- Read Lesson 1 from here
- Read Lesson 2 from here
- Read Lesson 3 from here
- Read Lesson 4 from here
- Read Lesson 5 from here
In this lesson, we are going to discuss the following topics
- Nouns : Number
- Formation of Plurals
Nouns : Number :
Number is that form of a Noun which shows whether the noun is one or more than one.
Kinds of Number :
There are two Numbers in English.
- Singular Number and
- Plural Number
Singular Number :
A noun that denotes one person or thing is said to be in the Singular Number.
E.g: Boy, girl, cow, bird, tree, book, pen, etc.
Plural Number :
A noun that denotes more than one person or thing is said to be in Plural number.
E.g : Boys, girls, cows, birds, trees, books, pens, etc.
Formation of Plurals
E.g : boy - boys, girl - girls, book - books, pen - pens, desk - desks, cow - cows.
2. Nouns ending in -s, sh, ch, -x form their plural by adding '-es' to the singular.
- S : class - classes, kiss - kisses, bus - buses, ass - asses, gas - gasses, lass - lasses, etc.
- Sh : brush - brushes, dish - dishes, wish - wishes, etc.,
- Ch : match - matches, watch - watches, bench - benches, branch - branches, catch - catches, switch - switches, etc.
- X : box - boxes, fox - foxes, tax - taxes, etc
3. Nouns ending in '-O', preceeded by a consonant form their plural by adding '-es'.
- buffalo - buffaloes
- hero - heroes
- tomato - tomatoes
- echo - echoes
- volcano - volcanoes
- mango - mangoes
- potato - potatoes
- cargo - cargoes
- negro - negroes
- motto - mottoes
- mosquito - mosquitoes
Exceptions : Some scientific and technical words taken from Latin language form their plural by adding -s only.
- photo - photos
- piano - pianos
- canto - cantos
- solo - solos
- proviso - provisos
- dynamo - dynamos
- quarto - quartos
- memento - mementos
- ratio - ratios
- embryo - embryos
4. Nouns ending in '-O', preceded by a vowel, form their plural by adding '-s' only.
- bamboo - bamboos
- cuckoo - cuckoos
- curio - curios
- cameo - cameos
- radio - radios
- studio - studios
- folio - folios
- portfolio - portfolios
5. Nouns ending in '-y', preceded by a vowel, form their plural by adding '-s' only.
- boy - boys
- valley - valleys
- journey - journeys
- key - keys
- day - days
- toy - toys
- way - ways
- monkey - monkeys
- donkey - donkeys
- storey - storeys
- play - plays
6. Nouns ending in '-y', preceded by a consonant, form their plural by changing -y into '-ies'
- baby - babies
- lady - ladies
- city - cities
- story - stories
- country - countries
- fly - flies
- lily - lilies
- army - armies
- body - bodies
- lorry - lorries
- cry - cries
- variety - varieties
7. Nouns ending in '-f' and '-fe' form their plural by changing '-f' or '-fe' into '-ves'
- calf - calves
- leaf - leaves
- loaf - loaves
- wife - wives
- wolf - wolves
- knife - knives
- life - lives
- thief - thieves
- shelf - shelves
- self - selves
- half - halves
Exceptions : some nouns : ending in '-f' or '-fe' form their plurals by adding only '-s'
- brief - briefs
- belief - beliefs
- cafe - cafes
- chief - chiefs
- cliff - cliffs
- dwarf - dwarfs
- grief - griefs
- gulf - gulfs
- hoop - hoofs, hooves
- proof - proofs
- roofs - roofs
- safe - safes
- scarf - scarfs
- serf - serfs
- strief - striefs
- turf - turfs
- wharf - wharfs, wharves
- kerchief - kerchiefs
8. The eight nouns which form their plural by changing the inside vowel of the singular are :
- foot - feet
- goose - geese
- man - men
- woman - women
- dormouse - dormice
- louse - lice
- mouse - mice
- tooth - teeth
9. The four nouns which form their plural by adding '-en' or '-ne' to the singular are :
- child - children
- ox - oxen
- cow - kine (cows)
- brother - brethren ( brothers)
10. There are some nouns which have the singular and the plural alike :
cod, deer, salmon, swine, sheep, yoke (of oxen), brace (of birds), dozen (twelve), score (twenty), gross (144), hundred, thousand, stone (weight)
- Six brace of birds, four yoke of oxen
- I bought three dozen mangoes
- very few people reach the age of four score
- There are six hundred students in our school
- I bought this car for thirty thousand rupees
- He weights ten stone and a half
- That box weights three hundred weight
- Twenty hundred weight make one ton
Note : But when 'of' is used we say - 'dozens of mangoes', 'scores of people', 'hundreds of rupees', 'thousands of men', when 'score' means the number of points scored in a match, the plural is 'scores'.
11. There are some nouns, which are used only in the plural. They are :
- Names of instruments which have two parts forming a kind of pair :
- Bellows, scissors, tongs, pincers, spectacles, fetters, shears, snuffers
- Breeches, drawers, trousers, pants, trappings
- measles, mumps, staggers, gripes
- Billiards, draughts
- Bowels, entrails, intestines
- Annals, thanks, proceeds (of a sale), tidings, environs, nuptials, obsequies, assets, statistics, wages, downs, auspices, credentials, dregs.
12. There are some Nouns though plural in form used in singular. They are :
Mathematics, physics, statistics, civics, economics, mechanics, dynamics, politics, statistics, ethics, gymnastics, news, innings,
- Mathematics is his favorite subject.
- Physics is an interesting branch of science.
- Politics is the chief interest of his life.
- Economics is an important subject.
- This news is not true.
- India won by an innings and ten runs.
But we say -
- 'My mathematics are' not very good.
- The economics (i.e., the economic facts) of the situation have got to be explored.
- What are his politics (i.e., Political views ?)
- 'Means' is used either as singular or plural. but when it has the meaning of "wealth", it is always used in plural.
- He succeeded by this means (or by these means) in the examination.
- This is my one means of escape.
- His means are small, but he has incurred no debt.
That's all for today friends. In our tomorrow's lesson, we shall discuss few more important points about formation of plurals. Happy reading :)
Answers for Lesson 5
Answers to Exercise 14
- Truth (Abstract Noun)
- Ashoka (Proper Noun) emperor (Common Noun)
- Solomon (Proper Noun) Wisdom (Abstract Noun)
- Elephant (Common Noun) strength. (Abstract Noun)
- Cows (Common Noun) grass (Material Noun) milk. (Material Noun)
- Vikramaditya (Proper Noun) Ujjain (Proper Noun) wisdom and valour. (Abstract Nouns)
- Greed (Abstract Noun) evils. (Common Noun)
- Cleanliness, godliness (Common Nouns)
- Crowd (Collective Noun)
- Jury (Collective Noun) prisoner (Common Noun) guilty. (Abstract Noun)
Answers to Exercise 15
- Head mistress
- Washer woman