Nouns – Number : Download English Grammar Study Notes FREE PDF

English Study Notes Free PDF

NOUNS: NUMBER

Number: In nouns, number means the method representing whether we are talking of one thing or of more than one. Language has two numbers – Singular and Plural. The singular number shows that one thing is meant; the plural, more than one.

There are only two numbers in English:
1. Singular Number
2. Plural Number

1. Singular Number : A noun is singular in number, when it indicates only one person, object or thing.
Example: a man, a girl, a boy, a kite, a chair, and so on.

2. Plural Number : A noun is plural in number, when it points to more than one person or thing.
Example: four mangoes, two horses, ten books, and so on.
Example: table – tables Book – Books

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However, the plural of some nouns are made differently. Such nouns are called Irregular nouns.

Ways of forming the plural of nouns:

Rule– 1:

Singular

Plural Singular

Plural

Chair

Chairs Cow Cow
Rose Roses Pen

Pens

Window

Windows Table Tables
Shop Shops Cap

Caps

Book

Books Bottle Bottles
Boy Boys Coat

Coats

Desk

Desks

Rule– 2:
Noun ending in -s, -ss, -x, -sh or -ch form their plurals by adding -es to the singular.

Singular

Plural Singular

Plural

Ass

Asses Watch

Watches

Loss

Losses Fish

Fishes

Box

Boxes Fox

Foxes

Class

Classes Dress

Dresses

Dish

Dishes Bush

Bushes

Branch

Branches Bunch

Bunches

Match

Matches lash

Lashes

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Rule – 3:
If the noun ends in -y and the -y has a consonant before it, its plural is formed by changing -y into -ies.

Singular

Plural Singular

Plural

Army

Armies Fairy Fairies
Baby Babies Story

Stories

City

Cities Lady Ladies
Country Countries Family

Families

Duty

Duties Copy Copies
Reply Replies Fly

Flies

Rule – 4:
But if the noun ends in -y and the -y has a vowel before it, its plural is formed by adding -s to the singular.

Singular

Plural Singular

Plural

Boy

Boys Toy Toys
Monkey Monkeys Day

Days

Donkey

Donkeys Way Ways
Joy Joys Valley

Valleys

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Rule – 5:
Noun ending in -f or -fe form their plurals by changing -f or -fe into -ves.

Singular

Plural Singular Plural
Thief Thieves Wolf

Wolves

Life

Lives Knife Knives
Loaf Loaves Wife

Wives

Half

Halves Elf

Elves

Rule – 6:
But the following nouns form their plural by simply adding -s to the singular.

Singular

Plural Singular Plural
Dwarf Dwarfs Roof

Roofs

Chief

Chiefs Proof Proofs
Gulf Gulfs Belief

Beliefs

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Rule – 7:
Nouns ending in –o; if they have a consonant before them generally form their plural by adding -es to the singular.

Singular

Plural Singular Plural
Hero Heroes Potato

Potatoes

Mango

Mangoes Mosquito Mosquitoes
Cargo Cargoes Volcano

Volcanoes

Rule – 8:
But the nouns ending in -oo form their plurals by adding -s to the singular as bamboo – bamboos (The plurals of piano, photo, dynamo are pianos, photos, dynamos).

Rule – 9:
Some nouns form their plurals by a change of inside vowels.

Singular

Plural Singular Plural
Foot Feet Mouse

Mice

Goose

Geese Tooth Teeth

Man

Men Woman

Women

Child Children Ox

Oxen

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Rule – 10:
The singular nouns having two or more words are changed into plural by changing the principal word into plural form.

Singular

Plural Singular

Plural

Maid – servant

Maids – servant Father – in – law

Fathers – in – law

Man of  – war

Men of – war Step – son

Step – sons

Commander in – chief

Commanders in – chief Washer man

Washer men

Son – in law

Sons – in law Passer – by

Passers – by

Rule -11:
Some nouns remain same in their both singular forms. (cattle – cattle)

Singular Plural Singular Plural
Duty Duty Deer Deer
Aircraft Aircraft Swine Swine
Equipment Equipment Sheep Sheep

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