A noun refers to a person, place, or thing. Here are examples of nouns.
A noun can be singular or plural. A singular noun is one of something and a plural noun is two or more.
In English, the general rule is that the plural form of most nouns is formed by adding –s to the singular form.
Exceptions: Nouns ending in –s, x, –sh, or –ch form the plural by adding –es.
Attention, –es adds another syllable to the noun. For example, the word book and its plural books each have one syllable. But the word dish has one syllable but the plural dishes has two syllables.
These are the sounds that appear at the end of a noun that when –s or –es is added another syllable is also added. Note that the singular noun sometimes ends in a consonant and other times it ends in –e. See the lesson on syllables to learn more.
|IPA*||word final sound||extra syllable added|
*IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet)
Singular nouns ending in –y preceded by a consonant require changing the –y to –i and adding –es. This formula does not add another syllable to the noun.
Note that nouns ending in –y preceded by a vowel form the plural by adding –s, like the general rule.
Singular nouns ending in –o preceded by a consonant generally form the plural by adding –es. The number of syllables does not change.
Some spelling exceptions.
To see a complete list of nouns ending in –o and how to make them plural, see the lesson on pluralizing -o words.
Singular nouns ending in –f or –fe generally form the plural by changing the –f to –v and adding –es. The number of syllables does not change.
Nouns that have a word internal –oo often become –ee in the plural.
Nouns that end in –us become plural by changing to –i.
Finally, here are three important irregular plurals.
Quiz: Singular and plural nouns