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The Plural of Nouns. Rules

Many Apples

Unlike the English language, the plural in many others, for example, in Russian, is formed quite difficult. In addition to the plural, there are as many as three different forms for plural numbers with the certain indication. Compared to this confusion, everything is incredibly simple in English: 100, 101, 102 – any number – cats, apples, roads. Just add -s at the end and it is done.

I have three lectures today, and then I am free.

Do not you think that five waffles for one person are too much?

If you are just starting to learn English, it is EVERYTHING you need to know. If you have already mastered the -s words at the end of the word, let us look at special cases where just -s may not be enough.

Sizzling Sound at the End of the Word

If there is already some sizzling-whistling sound at the end of the word (and it will be there, if the word ends in -s, -z, -sh, -ch, -x), then -es must be added to form the plural. Which is quite logical – talking matches, boxes and basses is much easier and more enjoyable than matchs, boxs, basss (the last word looks especially attractive, does it not?).

I missed three buses, now I am definitely not going anywhere.

O at the End of the Word

If the noun ends with a vowel -o, some of them are formed simply with -s, and part of them – with -es. Unfortunately, there are no special rules here. Rather, they exist, but in such way that it would be better not to have them – for example, if the word came to English recently, then we use -s, (tacos), if it is old word – then -es (echoes). If there is a consonant before -o, then plural is formed with -s (zoos). Or, for example, if this is a shorthand for a longer word, then we use -s (kilos, logos, photos). In addition, there are whole series of words that can be written both ways (mosquitos or mosquitoes, volcanos or volcanoes).

Let us go simpler. Here are the most common words in which the plural is formed by adding -es: potatoes, heroes and tomatoes. If you write all the others, adding -s, then this will be the right option in 99% of cases.

We made so many photos during the trip that we had to buy an additional memory card.

Who can answer how many active volcanoes are in the world at the moment?

Y at the End of the Word

All is more or less simple with words ending in -y. If there is a vowel before -y, the plural is formed as usual – with -s (days, toys). If there is a consonant before -y, the plural is formed by replacing -y with -ies. For example, city cities, party parties.

I had the opportunity to visit many cities.

F and FE at the End of the Word

In words ending in -f and -fe, the plural is formed by replacing this ending with -ves. For example, knife knives, thief – thieves.

The leaves moved almost silently, only the dancing of the shadows on the wall of the house proved that the night wind continues to amuse them.

Unfortunately, there are many exceptions to this rule, which practically undermine its authority: proof proofs, roof roofs, cliff cliffs, scarf scarfs, etc.

There are many more words-exceptions, the plural of which is formed against all the rules. Here logic does not help, you just need to learn them. We will discuss some of them in the next article. Just be careful and you will not have problems with the plural.

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