New Model Master English


Numbers in Noun

A noun that denotes one person or thing is said to be in the singular number; as Man, cow, girl, knife, book. A boun that denotes more than one person or things said to be in the plural number; as men, cows, girls, knives, books.

Ways of forming the plural of nouns:-

The plural of nouns is formed according ot the following rules.

1. The plural of nouns is generally formed by adding ‘s’ to the singular; as,

  • Map - maps
  • flower - flowers
  • cup - cups
  • spoon - spoons
  • stone - stones

2. Nouns are ending in ‘ch’ S, Sh, X, or Z from the plural by adding ‘es’ to singular as,

  • bench - benches
  • ass - asses
  • dish - dishes
  • tax - taxes
  • buzz - buzzes
Note: If the ending ‘ch’ of a singular noun sound as ‘k’ its plural is formed by adding ‘S’ only; as,
  • Monorch - monarchs
  • stomach - stomachs

3. Nouns ending in ‘consonant + Y’ drop ‘Y’ and add -ied.

  • baby - babies
  • lorry - lorries
  • army - armies
  • story - stories
  • enemy - enemies
  • pony - ponies

4. Nouns ending in ‘Vovel + Y’ add -s

  • day - days
  • Ray - rays
  • journey - journies
Note: Nouns ending in ‘quy’ from the plural in ‘ies’ as, soliloquy - solioquies.

5. Nouns ending ‘O’ proceeded by a consonant add -‘es’

  • Hero - Heroes
  • Mango - Mangoes
  • Potato - Potatoes
  • Negro - Negroes

But all the words ending in ‘oo’, ‘io’ or ‘yo’ and some words ending in ‘O’ proceeded by a consonant, form the plural by adding ‘s’ to the singular.

  • Bamboo - bamboos
  • Piono - Pionos
  • Curio - Curios
  • embryo - embryos
  • Zeor - Zeros
  • dynamo - dynamos

6. Nouns ending in ‘f’ or ‘fe’ form the plural by changing ‘f’ or ‘fe’ into -ves as,

  • wife - wives
  • half - halves
  • loaf - loaves
  • self - selves
  • leaf - leaves
  • wolf - wolves

But nouns ending in ff, eef, oof, ief, and rf and some nouns ending in ‘f’ form the plural by adding ‘s’ to the singular number.

  • belief - beliefs
  • chief - chiefs
  • cliff - cliffs
  • grief - griefs
  • turf - turfs
  • hand karchief - hand karchiefs
  • proof - proofs
  • Dwarf - Dwarfs
Note: i. There are four nouns ending in ‘fe’ from the plural by adding ‘s’. They are cafe-cafes; safe-safes; strife-strifes; fife-fifes.
ii. Some take both forms:
hoof-hoofs/hooves; scarf-scarfs/scarves.
wharf/wharfs/wharves; staff-staffs/staves

7. The following nouns form their plural by change of the internal Vovel.

  • dormouse - dormice
  • mouse - mice
  • goose - geese
  • man - men
  • woman - women
  • tooth - teeth
  • foot - feet

8. Some nouns add ‘en’ to form plural.

  • ox - oxen
  • child - children

9. A compound noun generally from its plural by adding ‘s’ to the principal world.

  • passer by - passers by
  • runner-up - runners-up
  • look-on - lookers-on
  • father/mother/son/daughter-in-law - fathers/mothers/sons/daughters-in-law

10. In most compounds the plural ending ‘S’ is added to the last part.

  • armchair - armchairs
  • maid servant - maid servants
  • boy friend - boy friends
  • hold all
  • hold alls
  • pick-pocket - pick-pockets

11. Some compound words take double plurals.

  • man-servent - men-servants
  • knight-templar - knight-templars
  • lord-justice - lord-justices
  • woman-doctor - women-doctors

But man-eater - man-eaters; man-hour - man-hours; woman-hater - woman-haters

12. Formation of foreign plurals

  • if a word ends in ‘a’ it is changed into ‘ae’; as formula - formulae; nebula - nebulea
  • a word ends in ‘us’ it is changed into i.
    alumnus - alumini; bacillus - bacilli; focus - foci; fungus - fungi; radius - radii; stimulus - stimuli.
  • If a word ends ‘um’ it is changed into ‘a’;
    bacterium - bacteria; dactum - data; curriculam - curricula; dictum - dicta; medium - media; stratum - strata; erratum - errata; memorandum - memoranda.
  • If a word ends in ex, is or ix, these are changed into ices, or only ‘es
    opex - apices; index - indices; appendix - appendices; axis - axes;
    hypothesis - hypotheses; synopsis - synopses; analysis - analyses; crisis - crises.
  • Words ending in ‘on’ form plural by changing ‘on’ into ‘a
    criterion - criteria; phenomenon - phenomena
Correct Usage

1. Some nouns have the same form in the plural as in the singular.

(e.g)deer, sheep; series; means; grouse, salmon; summons; innings; offspring; swine; trout;
a) A deer is grazing in the field.
b) Ten deer are grazing in the field.

2. Several nouns used in counting, when preceeded by numerals’ are unaltered in the plural; as

(e.g) a) This T.V. set cost me ten thousand rupees. (not ten thousands)
b) Twenty score men laid down their arms.

3. Collective nouns such as a group (of things) a crowd (of people), afleet (of ships) are usually singular even when followed by the ‘of adjunct, and they, therefore, generally take a singular verb.

(e.g)a) A group of people was standing at the gate of the hotel.
b) A flock of sheep was graxing in the field.
But people and cattle are plural.
(e.g)a) The people in our village are hard working.
b) The cattle are grazing.

4. Some nouns are always used in a plural sense - they take plural verbs.

CattleThe cattle are graxing.
GoodsThe goods are lying in the floor.
PeopleThe people of France are peace-loving.
SwineWhose swine are these?
AshesHis ashes were immersed in the Ganga.
AssetsAssets are very small.
ThanksMy thanks for this help are due to you.
WagesThe wages for daily labour are due to you.
ArmsArms are kept in an armoury.
ScissorsScissors are an important tool of tailor.
PantsThese pants do not fit on you.
TrousersYour trousers are tight.
AlmsAlms were given to the beggars.
RepairsThe repairs of this dam have been carried out recently.

5. Some nouns are plural in appearance but are used in a singular sense - always take singular verb.

OpticsOptics is a branch of physics.
MathematicsMathematics is an interesting subject.
(So is, Economics, politics, Civics, Physics)
newsNo News is good news now a days.
SummonsThe summons was never served on me.
GallowsThe gallows is a place where a murderer is to be hanged.
InningsHis innings was a short one.
Mumps/MeaslesMumps/Measles is not a serious disease.

6. The following nouns are always used in the singular form. They take singular verbs.

InformationAll the information you need is given in this book.
AbuseHe gave me much abuse (not abuses)
AdviceAll his advice was useless (not advices)
FurnitureThe furniture is to be polished today.
FoodMuch food is wasted in our country.
AlphabetThe English alphabet has 26 letters in all.
InformationThis information is all wrong.
SceneryThe scenery of the fields is very impressing.
ImageryThe imagery in this poem is very striking.
PoetryPoetry is one of the five arts.
MachineryThe machinery for this factory was imported from England.
LuggagePut your luggage in this room.
StationerySome stationery is to be purchased immediately.
HairHer hair is brown in color.
The above words do not have plural forms as informations, abuses, advices, furnitures, sceneries, hairs, imageries, poetries, luggages.

It is wrong to say a/one luggage, a/one poetry etc.

7. ‘A pair of’ when applied to things when two components are always thought of together is singular (scissors/shoes/trousers/spectacles, gloves etc.)

(e.g)a) That pair of trousers belongs to me. (not belong)
b) The pair of shoes is made of leather.

8. (a) A lot of, a great deal of, plenty of, most of and some of are singular when they refer to amount or quantity, but plural when they refer to number.

(e.g)i) A lot of people drink coffee every morning.
   A lot of work has to be done
ii) There is plenty of room on the back now.
    There are plenty of books on that subject.

    b) Some words such as hair, fish, fruit may be written as three long hairs, four small fishes, many fruits etc. to denote their number.

    c) Some words are always written in plural form, but they are both singular and plural in meaning. They take their verbs according to the singular or plural sense.

(e.g)i) A series of films is shown to the public.
ii) All means have been devised to fulfill this task.
iii) There is only this means to solve this problem.
iv) The second innings has been over.
v) Two innings are played in a test match of cricket.

10. Those nouns which denote number, weight or money in plural sense are written in singular form when they are used before definite numbers, but they are written in plural form when they are used to denote an indefinite number. These nouns are doze, pair, yoke, brace, score, hundred, thousand, weight, ton etc.

(e.g)a) A hundred rupees is of no value to day.
b) Hundreds of books are lying as waste paper.
c) Three years is a long time to be without a job.

11. Nouns used as adjectives before other nouns ot denote a number a measure, a weight, or an amount, are always written in singular form.

(e.g)a) Here is a hundred rupee note.
b) A five year old child was beaten to death.
c) A ten kilogram weight is negligible.
d) A ten mile walk is his daily routine.

12. The use of the following nouns should be carefully studied.

  • Vegetables is used in the plural in a general reference.
  • Fruit is more often used in singular form than in the plural, even when it implies more than one fruit.
    (e.g)He bought vegetables worth five rupees and fruit worth ten rupees.
    DefinitionBut the word ‘fruits’ is used in the plural form when different kinds of fruit are mean as
    In my garden, there are fruits like guava, grapes, peeches etc.
  • Hair’ is used as singular but when a number is meant, ‘hairs’ is used.
    (e.g)My hair is black.
    She has two grey hairs.
  • Fish’ is used both as singular and plural; as
    (e.g)Miller caught a fine fish.
    The fish of this tank are beautiful
    Definition‘Fish’ has also ‘fishes’ as plural when various kinds of fish are means; as,
    There is a variety of fishes in the market.

13. Some singular nouns are often used with a plural verb

  • Government
  • staff
  • team
  • family
  • audience
  • committee
Grammar Website
Grammar In English