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Plural Noun Forms


The plural form of most nouns is created simply by adding the letter s.

  • more than one snake—snakes
  • more than one boy—boys

1. Words that end in -ch, x, s or s-like sounds, however, will require an -es for the plural

  • more than one witch—witches
  • more than one box—boxes
  • more than one gas—gases
  • more than one bus—buses
  • more than one kiss—kisses

Please note that some dictionaries list “busses” as an acceptable plural for “bus.”

2. There are several nouns that have irregular plural forms. Plurals formed in this way are sometimes called mutated (or mutating) plurals. Some of the examples are given below:

  • more than one child—children
  • more than one woman—women
  • more than one man—men
  • more than one person—people
  • more than one goose—geese
  • more than one mouse—mice
  • more than one ox—oxen

3. There are nouns that maintain their Latin or Greek form in the plural.

  • more than one nucleus—nuclei
  • more than one syllabus—syllabi
  • more than one focus—foci
  • more than one fungus—fungi
  • more than one thesis—theses
  • more than one phenomenon—phenomena
  • more than one index—indices (indexes is acceptable)
  • more than one criterion—criteria

4. A handful of nouns appear to be plural in form but take a singular verb:

  • The news is bad.
  • Gymnastics is fun to watch.
  • Economics/Mathematics/Statistics is said to be difficult. (“Economics” can sometimes be a plural concept, as in “The Economics of the situation demand that ....”)

5. Numerical expressions are usually singular, but can be plural if the individuals within a numerical group are acting individually:

  • Fifty thousand dollars is a lot of money.
  • One-half of the faculty is retiring this summer.
  • Fifty per cent of the students have voted already.

6. Another set of nouns might seem to be singular in nature but take a plural form and always use a plural verb:


  • Her scissors were stolen.
  • The glasses have slipped down his nose again.
  • Other egs include tongs, spectacles, trousers, shears, phiers, shoes, pants.
    (They are always plural unless preceded by ‘a pair of’)

B. The use of adjectives as noun.

  • The rich are arrogant.
  • The intelligent are blessed.

7. There is a category of nouns that do not change in form.

Example : 
cattle, sheep, police, poultry, gentry, vermin, etc.

  • The police are running after a criminal.
  • Cattle are grazing in the field.

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