forming plurals (table of endings)

Our most common search themes:
apostrophe
semicolon
adjective
verb


This page shows the spelling rules for forming plurals in English.

Forming Plurals

Tabulated below are the rules for forming the plurals of most nouns:

Type Example of Type Forming the Plural Plural
Most Nouns lamp
scythe
add s lamps
scythes
Noun Ending s, sh, ch, x or z dress add es dresses
Nouns ending [consonant] o hero
zero
tomato
add either s or es
(There are no rules for this - you have to know.)
heroes
zeros
tomatoes
Nouns ending [vowel] o patio
ratio
add s patios
ratios
Nouns ending [consonant] y story
penny
change the y to an i and add es stories
pennies
Nouns ending [vowel] y storey ()
donkey
add s storeys
donkeys
Nouns ending f or fe dwarf
hoof
ves and/or s
(There are no rules - you have to know.)
dwarfs
hooves or hoofs
Exceptions man
louse
some nouns undergo a vowel or letters change men
lice
More exceptions salmon
sheep
some nouns do not change at all salmon
sheep

Words Taken from Foreign Languages

Words "stolen" from other languages form their plurals in a variety of ways.

Examples:

stadium > stadia or stadiums
(Through common usage, the plural stadiums is acceptable too.)

datum > data

radius > radii or radiuses
(Through common usage, the plural radiuses is acceptable too.)

agendum > agenda


More Free Help...

All the lessons and tests on Grammar Monster are free. Here's some more free help:

Follow Us on Twitter Follow us on Twitter
Like us on Facebook Follow us on Facebook
by Craig Shrives Follow us on Google+
mail tip Sign up for our daily tip emails
Chat about grammar Ask a grammar question
Search Search this site

Buy Some Help...

Too busy to read everything on Grammar Monster? Here are the paid services we recommend to learn grammar and to keep your writing error free:

Paste your text into Grammarly's online interface for corrections and recommendations. (Free trial available)

Press F2 while using Word, PowerPoint, etc., for corrections and recommendations. (Free trial available)

Send your text to a trained editor and grammar geek for checking. (Free trial available)

Learn English (or another language) with a state-of-the-art program. (Free trial available)

Buy Our Book...

Buy "Grammar Rules: Writing with Military Precision" by Craig Shrives (founder of Grammar Monster).


More info...