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.
Most nouns take an -s to form the plural.
- a car – two cars
- Nouns that in in -s, -ch, -x, -z form the plural with -es.
- a box – two boxes
A -z at the end of a noun is also doubled.
- a quiz – two quizzes
- A -y after a consonant becomes -ie before adding -s.
- a city – two cities
- a boy – two boys
- Nouns that end in -o often form the plural with -es.
- a tomato – two tomatoes
But: nouns that end with vowel + o, abbreviations, and nouns that originate from foreign languages form the plural with -s only.
- a radio – two radios
vowel + -oa piano – two pianos
comes from Italiana kilo – two kilos
- Many nouns that end with -f or -fe change to -v before adding -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