Numbers in English Grammar

 

In terms of grammar, the number means the count of a noun or pronoun.

Object-objects, glass-glasses, man-men etc.
 

Types of numbers:

  • Singular
  • Plural

Singular Number:

Only one noun or a pronoun.

Example:

Laptop, switch, chair, cup, etc.

 

Plural Number:

More than one noun or pronoun.

Example:

Laptops, Switches, Chairs, Cups, etc.
 

Changing from Singular to Plural:

A number can be changed from singular to plural, there are some rules for that.

 

Rule 1:

The basic rule is to add an “s” at the end of a singular noun to make it plural.

 

Singular Plural
Hat Hats
Ring Rings
Car Cars
Ball Balls

 

Rule 2:

In case of an s, sh, ch, x or z, add “es”

Singular Plural
Bush Bushes
Class Classes
Bench Benches
Box Boxes
Buzz Buzzes

 

Rule 3:

In specific words “ch” is pronounced as k

 

Singular Plural
Patriarch Patriarchs
Matriarch Matriarchs
Stomach Stomachs
Hierarch Hierarchs
Monarch Monarchs

 

Part 1:

When there is a ‘y’ at the end following a Consonant so that “y” is substituted by “i”   and “es” is added to it.

Singular Plural
Pastry Pastries
Bakery Bakeries
Body Bodies
Factory Factories
Company Companies

 

Part 2:

If that “y” is followed by a vowel, we can simply add an “s” at the end.

Singular Plural
Enjoy Enjoys
Journey Journeys
Key Keys
Ally Alleys
Essay Essays

 

Rule 4:

When the words end at “f” or “fe”, add “v” and “es” .

Singular Plural
Loaf Loaves
Self Selves
Shelf Shelves
Life Lives
Half Halves

 

Part 1:

Add “es” when a noun ends at a consonant followed by an “o”.

Singular Plural
Volcano Volcanoes
Tomato Tomatoes
Echo Echoes
Torpedo Torpedoes
Mango Mangoes

 

Part 2:

In case of a vowel followed by “o”, simply add “s”.

Singular Plural
Kangaroo Kangaroos
Audio Audios
Pistachio Pistachios
Video Videos

 

Exceptions:

Some words might end at a consonant and “o”, we can simply add “s”.

Singular Plural
Commando Commandos
Ghetto Ghettos
Fresco Frescos
Lego Legos
Tuxedo Tuxedos

 

For some, “s” and “es” both are correct.

Singular Plural
Buffalo  Buffalos/Buffaloes
Domino Dominos/Dominoes
Volcano Volcanos/Volcanoes
Mosquito Mosquitos/Mosquitoes

 

Rule 5:

In some nouns, we can change the vowel to make it plural.

Singular Plural
Man Men
Tooth Teeth
Goose Geese
Louse Lice
Cactus Cacti

 

Rule 6:

In some words, the addition of “en”, “ren” and “ne” is done.

Singular Plural
Child Children
Hose Hosen
Brother Brethren
Step-child Step-children

 

Part 1:

To change a compound noun (two nouns combining to form a word) to plural, if it contains the word “man” and it means a human being, it can be replaced by “men”.

Singular Plural
Batsman Batsmen
Watchman Watchmen
Talisman Talismen
Postman Postmen

 

Part 2:

Incase “man” is just the part of that word, simply add an “s” .

Singular Plural
Human Humans
Brahman Brahmans

 

Rule 7:

When the noun ends at “ful” , an “s” should be added.

Singular Plural
Harmful Harmfuls
Spoonful Spoonfuls

 

Part 1:

Join “s” to the main part of a compound noun, if that noun contains several words.

Example:

Singular Plural
Sister-in-law Sisters-in-law
Security-incharge Security-incharges

 

Rule 8:

Adding just an “s” at the end of some compound nouns does the job.

Singular Plural
Wood shelf Wood shelves
Phone-case Phone-cases

 

Rule 9:

Some singular words have no plural:

  • Jewelry
  • Furniture

 

Similarly, some words are used in the plural sense only.

  • Shoes
  • Scissors

 

Rule 10:

At times some nouns seem to be singular but they are referring to more than one things or people.

Pupil.

Government.

 

Rule 11:

In the same way, some nouns sound like they are plural though they are not.

  • Wages
  • Ethics

 

Rule 12:

Some nouns have the same plural and singular.

For numbers, letters and characters, an apostrophe and “s” needs to be added.

  • Sheep
  • Canon

 

Rule 13:

For pronouns there is no specific rule, there are some words we need to keep in mind for that.

 

 

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