English Grammar Review
Nouns and Pronouns
Nouns are words that name or "stand for" something we are talking about. There are two types of nouns: concrete and abstract.
Concrete nouns identify things you witness with your senses (see, hear, touch, taste, smell):
Abstract nouns identify things you comprehend with your mind:
Unlike pronouns, nouns can be modified (made more specific) by adjectives or articles:
Young Omar drank mint tea in beautiful Marrakesh.
The freedom to use the opportunity led to a new venture.
Question: How do we spell the plurals of nouns?
Answer: Please have a seat, this is going to take a while. Sorry.
Rule 1.0: Place the letter s at the end of the noun.
one manager, two managers
one decision, two decisions
Rule 2.0: Place the letters es after nouns that end in s, x, z, ss, sh, and ch.
one virus, two viruses
one fax, two faxes
one quartz, two quartzes
one business, two businesses
one wish, two wishes
one arch, two arches
Rule 2.1: Several singular nouns that end in z are made plural by doubling the z and then adding es.
one quiz, two quizzes
Rule 2.2: When a singular noun ends in ch and it is pronounced like a k, only add an s.
one epoch, two epochs
Rule 3.0: Nouns that end in y are a bit complicated.
Rule 3.1: Nouns that end in y preceded by a vowel are made plural by adding s.
one delay, two delays
Rule 3.2: Nouns that end in y preceded by a consonant are made plural by changing the y to an i and adding es.
one policy, two policies
Rule 4.0: Nouns that end in f or fe or ff are somewhat complicated.
Rule 4.1: Most simply use s.
one belief, two beliefs
[proof, safe, staff]
Rule 4.2: Some replace the f or the fe with ve and add an s.
one half, two halves
Rule 4.3: A few have two plural forms.
one scarf, two scarves, two scarfs
Rule 5.0: Nouns that end in o are very complicated.
Rule 5.1: Nouns that end in o preceded by a vowel are made plural by adding s.
one ratio, two ratios
[duo, portfolio, scenario, stereo]
Rule 5.2: Nouns that end in o preceded by a consonant are all over the place.
Rule 5.2.1: Some are made plural by adding s.
one photo, two photos
[ego, logo, macro, typo]
Rule 5.2.2: Some are made plural by adding es.
one potato, two potatoes
[echo, fiasco, hero, tomato]
Rule 5.2.3: Musical terms only add an s.
one tempo, two tempos
[alto, banjo, cello, piano]
Rule 5.2.4: Some have two plural forms.
one motto, two mottos, two mottoes
[cargo, innuendo, proviso, zero]
Rule 5.x: Never guess. If it ends in o, look it up.
Rule 6.0: Some nouns change their spelling to form a plural.
Rule 6.1: Change internal spelling.
one foot, two feet
one woman, two women
one mouse, two mice
Rule 6.2: Change is to es.
one basis, two bases
Rule 6.3: Add en, and sometimes an r.
one child, two children
Rule 7.0: Some nouns don't change at all when they form a plural.
one sheep, two sheep
Lesson: Spelling Plurals
Module: Nouns and Pronouns
Course: English Grammar Review