Spelling Rules of Plural Nouns

Sources

Overview of Rules

Group Rule Exceptions
in general adding s
ends in s, ss, sh, ch, x or z adding es
ends in a VOWEL+y adding s
ends in a CONSONANT+y changing to ies
ends in f or fe changing to ves
ends in a CONSONANT+o adding es yes
ends in is changing to es
ends in us changing to i
irregular
irregular (no change)

Rules with Details

  1. To make regular nouns plural, add ‑s to the end.
  2. If the singular noun ends in ‑s, -ss, -sh, -ch, -x, or -z, add ‑es to the end to make it plural.
    1. exceptions: In some cases, singular nouns ending in -s or -z, require that you double the -s or -z prior to adding the -es for pluralization.
      1. quiz: quizzes
      2. gas: gasses or gases
      3. fez: fezzes
  3. If the noun ends with ‑f or ‑fe, the f is often changed to ‑ve before adding the -s to form the plural version.
    1. exceptions
      1. roof: roofs
      2. belief: beliefs
      3. chef: chefs
      4. chief: chiefs
  4. If a singular noun ends in ‑y and the letter before the -y is a consonant, change the ending to ‑ies to make the noun plural.
    1. i.e., -y is a vowel
  5. If the singular noun ends in -y and the letter before the -y is a vowel, simply add an -s to make it plural.
    1. i.e., -y is part of a vowel
  6. If the singular noun ends in ‑o, add ‑es to make it plural.
    1. exceptions
      1. photo: photos
      2. piano: pianos
      3. halo: halos
      4. volcano: volcanoes, volcanos
  7. If the singular noun ends in ‑us, the plural ending is frequently ‑i.
    1. examples
      1. cactus: cacti
      2. focus: coci
    2. exceptions
      1. octupus: octupuses (from Greek not Latin)
      2. walrus: walruses
  8. If the singular noun ends in ‑on, the plural ending is ‑a.
    1. examples
      1. phenomenon: phenomena
      2. criterion: criteria
  9. Some nouns don’t change at all when they’re pluralized.
    1. examples
      1. series: series
      2. species: species
      3. sheep: sheep
      4. deer: deer
      5. fish: fish
  10. Irregular Nouns
    1. examples
      1. child: children
      2. goose: geese
      3. man: men
      4. woman: women
      5. tooth: teeth
      6. foot: feet
      7. mouse: mice
      8. person: people
      9. ox: oxen

* cached version, generated at 2021-10-31 20:56:11 UTC.

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