This blog has been designed to provide information about the activities held at the social studies bilingual sections in CPI Tino Grandío (Guntín,Spain). The English language and Social Studies teachers have elaborated most of the resources you can see but our "auxiliares de conversa" also have their own page and posts. Therefore everyone is invited to have a look .

Monday, August 4, 2014

Singular and plural nouns

Most countable nouns have both a singular and a plural form, the singular for one thing and the plural for two or more.

The regular way of changing a noun from singular to plural is to add -s at the end:
  • cat / cats, book / books, house / houses

For nouns ending in  consonant + -y, you drop the -y and add -ies to form the plural:
  • family / families

For nouns ending in -o, you add -es to form the plural.
  • tomato / tomatoes, potato / potatoes

  1. With seven nouns you change the vowel: man / men,  woman  / women,  foot / feet,  goose / geese,  mouse / mice,  tooth / teeth, louse / lice
  2. With a few nouns you change the final -f to -ve before adding the -s ending: knife / knives,  leaf / leaves, wife / wives,  half / halves (Some nouns in this group have a regular plural as well: scarfs and scarves, hoofs and hooves. Both possibilities are correct.)
  3. With three nouns you add -en: ox / oxen, child / children, brother / brethren (only in the religious sense)
  4. A  few nouns which have been borrowed from foreign languages have an irregular plural. They include: stimulus / stimuli, crisis / crises, criterion / criteria, phenomenon / phenomena. Often these nouns have two plurals: they have developed a regular plural but have also kept their original irregular one. In these cases, the regular form is more informal and popular; the irregular form tends to be used by specialists.
    • There are no certain formulas for success. (informal)
    • We  have to learn all the relevant chemical formulae. (specialist)
  5. A few nouns have no plural ending, but you can still use them in a singular or plural way: they include the names of some animals (such as sheep, deer, cod), certain nationalities (such as Portuguese, Swiss), some nouns expressing quantity (such as ton, p (=”pence)),” and a few others (such as aircraft, crossroads, kennels, offspring).
    • The sheep was making a noise. The sheep were making a noise.


Several nouns are used only in the singular, particularly proper names (Smith, Monday), uncountable names (music, geography, advice) and some exceptions ending in -s (physics, billiards)

Some other nouns are used only in the plural, such as, nouns refering to objects consisting of two parts (scissors, trousers), nouns ending in -s and only used in the plural (stairs, thanks), and nouns expressing the idea of a group of people or animasl (police, folk, cattle, poultry)


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