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Singular and Plural Nouns

Notes On Generalizations
For Spelling/Forming
Plural Nouns.

Singular vs. Plural


A singular noun names one person,
place, thing, or idea.
One cat, one store, one item
A plural noun names two or more
persons, places, things, or ideas.
Two cats, four stores, fifteen items

Generalizations for forming plural


nouns:
1. For most singular nouns, add s.

Singular
teacher
street
pencil
book
elephant

Plural
teachers
streets
pencils
books
elephants

Generalizations for forming plural


nouns:
2. For nouns ending with s, x, z, sh, or ch,
add es.

Singular
gas
wax
waltz
dish
church

Plural
gases
waxes
waltzes
dishes
churches

Generalizations for forming plural


nouns:
3. For nouns ending with a consonant and y,
change the y to i and add es. For nouns ending
with a vowel and y, add s.

Singular
sky
army
penny
boy
alley

Plural
skies
armies
pennies
boys
alleys

Generalizations for forming plural


nouns:
4. For some nouns ending with f or fe, add s. For others,
change the f to v and add s or es. (You will need to
memorize the spellings for such words or look them up
in a dictionary to check.

Singular
belief
roof
loaf
life
knife

Plural
beliefs
roofs
loaves
lives
knives

Generalizations for forming plural


nouns:
These are a little more tricky . . .

5. For nouns that end with o, add s or es. (Again, you


would need to memorize the spellings of such words or
look them up in a dictionary to double-check.)
One trick to remember: if it has to do with sound (music),
just add s.Ex: cello. piano, radio

Singular

Plural

cello

cellos

piano

pianos

radio

radios

zoo

zoos

potato / tomato

potatoes / tomatoes

Generalizations for forming plural


nouns:
6. Some nouns have irregular plural forms. You
will have to memorize the spelling for irregular
plurals.
Singular

Plural

child

children

foot

feet

tooth

teeth

mouse

mice

man / woman

men / women

Generalizations for forming plural


nouns:
7. A few nouns have the same singular and
plural forms.
Singular

Plural

sheep

sheep

Chinese

Chinese

moose

moose

grapefruit

grapefruit

deer

deer

salmon

salmon

Generalizations for forming plural


nouns:
8. A few nouns have only plural forms.

Plural
scissors
jeans
savings
dues

Generalizations for forming plural


nouns:
9. A few nouns that end with s look plural
but are considered singular.

Singular
measles
news
economics
dues

Generalizations for forming plural


nouns:
Compound Nouns
10. For most compound nouns, make the most
important word plural.

For a compound noun written as one word,


make the last part plural.

For a compound noun written with hyphens


or as separate words, make the key word
plural.

Generalizations for forming plural


nouns:

One word
compound
nouns

Separate
words
Hyphenated
compound
nouns

Singular

Plural

billboard

billboards

cupful

cupfuls

campground

campgrounds

maid of honor

maids of honor

attorney-at-law

attorneys-at-law

step-brother

step-brothers

Great-grandma

Great-grandmas

Generalizations for forming plural


nouns:
11. Letters, numbers, symbols, and words used as
words are made plural by adding an apostrophe ()
and s.
Singular

Plural

#s

As

25

25s

and

ands

&

&s

ABC & 123

ABCs & 123s

Using a Dictionary:
Nouns that are made plural in other ways
besides just adding -s or -es can be looked up
in a dictionary to check the correct spelling.
Sample Dictionary entries:
dic-tion-ar-y (dik she ner e), n., pl. aries, a book containing
words of a language, usually arranged alphabetically,
with their meanings, pronunciations, etymologies, etc.
en-try (en tre), n., pl. -tries. 1. entrance. 2. the act of
recording something in a book, register, etc. 3. the
item so recorded. 4. a person or thing entered in a
contest. 5. a word, phrase, etc. listed alphabetically
in a
dictionary or reference book, usually with its
definition or
explanation.

Multiple Choice
Which 2 words correctly complete
these sentences?
We bought a pair of _____ and some _____
at the yard sale.

A.

ski . . . dishes

B.

skis . . . dishs

C.

skies . . . dish

D.

skis . . . dishes

CORRECT!
We bought a pair of _skis_ and
some _dishes_ at the yard sale.

Multiple Choice
One of her _______ is studying _______ in
the wild.

A.

hobbys . . . monkeyes

B.

hobbyes . . . monkies

C.

hobbies . . . monkeys

D.

hobbys. . . monkees

CORRECT!
One of her _hobbies_ is
studying _monkeys_ in the wild.

Multiple Choice
A team of ______ pulled a wagon with three
_______ inside.

A.

ox . . . woman

B.

oxen . . . women

C.

oxes . . . women

D.

oxens . . . womans

CORRECT!
A team of _oxen_ pulled a wagon
with three _women_ inside.

Multiple Choice
Near the campsite they saw two _______
and several ________.

A.

deer . . . moose

B.

deers . . . moose

C.

deers . . . mooses

D.

deer . . . meese

CORRECT!
Near the campsite they saw two
_deer_ and several _moose_.

Newspaper Nouns
Use a newspaper or magazine article for this
activity:
In the article, find at least 25 singular nouns.
Circle them with a colored pencil.
On your own paper, make a T-chart. . . on the
left side write Singular and write Plural on
the right side of the T-chart.
List the singular nouns you found in the article
on the left side of the T-chart, then write the
correct plural form of each on the right side.

Scoring Guide:

You should find at least 25 singular nouns.


Each of the plural nouns formed correctly from
these 25 singular nouns is worth 4 points, for a
total of 100.
Opportunity for BONUS points:
For every 5 additional singular nouns you identify,
list, and form the plural of correctly, you can earn one
bonus point.up to a maximum of 5 bonus points (i.e. it
takes 25 additional singular nouns correctly made plural to
earn all 5 bonus pointsbut you can do it!!!)

Scoring Guide:
4 points each = total points 100

100% = 25 singular nouns identified and listed


with plural form spelled correctly.
96% = 24 singular nouns identified and listed
with plural form spelled correctly.
92% = 23 singular nouns identified and listed
with plural form spelled correctly.
Etc.

Grading:

A = 90-100%, B = 80-89%,
C = 70-79%, D = 60-69%,
F = Below 60%