Plural Nouns

English Grammar Rules

In general the plural of a noun is formed by adding -S to the noun.

Singular Plural
car cars
house houses
book books
bird birds
pencil pencils

However:

1. When the noun ends in SS, SH, CH or X, we add -ES to the noun.

Singular Plural
kiss kisses
wish wishes
match matches
box boxes
fox foxes
  • I have a box in my bedroom.
  • I have three boxes in my bedroom.

2. When the noun ends in a VOWEL + Y, we add -S to the noun.

Singular Plural
boy boys
holiday holidays
key keys
guy guys

3. When the noun ends in a CONSONANT + Y, we remove Y and add -IES to the noun.

Singular Plural
party parties
lady ladies
story stories
nanny nannies
city cities

4. If the noun ends in F or FE, we remove the F/FE and add -VES to the noun.

Singular Plural
life lives
leaf leaves
thief thieves
wife wives

5. If the noun ends in IS, we change it to ES.

Singular Plural
analysis analyses
basis bases
crisis crises

6. There are a number of nouns that don't follow these rules. They are irregular and you need to learn them individually because they don't normally have an S on the end.

Singular Plural
man men
woman women
child children
foot feet
tooth teeth
goose geese
mouse mice
  • There is a child in the park.
  • There are many children in the park.

7. There are some nouns in English that are the same in the singular and the plural.

Singular Plural
fish fish
sheep sheep
deer deer
moose moose
aircraft aircraft
  • I can see a sheep in the field.
  • I can see ten sheep in the field.

Sometimes you will hear the word fishes (especially in songs) though it is grammatically incorrect.




Next activity

Pronunciation Rules:
You might be interested in the Pronunciation of -S at the end of words in English.

Grammar Games:
Try our interactive games to practice plural nouns (both regular and irregular): Plural Nouns

Grammar Worksheet:
Download our free Plural Nouns Worksheet (in PDF).
You can check the answers to this worksheet here: Answers to the Plural Nouns Worksheet.



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Last Updated: 29 August 2014
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