How to change Singular Nouns to Plural Form?

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Plural Formation of Nouns


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Following are the rules for changing nouns from singular to plural:

Type of Noun Rule for Forming the Plural Examples Exceptions
Word ends in s, x, ch, or sh Add ‘es’ to the end
  • arch/arches,
  • atlas/atlases,
  • ax/axes,
  • bash/bashes,
  • bias/biases,
  • botch/botches,  equinox/equinoxes,  fox/foxes,
  • gas/gases,
  • itch/itches,
  • larch/larches,
  • lash/lashes,
  • axis/axes,
  • ox/oxen
Word ends in z Add ‘zes’ to the end
  • buzz/buzzes,
  • fizz/fizzes,
  • klutz/klutzes,
  • quiz/quizzes,
  • topaz/topazes,
  • waltz/waltzes
Ending in ‘y’ preceded by a vowel Add an ‘s’
  • alley/alleys,
  • attorney/attorneys,
  • essay/essays,
  • boy/boys,
  • delay/delays,
  • osprey/ospreys,
  • play/plays,
  • ray/rays,
  • stray/strays,
Ending in ‘y’ preceded by a consonant Change the final ‘y’ to ‘ies’
  • ally/allies,
  • army/armies,
  • beauty/beauties,
  • cherry/cherries,
  • colony/colonies,
  • dictionary/dictionaries,
  • enemy/enemies,
Ends with ‘f’ or ‘fe’ (but not ‘ff’ or ‘ffe’) Change the ‘f’ or ‘fe’ to ‘ves’
  • elf/elves,
  • half/halves,
  • hoof/hooves,
  • knife/knives,
  • leaf/leaves,
  • life/lives,
  • loaf/loaves,
  • knife/knives,
  • loaf/loaves,
  • scarf/scarves,
  • self/selves,
  • shelf/shelves,
  • belief/beliefs,
  • chef/chefs,
  • chief/chiefs,
  • dwarf/dwarfs,
  • grief/griefs,
  • gulf/gulfs,
  • muff/muffs,
  • oaf/oafs,
  • proof/proofs,
  • roof/roofs,
  • safe/safes,
  • turf/turfs
Ends with ‘o’ Add ‘es’
  • buffalo/buffaloes,
  • cargo/cargoes,
  • echo/echoes,
  • embargo/embargoes,
  • grotto/grottoes,
  • hero/heroes,
  • albino/albinos,
  • auto/autos,
  • ego/egos,
  • folio/folios,
  • lasso/lassos,
  • tattoo/tattoos,
  • veto/vetoes,
Irregular Variable
  • child/children,
  • die/dice,
  • foot/feet,
  • goose/geese,
  • louse/lice, man/men,
  • mouse/mice,
  • ox/oxen,
  • person/people,
  • that/those,
  • this/these,
  • tooth/teeth,
  • woman/women
Ends with ‘is’ (from a Greek root) Change final ‘is’ to ‘es’
  • analysis/analyses,
  • axis/axes,
  • basis/bases,
  • crisis/crises,
  • ellipsis/ellipses,
  • hypotheses/hypothesis,
  • neurosis/neuroses,
  • oasis/oases,
  • paralysis/paralyses,
  • parenthesis/parentheses,
  • synopsis/synopses,
  • synthesis/syntheses,
  • thesis/theses
Ends with ‘us’ (if the word is from the Latin) Change final ‘us’ to ‘i’
  • alumnus/alumni,
  • bacillus/bacilli,
  • fungus/fungi,
  • locus/loci,
  • nucleus/nuclei, radius/radii,
  • stimulus/stimuli,
  • syllabus/syllabi,
  • terminus/termini,
  • torus/tori
  • abacus/abacuses,
  • crocus/crocuses,
  • genus/genera,
  • octopus/octopuses (not octopi, since octopus is from the Greek language),
  • walrus/walruses
Ends with ‘um’ Change final ‘um’ to ‘a’
  • bacterium/bacteria,
  • curriculum/curricula,
  • datum/data,
  • erratum/errata,
  • gymnasium/gymnasia,
  • medium/media,
  • memorandum/memoranda,
  • ovum/ova,
  • stratum/strata
  • album/albums,
  • stadium/stadiums
Ends with ‘a’ but not ‘ia’ (from a Latin root) Change final ‘a’ to ‘ae’
  • alga/algae,
  • alumna/alumnae,
  • antenna/antennae,
  • larva/larvae,
  • nebula/nebulae,
  • pupa/pupae (or pupas),
  • vertebra/vertebrae,
  • vita/vitae
  • alfalfa/alfalfas,
  • aurora/auroras,
  • nova/novas,
  • phobia/phobias
Ends with ‘on’ (from a Greek root — not ‘tion’) Change final ‘on’ to ‘a’
  • automaton/automata,
  • criterion/criteria,
  • phenomenon/phenomena,
  • polyhedron/polyhedra
  • balloon/balloons,
  • carton/cartons
Ends with ‘ex’ Change final ‘ex’ to ‘ices’
  • vertex/vertices,
  • vortex/vortices
  • annex/annexes,
  • complex/complexes,
  • duplex/duplexes,
  • hex/hexes,
  • index/indexes or indices
Unchanging Singular and plural are the same advice, aircraft, bison, corn, deer, equipment , evidence, fish (sometimes), gold, information, jewelry, kin, legislation, luck, luggage, moose, music, offspring, sheep, silver, swine, trousers, trout, wheat
Only the plural exists Unchanging barracks, bellows, cattle, congratulations, deer, dregs, eyeglasses, gallows, headquarters, mathematics, means, measles, mumps, news, oats, pants, pliers, pajamas, scissors, series, shears, shorts, species, tongs, tweezers, vespers
Compound nouns The plural ending is usually added to the main noun
  • attorney general/attorneys general,
  • bill of fare/bills of fare,
  • chief of staff/chiefs of staff,
  • court-martial/courts-martial,
  • father-in-law/fathers-in-law,
  • full moon/full moons,
  • he-man/he-men,
  • lady-in-waiting/ladies-in-waiting,
  • post office/post offices,
  • secretary of state/secretaries of state,
  • passer-by/passers-by,
  • stepsister/stepsisters,
  • ten-year-old/ten-year-olds

 


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