Nouns can be singular or plural. When you are talking about one person, animal, place, or thing, use a singular noun.
These are also singular nouns: an airplane, a letter, a bicycle, a map, a boy, a photograph, a bus, a refrigerator, a comb, a slide, a girl, a swing, a key, a van,…
- Use a or an before singular nouns.Use an before words beginning with vowels (a, e, i, o, u). For example, say:an axe, an igloo, an egg, an orange, an envelope, an umbrella, an ice cream, an uncle.
- But some words don’t follow this rule. For example, use a (not an) before these words that begin with u: a uniform, a university.
- Use a before words beginning with the other letters of the alphabet, called consonants. For example, say: a basket, a rainbow, a bowl, a monster, a car, a pillow, a hill, a watch, a house, a zoo.
- But some words don’t follow this rule. For example, use an (not a) before these words that begin with h: an heir, an honor, an hour
When you are talking about two or more people, animals, places, or things, use plural nouns.
Most nouns are made plural by adding -s at the end.
Singular Plural Singular Plural
bird birds broom brooms
camel camels desk desks
doll dolls egg eggs
flower flowers fork forks
game games lamb lambs
nest nests pen pens
photo photos shirt shirts
Some plural nouns end in -es.
beach – beaches, branch – branches, box – boxes, bush – bushes, church- churches, dish – dishes, dress – dresses, sandwich- sandwiches, witch – witches
- Some plural nouns end in -es. When the last letters of singular nouns are ch, sh, s, ss or x, you usually add -es to form the plural.
Some plural nouns end in -ies.
baby – babies, cherry – cherries, diary – diaries, dictionary – dictionaries, fairy – fairies, family – families, fly – flies, lady – ladies, library – libraries, puppy – puppies, story – stories, strawberry – strawberries
- Nouns like these are made plural by changing y to i, and adding -es
- What if there is a vowel before the y? In that case, add -s to form the plural: chimney – chimneys, cowboy – cowboys, day – days, donkey – donkeys, jersey – jerseys, kidney – kidneys, monkey – monkeys, toy – toys, trolley – trolleys, valley – valleys
If a noun ends in -f, you often change f to v, and add -es.
calf – calves, loaf – loaves, elf – elves, shelf – shelves, half – halves, thief – thieves, leaf – leaves, wolf – wolves
- With some words that end in -fe, you change f to v, and add -s: knife – knives, life – lives, wife – wives
- But you only add -s to giraffe to form the plural
If a noun ends in -o, you just add -s to form the plural
a hippo – hippos, a video – videos, a zoo – zoos
- But with some nouns that end in -o, you add -es to form the plural: a tomato – tomatoes, a potato – potatoes, a hero – heroes, a rhino – rhinos, a kangaroo – kangaroos, a flamingo – flamingo
Some plural nouns don’t follow the -s rule. They don’t end in -s, -es, -ies or -ves. Instead, the word changes form
child – children, man – men, ox – oxen, tooth – teeth, woman – women
- The plural of the mouse that you use with your computer is either mice or mouses
Some plural nouns are the same as the singular noun: bison – bison, deer – deer
Some nouns are always plural: pants, scissors, pajamas, sneakers, shorts, slippers, trousers, stockings, sandals
- Another word for spectacles is glasses.
- You can make these plural nouns singular by using a pair of: a pair of binoculars, a pair of spectacles, a pair of goggles, a pair of jeans, a pair of shorts, a pair of pliers
Look at the words below. Do you know which ones are singular and which are plural? Put a checkmark (✓) in the correct box.
word, pencils, books, fan, hat, children, kites, people, crab, foxes
Do you add -s or -es to these singular nouns to make them plural? Write your answers on the lines.
1 desk 6 belt
2 basket 7 taxi
3 class 8 bus
4 peach 9 box
5 comb 10 mug
Do you change -y to -ies, or just add -s to make these singular nouns plural? Write your anwers.
1 key 6 toy
2 city 7 baby
3 butterfly 8 party
4 monkey 9 chimney
5 fly 10 lady
All these singular nouns end with -o. Add either -s or -esas you write the plurals on the line.
1 video 6 radio
2 piano 7 hippo
3 mango 8 zoo
4 kangaroo 9 zero
5 rhino 10 photo