Let’s talk about plural nouns in English! For most nouns, the rule is simple: add the letter s to the end of the word, and that forms the plural version. This happens with common words like book, sofa, chair, computer, phone, car, and many others. If a word ends in the letters s, x, z, ch, and sh, you add es to the end to make it plural. This rule is true for words like bus, box, witch, quiz, and brush, for example.
Now, if a noun ends in y, we need to drop the y and add ies to form the plural. Some words that this rule applies to are: baby, city, library, lady, and berry. For nouns that end in f and fe, we need to drop them and add ves. Some examples are wife, calf, elf, loaf, and self. When we have a singular noun that ends in o, we simply add es to make it plural. This is true for words like potato, tomato, mosquito, domino, and hero.
Some nouns follow no specific rules when it comes to pluralization. That’s why they also need to be memorized. Here are the most common single and plural irregular nouns in English:
- child / children
- man / men
- woman / women
- goose/ geese
- person / people
- tooth / teeth
- foot / feet
- mouse / mice
Here are four exercises for you to practice the rules about how to make plural nouns in English.
Exercise 1 – Can you form plurals in English?
Check your understanding of the rules for forming plurals in English with this exercise.
Exercise 2 – Memory game
Match the singular form to the plural form with this memory game.
Exercise 3 – Listening activity
Exercise 4 – Fill in the blanks with the right plural form
How did you do with these English exercises and games? If you want to learn more about plural nouns in English, you should read our in-depth post to learn everything there is to know about plural nouns in English. Also, make sure to read more about unusual plurals.