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Behaviour of The Noun


Rule 1: This group includes those nouns which are always used in the plural.

1. Premises  
2. Spectacles
3. Bowels
4. Valuables  
5. Billiards  
6. Trousers
7. Socks



(a) Riches have wings.
(b) Kindly give me a pair of scissors.
(c) My spectacles have been broken.


Rule II

This group includes those nouns that look like plural, but are used in the singular.


1. Mathematics
2. Statistics     
3. Economics  
4. Politics
5. Gymnastics  
6. Physics



(a) Mathematics are a difficult subject. (Incorrect)
Mathematics is a difficult subject. (Correct)



Note: Mathematics looks like plural but, in fact, it is singular. So, we cannot use plural verb with it.


(b) Politics are a game of compromise. (Incorrect)
Politics is a game of compromise. (Correct)
(c) These news were broadcast from All India Radio only yesterday. (Incorrect)
This news was broadcast from All India Radio only yesterday. (Correct)
Rule III

This group is a family of collective nouns. These nouns are singular in form but are used as plural.

1. Gentry
2. People
3. Police
4. Cattle
5. Poultry



(a) The police is looking into the matter. (Incorrect)
The police are looking into the matter. (Correct)

(b) The cattle is grazing in the field. (Incorrect)
The cattle are grazing in the field. (Correct)

(c) Peoples should be loyal to their nation. (Incorrect)
People should be loyal to their nation. (Correct)

Rule IV

This group is a family of those nouns which are generally used in the singular.


1. Poetry
2. Advice
3. Information
4. Hair
5. Scenery



(a) I do not like poetries of Keats. (Incorrect)
I do not like poetry of Keats. (Correct)
(b) The old furniture were disposed of. (Incorrect)
The old furniture was disposed of. (Correct)
(c) The sceneries of the Himalayas are excellent. (Incorrect)
The scenery of the Himalayas is excellent. (Correct)

Rule V

Some nouns have the same form in singular and plural.


1. Sheep
2. Fish
3. Cod
4. Swine
5. Deer



(a) A series of lectures were delivered on the subject. (Incorrect)
A series of lectures was delivered on the subject. (Correct)
(b) The fishes cannot live without water. (Incorrect)
The fish cannot live without water. (Correct)

Rule VI

Some nouns when preceded by a numeral remain unchanged in form.


1. Hundred
2. Thousand
3. Lac
4. Crore
5. Million
6. Year



(a) It was a five-years project. (Incorrect)
It was a five-year project. (Correct)
(b) Six hundreds miles is a long distance. (Incorrect)
Six hundred miles is a long distance. (Correct)

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