Category Archives: Plurals

Intermediate Season 1, Lesson 8: One House, Two Houses; One Mouse, Two Mice?!

learn English online plural nouns

Hello intermediate level English learners! We have a very useful lesson for you today. We will be learning English noun plurals. Noun plurals in English can be a little difficult as there are many irregular forms. But don’t worry! In this lesson you will learn the rules for plurals, and the most common exceptions. Enjoy the lesson!

What Are Plurals?

Plurals are used to describe more than one of a noun.
For example:
- one cat
- three cats

 

 

 

 

- one woman
- five women

 

 

 

 

- a person
- some people

 

 

 

 

Regular Plural Nouns

1. Most plurals in English are easy. We just add -s to the end of a noun.
For example:
- one car
- four cars

 

 

 

 

- a table
- some tables

 

 

 

 

2. But nouns ending in the following sounds need -es:
ch, s, sh, x.
For example:
- a beach
- some beaches

 

 

 

 

- one bus
- two buses

 

 

 

 

- one flash
- six flashes

 

 

 

 

- a fax
- some faxes

 

 

 

 

3. For nouns ending in z, add -zes.
For example:
- one quiz
- eight quizzes

 

 

 

 

- a fez
- some fezzes

 

 

 

 

4. Most nouns with a consonant+o ending have -es at the end.
For example:
- this volcano
- these volcanoes

 

 

 

 

- a tomato
- some tomatoes

 

 

 

 

5. But, some loan words from Spanish and Italian only require an -s.
For example:
- one photo
- ten photos

 

 

 

 

- the piano
- the pianos

 

 

 

 

6. For nouns ending in f, change the f to -ves.
For example:
- one calf
- three calves

 

 

 

 

- a dwarf
- some dwarves

 

 

 

 

7. For nouns ending in consonant+y, change the y into -ies.
For example:
- a study
- some studies

 

 

 

 

- that party
- those parties

 

 

 

 

Irregular Plural Nouns

There are many irregular plural nouns in English. Here are some of the more common ones:

Singular / Plural
mouse / mice
tooth / teeth
man / men
woman / women
child / children
goose / geese
octopus / octopi

Nouns with Identical Singular and Plural Forms

Some words in English are the same in both singular and plural forms.

For example:
- a sheep
- some sheep

 

 

 

 

- one aircraft
- three aircraft

 

 

 

 

- one species
- five species

Words with Only Plural Forms

Some English words only have a plural form.

For example:
- trousers (“a pair of trousers” or “some trousers”, not “a trousers”)
- pants (“a pair of pants” or “some pants”, not “a pants”)

 

 

 

 

Compound Noun Plurals

For compound noun plurals, we add -s to the first noun.

For example:
- a father-in-law
- some fathers-in-law

- one runner-up
- four runners-up

Now let’s practice. Click Start!

English Plurals Quiz

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