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Plural of nouns

In general, for the plural of nouns in English, just add the letter S:

notebook – notebooks

meeting – meetings

professional  – professionals

But there are other rules to change the nouns to the plural form. Let’s check them.


Nouns ending in SH, CH, SS, X and Z

Add ES for nouns ending with letters SH, CH, SS, X, and Z:

brush – brushes

watch – watches

kiss – kisses

fox – foxes

buzz – buzzes


Pay attention!

Add just S for some nouns ending in CH, but with /k/ sound.

stomach – stomachs

monarch – monarchs


Nouns ending in O

Nouns ending in O can add either S or ES in the plural, and some can be spelled in both ways.

General rule: just add S for nouns ending inand those which have a vowel before the final O always just add S:

piano – pianos

zoo – zoos

photo – photos

kilo – kilos

studio – studios

Some common nouns ending in O that are always spelled with ES in the plural:

buffalo – buffaloes

echo – echoes

hero – heroes

domino – dominoes

mosquito – mosquitoes

tomato – tomatoes

potato – potatoes

veto – vetoes

There are some nouns ending in O that can be spelled with S or ES in the plural form:

cargo – cargos or cargoes

ghetto – ghettos or ghettoes

mango – mangos or mangoes

volcano – volcanos or volcanoes

memento – mementos or mementoes

tuxedo – tuxedos or tuxedoes

flamingo – flamingos or flamingoes


Nouns ending in Y

A noun ending in a consonant and then Y makes the plural by dropping the Y and adding IES.

country – countries

dictionary – dictionaries

city – cities

The nouns ending in a vowel and then Y just add S.

day – days

key – keys

guy – guys


Nouns ending in F or FE

Usually for nouns ending in F or FE just add S

chief – chiefs

safe – safes

proof – proofs

But there are some nouns ending in F or FE that make the plural by dropping  the F or FE and adding VES:

loaf – loaves

life – lives

leaf – leaves

knife – knives

half – halves

elf – elves

calf – calves

self – selves

sheaf – sheaves

shelf – shelves

thief – thieves

wife – wives

wolf – wolves


Pay attention!

Some nouns ending in F or FE can have their plural both ways (with VES or S)

dwarf – dwarfs or dwarves

hoof – hoofs or hooves

scarf – scarfs or scarves

staff – staffs or staves

wharf – wharfs or wharves


Some nouns have the same form in the singular and in the plural.








There are some irregular noun plurals that don’t follow any rules

foot– feet

mouse – mice

tooth – teeth

child – children

man – men

woman – women

person – people


Plurals of Foreign Nouns

Some words of Latin or Greek origin have different rules for their formation in the plural.

criterion – criteria

phenomenon – phenomena

demon – demons

electron – electrons

neutron – neutrons

proton – protons

analysis – analyses

basis – bases

crisis – crises

hypothesis – hypotheses

bacterium – bacteria

curriculum –  curricula

Also learn from Captain English about Imperative here.