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  1. #1
    albertino is offline Senior Member
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    Default Adding -s or -es to nouns ending in -o

    With words like "buffalo, mosquito, potato, mango, echo, hero, tomato" adding -es, while "piano, halo, radio, dynamo, bamboo, banjo" adding "-s" to form plurals, is there any east way to know, rather than rote-learning, whether"-es" or "-s" should be used in such kind of word?

  2. #2
    Mad-ox's Avatar
    Mad-ox is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Adding -s or -es to nouns ending in -o



    Here are some rules:

    1) Nouns ending in -o get either -s or -es when turned in the plural. The suffix -s will be added to:

    a) those nouns whose final -o is precedeed by a vowel:
    eg. bamboo-bamboos
    cuckoo-cuckoos
    embryo-embryos
    kangoroo-kangoroos
    radio-radios
    studio-studios
    scenario-scenarios
    cameo-cameos, etc.

    b) some nouns ending in -o, of foreign origin:
    eg. casino-casinos
    tango-tangos
    canto-cantos
    magneto-magnetos
    alto-altos
    dynamo-dynamos
    rondo-rondos

    c) abbreviations:
    eg. kilos
    photos
    pianos

    d) proper names:
    eg Eskimo-Eskimos
    Hindoo-Hindoos
    Romeo-Romeos

    2) When the final -o is preceded by a consonant, the suffix -es will be added:
    eg. domino-domonoes
    echo-echoes
    embargo-embagoes
    hero-heroes
    mosquito-mosquitoes



    Madox

  3. #3
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: Adding -s or -es to nouns ending in -o

    Quote Originally Posted by Mad-ox View Post


    H[COLOR="Blue"]ere are some rules:

    1) Nouns ending in -o get either -s or -es when turned in the plural. The suffix -s will be added to:

    a) those nouns whose final -o is preceded by a vowel:
    eg. bamboo-bamboos
    cuckoo-cuckoos
    embryo-embryos
    kangoroo-kango[COLOR="Blue"]roos
    radio-radios
    studio-studios
    scenario-scenarios
    cameo-cameos, etc.

    b) some nouns ending in -o, of foreign origin:
    eg. casino-casinos
    tango-tangos
    canto-cantos
    magneto-magnetos
    alto-altos
    dynamo-dynamos
    rondo-rondos

    c) abbreviations:
    eg. kilos
    photos
    pianos

    d) proper names:
    eg Eskimo-Eskimos
    Hindoo-Hindoos A rather dated spelling. Since Indian independence the common English spelling is "Hindu".[COLOR="Blue"]
    Romeo-Romeos

    2) When the final -o is preceded by a consonant, the suffix -es will be added:
    eg. domino-domi[COLOR="Blue"]noes
    echo-echoes
    embargo-embargoes
    hero-heroes
    mosquito-mosquitoes



    Madox
    Thanks. I've made a few editorial additions.

    (As usual with rules, there are inconsistencies: in what sense is "mosquito" not 'of foreign origin' (1b)? Ah, that rule only says 'some'. So 'some' in 1b means 'some other rule may apply instead, at the whim of the language'; or, in other words, rote learning is the only sure way of getting these right. Native speakers have trouble with these too.)

    b

  4. #4
    albertino is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Adding -s or -es to nouns ending in -o

    Quote Originally Posted by Mad-ox View Post


    Here are some rules:

    1) Nouns ending in -o get either -s or -es when turned in the plural. The suffix -s will be added to:

    a) those nouns whose final -o is precedeed by a vowel:
    eg. bamboo-bamboos
    cuckoo-cuckoos
    embryo-embryos
    kangoroo-kangoroos
    radio-radios
    studio-studios
    scenario-scenarios
    cameo-cameos, etc.

    b) some nouns ending in -o, of foreign origin:
    eg. casino-casinos
    tango-tangos
    canto-cantos
    magneto-magnetos
    alto-altos
    dynamo-dynamos
    rondo-rondos

    c) abbreviations:
    eg. kilos
    photos
    pianos

    d) proper names:
    eg Eskimo-Eskimos
    Hindoo-Hindoos
    Romeo-Romeos

    2) When the final -o is preceded by a consonant, the suffix -es will be added:
    eg. domino-domonoes
    echo-echoes
    embargo-embagoes
    hero-heroes
    mosquito-mosquitoes



    Madox
    Thank you very much for your valuable advice, Madox. Allow me to ask one more interesting question: What is the full name of "pinao"?

    Thank you to Bobk as well. However, Bobk, could you tell me what the expression "at the whim of the language" means in plain English? Thanks again.
    Last edited by albertino; 30-Aug-2007 at 02:22.

  5. #5
    mykwyner is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Adding -s or -es to nouns ending in -o

    " Native speakers have trouble with these too."

    Bob K nailed it. Be comforted that native speakers have just as much (if not more) trouble with these words than new learners.

  6. #6
    albertino is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Adding -s or -es to nouns ending in -o

    My two cents:
    Canto-one of the parts into which a very long poem is divided;
    Magneto-a piece of equipment containing one or more magnets that is used for producing electricity, especially in the engine of a car;
    Alto-an alto instrument or voice produces notes at the second highest level, below a soprano;
    Dynamo-a machine that changes some other form of power directly into electricity;
    Rondo- a piece of music in which the main tune is repeated several times.

    Source: Longman Dict.

    (Not a teacher)

  7. #7
    Mad-ox's Avatar
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    Default Re: Adding -s or -es to nouns ending in -o

    Quote Originally Posted by albertino View Post
    Thank you very much for your valuable advice, Madox. Allow me to ask one more interesting question: What is the full name of "pinao"?
    hi,

    piano - pianoforte,

    Madox

  8. #8
    albertino is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Adding -s or -es to nouns ending in -o

    Quote Originally Posted by Mad-ox View Post
    hi,

    piano - pianoforte,

    Madox
    I see. Thanks.

  9. #9
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: Adding -s or -es to nouns ending in -o

    Quote Originally Posted by albertino View Post
    ...

    Thank you to Bobk as well. However, Bobk, could you tell me what the expression "at the whim of the language" means in plain English? Thanks again.
    You're welcome.

    People have "whims" (random interests), so "language" can't really have them - it was figurative ("personification"); perhaps I shouldn't have used it . What I meant was that books and Professors and dictionaries aren't in charge.

    b

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Adding -s or -es to nouns ending in -o

    I have to applaud the Herculean efforts of Mad-ox but at the same time admit...as a native speaker this question has never crossed my mind. But seriously, learn by rote only the ones you commonly write, and check the dictionary on the rest, it's not that terrible. Any teacher actually giving tests on this is sure to be a pedant (there, I said it).

    Not to split hairs but..."whim" is more of a random decision or sudden desire or change of mind than "interest".

    Hence: to do something because of sudden desire or change of mind and not because of sudden interest.

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