English Teacher Article A handout on irregular plural noun forms

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Here's a handout on nouns which I give my students to help them understand irregular plural noun forms.

In English, nouns are divided between the singular and plural form. To make a noun plural, an 's' is usually added to the singular but there are several exceptions to the rule.

Exception 1:
Nouns that in ch, s, sh, x, or z form the plural by adding 'es' to the singular. It's because these words which end in ch, s, sh, x or z would be difficult to pronounce if only an 's' were added. Here are some examples:

branch branches
fox foxes
bus buses

Exception 2:
Nouns that end in 'y' which are preceded by a consonant form the plural by changing the 'y' to 'i' and then adding an 'es'. Here's an example:

city cities

Exception 3:
Nouns that end in 'f' form the plural by changing the 'f' to 'v' and then adding an 'es'. Here are some examples:

half halves
leaf leaves
thief thieves
wolf wolves

Exception 4:
Nouns that end in fe form the plural by changing the f to v and then adding only an 's'. Here are some examples:

knife knives
life lives

Finally, there are many irregular plural noun forms which one must commit to memory. Here are some examples:

man men
woman women
child children
tooth teeth
foot feet
louse lice
mouse mice
ox oxen
goose geese

Categories: Lesson Plans & Handouts

17 Comments

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les bendiga niletza

Nice work! But couldn`t you provide your students how nouns borrowed from other languages change?
BEN

It's certainly helpful.Thanks.

I'm Confused with the plural form of tooth.... Is it not teeth? thanks....some information here useful to me anyway.

do you know the plural form for "memory"?

The plural form of memory is memories.

The rule is that you change that when you have a Y at the end you change the letter Y to I and then add the letters ES.

If the letter -Y comes after a consonant, then you make the plural with -IES. If it comes after a vowel, you simply add -S; trays, plays, etc.

thanks! this was very helpful,I never took english serious but now i realize how imporant it is and i have been using the internet to learn. thanks to those it care aand post help on the internet i have been learning alot.

thank you!!!!!!!!this was very helpful.do you have some>that changes the letter like man-men.

This is very neat thank you, although can anyone provide me with some follow up? What are the irregular pluralizations of words that end in "-us?" I believe there are rules that depend on the derivation of the word i.e. latin, greek, etc. but I've never had someone actually explain it.

tnx to the information that i got..........

Thank you for the handout, but there is an error at the bottom. Tooth is Teeth plural.

Thank you for spotting that.

where are the two classes of adjectives ? i can't find in this page

thank you very much..but what about exception !!


with words ending with "o" like:

piano=pianos or kilo=kilos..!

and also words ending with "f" like:

safe=safes...belief=beliefs

A:Have you seen the children?
B:They are playing in the garden,i think.
confuse:children under plural noun actually not need put "the" why the reason have to put "the"?

If you're talking about specific children, then it is correct to say "the children".

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