjective), they will remain in a singular form.

Inch, meter, foot, mile, year, dozen, horse-power, score, pair, hundred, thousand, million

Examples

  • He gives me five hundred rupees.
  • I bought two dozen eggs.
  • Five miles is a long distance.

Rule-14.
The collective nouns can be either singular or plural, depending on the meaning they express.
 Public
Jury
Team
Government
Committee
Audience
Orchestra
Congregation

Example
  • His family is wealthy.
  • His family is invited to a party.

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