Nouns in English grammar can be used in their singular or plural form. We use singular nouns when there is just one of something, and plural nouns when there is more than one. Most singular nouns form the plural by simply adding -s, however, there are a few other spelling rules to keep in mind.
Learn the spelling rules for English plural nouns with Lingolia’s online grammar explanations. Then test your knowledge in the exercises.
For most nouns, we simply add an -s to make the plural.
- a car – two cars
- If the noun ends with a unvoiced consonant (-s, -ch, -x, -z), we add -es.
- a box – two boxes
- a quiz – two quizzes
- If the noun ends with a consonant + -y, then the y becomes -ie when adding -s.
- a city – two cities
- a boy – two boys
- If the noun ends with -o, we often add -es.
- a tomato – two tomatoes
- a radio – two radios
vowel + -oa piano – two pianos
comes from Italiana kilo – two kilos
- For many nouns that end with -f or -fe, we change the -f to a -v and add -es.
- a wolf – two wolves
- a knife – two knives
- a wife – two wives
- (but e.g.: a roof – two roofs)
Irregular Plural Endings
Some nouns have special plural forms that need to be learned separately. Below is a list of common English nouns with irregular plural endings:
- a man – two men
- a woman – two women
- a child – two children
- a mouse – two mice
- a foot – two feet
- a person – two people
No Plural Ending
Some nouns have the same form in the plural as they do in the singular. For example:
- some nouns whose singular form ends with -s (e.g. crossroads, headquarters, means, series, species, Swiss)
- a species – two species
- means of transportation that end with craft
- an aircraft – two aircraft
- certain animals (e.g. deer, fish, salmon, sheep, trout)
- a sheep – two sheep