Chapter 1-2-2: Noun Plurals
Most nouns change their form to indicate number by adding "-s" or "-es", as illustrated in the following pairs of sentences:
Three Complex Plural Forms
1. Whenever a noun follows the words "each" and "every," use the singular.
2. Whenever a noun follows the words "one of," use the plural.
3. Some nouns are always in a plural form. This is usually because the component object has two (a pair) or more parts associated with it. When conjugating with these words, use a plural verb. Here is a list of some of the more common—and some of the more peculiar—nouns that always appear in plural form. Can you guess what the ones with an asterisk beside them mean?:
Noun Plurals That Can Be Used with "Pair of...:"
Other Examples of Noun Plurals:
Note: some of these words may be plural-only with one meaning and singular/plural with other meanings. Take the word "glasses" versus "glass," for example.
There are other nouns which form the plural by changing the last letter before adding "s". Some words ending in "f" form the plural by deleting "f" and adding "ves," and words ending in "y" form the plural by deleting the "y" and adding "ies," as in the following pairs of sentences:
Why English is hard to learn
We'll begin with box; the plural is boxes,
But the plural of ox is oxen, not oxes,
One fowl is a goose, and two are called geese,
Yet the plural of moose is never called meese.
You may find a lone mouse or a house full of mice;
But the plural of house is houses, not hice,
The plural of man is always men,
But the plural of pan is never pen.
If I speak of a foot, and you show me two feet,
And I give you a book, would a pair be a beek?
If one is a tooth, and a whole set are teeth,
Why shouldn't two booths be called beeth?
If the singular's this and the plural is these,
Should the plural of kiss be ever called keese?
We speak of a brother and also of brethren,
But though we say mother, we never say methren.
Then the masculine pronouns are he, his, and him;
But imagine the feminine ... she, shish, and shim!