Plural Nouns

Rules to Form Plural Nouns in English


  1. The most common way of forming plurals in nouns in English is simply to add an “s”.
  • book                      books
  • coat                       coats
  • pen                        pens


2. The plurals of some nouns are formed by adding “es”. When a noun ends in “x”, “s”, “z”, “sh” or “ch”.

  • box                        boxes
  • bus                         buses
  • waltz                     waltzes
  • bush                      bushes
  • arch                       arches


3. Some nouns end in the letter “y”.

When the letter before the “y” is a vowel, you simply add an “s” to form the plural.

  • tray                        trays
  • attorney              attorneys
  • toy                         toys
  • guy                         guys

When the letter before the “y” is a consonant, you remove the “y” and replace it with “ies”.

  • baby                      babies
  • bankruptcy         bankruptcies
  • lady                        ladies


4. Some words change, when put in the plural without the assistance of the letter “s”

  • child                       children
  • foot                       feet
  • goose                    geese
  • man                       men
  • mouse                  mice
  • ox                           oxen
  • tooth                     teeth
  • woman                 women

5. Some words have the same form in the singular and in the plural.

  • deer                      deer
  • fish                         fish
  • sheep                   sheep
  • salmon                 salmon


6. Irregular nouns from other languages use a variety of methods to form the plural. Following are a few examples.

  • alumnus               alumni
  • analysis               analyses
  • phenomenon    phenomena
  • criterion             criteria