Nouns – How to make Singular into Plural

A noun is either an object, a person, a place or an idea.

When learning a language I always recommend learning and memorising 20-50 nouns as a good starting point. Just by knowing these nouns you will be able to be understood and complete simple tasks such as understanding menus or ordering coffee.

For the plural form of most nouns, add s.

car – cars
card – cards
dog – dogs
desk – desks
door – doors
window – windows

For nouns that end in ch, x, s, or s sounds, add es.

box – boxes
watch – watches
gas – gases
kiss – kisses

For nouns ending in f or fe, change f to v and add es.

wolf – wolves
leaf – leaves
life – lives
wife – wives

Nouns ending in vowels like y or o do not have definite rules.

baby – babies
toy – toys
kidney – kidneys
potato – potatoes
memo – memos
stereo – stereos

A few nouns have the same singular and plural forms.

sheep – sheep
deer – deer
series – series
species – species

The rule is not completely perfect an there are a few nouns that have irregular plural forms.

child – children
man – men
person – people
goose – geese
mouse – mice

woman – women

When a family name (a proper noun) is pluralised, in the vast majority of the cases we just simply add an “s.” So we go on holiday with the Smiths, visit the Horrigans, have lunch with the O’Conners, etc.

An exception being when a family name ends in s, x, ch, sh,or z, however, we form the plural by added -es. For example, you might go fishing with the Evanses, complete with the Joneses or go to a BBQ at the Martinezes. Do not form a family name plural by using an apostrophe; that device is reserved for creating possessive forms.

When a proper noun ends in an “s” with a hard “z” sound, we don’t add any ending to form the plural: “The Charmers are having another baby” (not the Charmeses). There are exceptions even to this: we say “The Joneses are coming over,” and we’d probably write “The Stevenses are coming, too.”

Task – Please list the plural for each of the nouns below. The answers can be found in the comments section.

1) Man
2) Child
3) Furniture
4) Experience
5) O’Connor
6) ski
7) gas
8) Sheep
9) Woman
10) Person

One Response to “Nouns – How to make Singular into Plural”

  1. London Study English

    Answers to task

    1) Men
    2) Children
    3) Furniture
    4) Experiences
    5) O’Connors
    6) Skis
    7) Gases
    8) Sheep
    9) Women
    10) People


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