In order to change a singular noun to its plural form in English, you usually add "s". For example, the plural of book is books. The plural of table is tables. These are regular plurals.
But there are many nouns which don't follow this rule. For example the plural of fish is fish. The plural of tooth is teeth. These are irregular plurals
Add "s" to the noun:
Noun + S
While many plural nouns follow this rule, the spelling sometimes differ.
Singular Plural snake snakes window windows box boxes boy boys lorry lorries potato potatoes knife knives
Spelling of plurals:
The plural form of most nouns is created simply by adding the letter "s".
- more than one snake = snakes
- more than one girl = girls
- more than one window = windows
Nouns that end in -ch, x, s, z or s-like sounds, however, will require an es for the plural:
- more than one witch = witches
- more than one box = boxes
- more than one gas = gases
- more than one bus = buses
- more than one kiss = kisses
Nouns that end in a vowel + y take the letter s:
- more than one boy = boys
- more than one way = ways
Nouns that end in a consonant + y drop the y and take ies:
- more than one baby = babies
- more than one lorry = lorries
A lot of nouns that end in o take es in the plural:
- more than one potato = potatoes
- more than one hero = heroes
o becomes oes echo echoes embargo embargoes hero heroes potato potatoes tomato tomatoes torpedo torpedoes veto vetoes
Some nouns ending in o break the above rule and get os in the plural form:
o becomes os auto autos kangaroo kangaroos kilo kilos memo memos photo photos piano pianos pimento pimentos pro pros solo solos soprano sopranos studio studios tattoo tattoos video videos zoo zoos
Other nouns ending in o get either os or oes i the plural forms:
o becomes os or oes buffalo buffalos/buffaloes cargo cargos/cargoes halo halos/haloes mosquito mosquitos/mosquitoes motto mottos/mottoes no nos/noes tornado tornados/tornadoes volcano volcanos/volcanoes zero zeros/zeroes
Plurals of nouns that end in f or fe usually change the f sound to a v sound and add s or -es.
- more than one knife = knives
- more than one leaf = leaves
- more than one hoof = hooves
- more than one life = lives
- more than one self = selves
- more than one elf = elves
There are several nouns that have irregular plural forms.
Singular Plural fish fish sheep sheep barracks barracks foot feet tooth teeth goose geese tooth teeth goose geese child children man men woman women person people mouse mice
Plurals formed in this way are sometimes called irregular plurals or mutated (or mutating) plurals.
- more than one child = children
- more than one woman = women
- more than one man = men
- more than one person = people
- more than one goose = geese
- more than one mouse = mice
- more than one barracks = barracks
- more than one deer = deer
Some foreign nouns retain their plural. (Note that some of them adapted the s of the English plural form!)
Singular Foreign plural English plural alga algae amoeba amoebae amoebas antenna antennae antennas formula formulae formulas larva larvae nebula nebulae nebulas vertebra vertebrae
Nouns ending in us get a, i or the s of the English plural:
Singular Foreign plural English plural corpus corpora genus genera alumnus alumni bacillus bacilli cactus cacti cactuses focus foci fungus fungi funguses nucleus nuclei octopus octopi octopuses radius radii stimulus stimuli syllabus syllabi syllabuses terminus termini
Nouns ending in um get a, i or the s of the English plural:
Singular Foreign plural English plural addendum addenda bacterium bacteria curriculum curricula curriculums datum data erratum errata medium media memorandum memoranda memorandums ovum ova stratum strata symposium symposia symposiums
Nouns ending in ex or ix get ices or get the s of the English plural:
Singular Foreign plural English plural apex apices apexes appendix appendices appendixes cervix cervices cervixes index indices indexes matrix matrices matrixes vortex vortices
Nouns ending in is becoming es in plural:
Singular Plural form analysis analyses axis axes basis bases crisis crises diagnosis diagnoses emphasis emphases hypothesis hypotheses neurosis neuroses oasis oases parenthesis parentheses synopsis synopses thesis theses
Nouns ending in -on becoming -a:
singular plural criterion criteria phenomenon phenomena automaton automata
Nouns that are always singular:
A handful of nouns appear to be plural in form but take a singular verb:
- The news is bad.
- Gymnastics is fun to watch.
- Economics/mathematics/statistics is said to be difficult.
Some nouns never take the s of the plural and are always singular:
- your luggage / baggage is so heavy
- I'd like to buy new furniture for the house
- you can find more information in our website.