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Regular Plural Nouns

Recognize nouns marked with plural form -s

 

 

 

-S

We add the plural suffix –s to most words.

SINGULAR PLURAL
 apple

apples

apple (æ-pul)

apples (æ-pulz)

book

books

chair

chairs

picture

pictures

page

pages

key

keys

computer

computers

-ES

 After sounds s /s/, z /z/,  sh /ʃ/,  ch /tʃ/ and j /dʒ/, we add the plural suffix -e /ɪz/.

SINGULAR PLURAL

 box

 boxes

box /bɒks/

boxes  /bɒks-iz/

kiss

kisses  /kɪs-ɪz/

wish

wishes /wɪʃ-ɪz/

watch

watches /watʃ-ɪz/

buzz

buzzes /bʌz-ɪz/

garage

garages /gəˈrɑʒ-ɪz/

judge

judges /ˈdʒʌdʒɪz/


IPA pronunciation key

Also see Irregular Plural Nouns.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Plural Noun Markers

After -o

 

 

 

–ES

We add the plural suffix -es to most words that end in o.

 SINGULAR PLURAL
  tomato tomatoes

tomato   /təˈmeɪtoʊ, -ˈmɑ-/

tomatoes /təˈmeɪtoʊz/

echo  /ˈɛkoʊ/

echoes /ˈɛkoʊz/

embargo

embargoes /ɛmˈbɑrgoʊz/

hero

heroes /ˈhɪəroʊz/

potato

potatoes /pəˈmeɪtoʊz/

veto

vetoes /ˈvitoʊz/  

OPTIONAL OS / OES

buffalo

buffalos or buffaloes /ˈbʌfəˌloʊz/

cargo

cargos or cargoes  /ˈkɑrgoʊz/

halo

halos or haloes /ˈheɪloʊz/

mosquito

mosquitos or mosquitoes 

no

nos or noes /noʊz/

torpedo

torpedos or torpedoes

zero

zeros or zeroes  /ˈzɪəroʊz/

   
–S

We add the plural suffix -s to words of foreign origin (latin, greek, etc.)

SINGULAR PLURAL
piano pianos

piano

pianos  /piˈænoʊz, ˈpyænoʊz/

auto

autos /ˈɔtoʊz/

avocado

avocados    /ˌɑvəˈkɑdoʊz/

ghetto

ghettos  /ˈgɛtoʊz/

kilo

kilos  /ˈkɪloʊz/

memo

memos  /ˈmɛmoʊz/

   

photo

photos  /ˈfoʊtoʊz/

portfolio

portfolios  /ˈfoʊtoʊz/

pro

pros /proʊz/

radio

radios  /ˈreɪdiˌoʊz/

soprano

sopranos  /səˈprænoʊz, -ˈprɑnoʊz/

solo

solos  /ˈsoʊloʊz/

studio

studios  /ˈstudiˌoʊz/

video 

videos /ˈvɪdiˌoʊz/

 

double oo – tattoos, kangaroos, loos, zoos  (regular)

IPA pronunciation key

 

 

 

 

 

 

Plural Noun Markers 

After -Y  and -F, -FE

 

 

 

Y → I + ES

When a word ends in Y and there is a consonant before Y, we change the Y to I and add -ES.

 SINGULAR PLURAL
   baby crawling  babies

baby

babies  /ˈbeɪbiz/

fry

fries /fraɪz/

supply

supplies /səˈplaɪz/

fly

flies    /flaɪz/

ally

allies  /ˈælaɪz, əˈlaɪz/

BUT NOT AFTER—VOWEL+Y  

boy

boys  /bɔɪz/

toys

toys  /tɔɪz/

key

keys   /kiz/

monkey

monkeys  /ˈmʌŋkiz/

day

days  /deɪz/

play

plays  /pleɪz/

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FE or F → V + ES

When a word ends in -F or -FE, we change the F to V and add -ES.

 SINGULAR PLURAL
 leaf  leaves

leaf  

leaves  /livz/

half

halves  /hævz, hɑvz/

life

lives  /laɪvz/  /lɪvz/

self

selves /sɛlvz/

thief

thieves  /θivz/

   

scarf

scarves  /skɑrvz/

calf

calves   /kævz, kɑvz/

knife

knives  /naɪvz/

loaf

loaves /loʊvz/

shelf

shelves  /ʃɛlvz/

wolf

wolves  /wʊlvz/

BUT NOT IN THESE WORDS  

cliff

cliffs  /klɪfs/

roof

roofs   /rufs, rʊfs/

belief

beliefs /bɪˈlifs/

chief

chiefs    /tʃifs/

 

lives – noun  /laɪvz/ ; verb /lɪvz/

IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) and sounds  — pronunciation key  
To hear the pronunciation of a word, search for the word and click the sound symbol — Dictionary.com

Related page    FinalS-audio 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Grammar Notes

Traditional and Linguistic Description

 

 

TRADTIONAL DESCRIPTION

6-1 Subject-Verb Agreement (Azar)

1. final   k, t, p, g, d, b ⇒ -s

2. final sh, ch, s, x, z dge/dge ⇒ -es

3. final vowel + y ⇒ -oys / final consonant + y ⇒ -ies

 

523-4 Singular and plural  (Swan)

1. consonant + y ⇒ -ies

2. final -sh, -ch, -s, -x or -z ⇒ -es

3. final -o ⇒ -es  / loan words  -s  / both  -es or -os

4. final -f ⇒ -ves / -s or -ves

5. irregular ⇒ -en, -ee- and others.

 

712-5 Chicago Manual of Style

Italicized words— two Chicago Tribunes, too many sics

Words in quotation marks—How many more "To be continued's" will you use?

Coined words— too many ifs and buts, so many dos and donts, four thank-yous, yeses and nos/ yes's and no's, maybe's

Letters, Abbreviations and Numberals—the three Rs. the 1990s.  URLs

 

601–625 Forming Plurals  (Gregg)  Titles, Names, Letters, Numbers and Symbols

Titles—Messrs. MMes. Misses, Mses.

Measures—oz/oz, ft/ft, in/in  but lb/lbs, yd/yds, qt/qts

 

(Also see Apostrophes for numbers and letters.)

 

LINGUISTIC DESCRIPTION

5 §3.2, Singular and Plural Nouns (Huddleston) 

  • singular—dog fox, child mouse, sheep
  • plural—dogs, foxes, children, mice, sheep  (See 18 §4.1)

 

Base Plural — plural is same form as singular

  • edible game: carp, code, perch, salmon, etc.
  • game animals and birds:
  • deer moose, bison…  (base form)
  • elk, reindeer…   (both forms)
  • elephant, giraffe, lion… (may occur as base form)

 

Nouns whose base form ends in -s / -z

  • barracks, crossroads, gallows, innings, works, oats…  (plural & singular)
  • Chinese, Portuguese, Lebonese, Maltese, Swiss… (more plural than singular use)

 

Vowel changes

  • tooth/teech, foot/feet, goose/geese  (alternate from back vowel to front vowel)
  • louse/lice, mouse/mice
  • man, men

 

Old English

  • ox/oxen, child/children, brother/brethren (brothers)

Foreign  (See 18 §4.1.6.)

Compounds (See 18 §4.1.7.)

 

 

Resources

  • Azar, Betty Schrampfer, and Stacy A. Hagen. Understanding and Using English Grammar. 4th ed. White Plains, NY: Pearson Education, 2009. Print.
  • Sabin, William A. The Gregg Reference Manual: A Manual of Style, Grammar, Usage, and Formatting. 11th ed. New York: McGraw–Hill, 2011. Print.
  • Huddleston, Rodney D., and Geoffrey K. Pullum. The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge UP, 2002. Print.
  • Swan, Michael. Practical English Usage. 3rd ed. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2005. Print.
  • The Chicago Manual of Style. 15th edition. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003. Print.
  • "baby2.gif" by Achoubey  is licensed uner Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0

 

 

 

 

Practice

Plural Nouns

 

 

What is the plural form?

  1. Select the response from the list that best completes the sentence. 
  2. Compare your response to the feedback by clicking the "Check 1-25" button at the bottom.

 

1.
chimney

2.
watch

3.
wolf

4.
roof

5.
zero X 4 

6.
wrench

7.
mosquito

8.
cherry

9.
peach

10.
witch

11.
judge

12.
auto

13.
cliffs

14.
video

15.
potato

16.
cliffs

17.
loaf

18.
superhero

19.
fairy granting a wish

20.
fry

21.
key

22.
toe

23.
butterfly

24.
shelves

25.
scarf