Irregular Nouns in Plural Form / English Grammar Rules

Irregular Nouns in the Plural / English Grammar Forming Rules

What are Irregular Plural Nouns?

Irregular plural nouns are irregular nouns in plural form.  An irregular noun becomes plural by changing its spelling in other ways than adding an “s” or “es” to the end of the word. This change can happen in different ways. Below are examples and rules that you are going to learn and understand with ways in forming irregular nouns to plural form. This lesson also provides list of irregular nouns with plural forms.

To start with, we are going to start with the easy one, let’s look at the regular noun, and the basic rule is that we simply add -s to the end of a noun to make it plural.

Watch the video here to view the full discussion on irregular nouns with their plural form.

Example of regular nouns in its plural form:

            Singular                    plural
            flower             ”         flowers
            road                ”         roads
            table               ”         tables
            map                ”         maps
            bridge             ”         bridges
and many more…

The first exception to the rule, the first type of irregular now is a group of nouns which end in –ch, –sh, –s (or “-s sound), –x or –z; for all of these nouns in the plural we form a plural by adding -es.

Another forms of plural nouns by adding “es” by the end of the word:

Singular                    plural
bunch            ”         bunches
class              ”         classes
box                ”         boxes
crash             ”         crashes
fox                 ”         foxes
grass              ”         grasses
bush              ”         bushes
and many more…

All of these nouns have the same rule, simply take the singular form and in the plural we add –es, so there is an extra syllable when we pronounce and you hear it.

If a noun end in a consonant then a letter y change the y to i and add –es.

Singular                    plural
lady                 ”         ladies
army               ”         armies
beauty            ”         beauties
country           ”         countries
family             ”         families
duty                ”         duties
and many more…

If a noun ends in a vowel then a letter y add –s

Singular                    plural
key              ”       keys
guy             ”       guys
turkey         ”       turkeys
essay          ”       essays
toy             ”        toys
and many more…

If a noun end in –f of –fe; change the -f or -fe to –ves;

Singular                    plural                         Singular                    plural
calf                ”          calves                         wife            ”         wives
life                 ”          lives                            wolf            ”         wolves
scarf              ”         scarves                      hoof            ”         hooves
loaf               ”         loaves                        shelf            ”       shelve
knife             ”         knives                         leaf              ”         leaves
half               ”         halves                        thief            ”         thieves

For most of the nouns ending in –f or –fe just add –s:

            roof                 ”         roofs
            giraffe             ”         giraffes
and many more…

Irregular Nouns in their Plural Form:

  1. Nouns ending in –o; add -s or ending in a consonant + o:

            Singular                    plural
            radio               ”         radios
            zoo                  ”         zoos   

  1. Irregular nouns add -es                                  

Singular                    plural
potato             ”         potatoes
tomato            ”        tomatoes
hero                ”        heroes
echo               ”        echoes
veto                 ”        vetoes
torpedo           ”        torpedoes
embargo        ”        embargoes
buffalo           ”        buffaloes
domino           ”        dominoes
mosquito        ”        mosquitoes

All the others:

  • Some of them we must only add –s:
  • the others we can choose to add –s or –es
  • We will add –s to all the others (EASY!)

Singular                    plural
casino             ”        casinos   
photo              ”        photos
solo                 ”        solos
volcano          ”        volcanos
tornado          ”        tornados
And many more…

Foreign nouns

Nouns ending in –us, change –us to –I;

Singular                    plural
fungus           ”         fungi
nucleus          ”         nucli
alumnus        ”         alumni
cactus            ”         cacti
radius             ”         radii

Nouns ending in -is; replace –is to –es;

Singular                    plural
axis                 ”         axes    (Latin)
analysis         ”         analyses (Greek)
crisis               ”         crises (Greek)
diagnosis       ”         diagnoses (Greek)
hypothesis    ”         hypotheses (Greek)
thesis             ”         theses (Greek)

Nouns ending in -ix or -ex; replace with –ices;

Singular                    Plural
appendix       ”         appendices (Latin)
matrix             ”         matrices (Latin)
index              ”        indices (Latin)
vertex             ”         vertices (Latin)

Irregular nouns

For a variety of historical reasons, some words change in spelling substantially when made plural.

Singular                    plural
mouse            ”         mice
foot                 ”         feet
child               ”         children
man                ”         men
woman           ”         women
person            ”         people
tooth               ”         teeth
ox                    ”         oxen
goose             ”         geese

Irregular Nouns That Do Not Change At All When Made Plural

Some English nouns are identical in both the singular and the plural forms. Many of these are names for animals.

Singular                    plural
sheep             ”         sheep
shrimp            ”         shrimp
deer                ”         deer
fish                 ”         fish  
deer                ”         deer
swine             ”         swine
aircraft            ”         aircraft
spacecraft      ”        spacecraft
watercraft       ”         watercraft

So, you’ve just learned the rules of Irregular Plural nouns on how to change from singular to plural, simply learned the rules and use them correctly.

Downloadable Material

Here’s the downloadable material of Tutorial on Irregular Nouns in the Plural here.

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