The Plural Form of Words
The Plural Form of WordsThe word "plural" means "more than one in number." So, the plural form of the word "cat" is "cats," and the plural form of "mouse" is "mice." (Plural is the opposite of singular.)
The term "plural" does not just apply to nouns (e.g., cats, mice), it also applies to pronouns, determiners, and verbs. For example:
|Word Type||Example in the|
|Example in the|
Forming the Plurals of NounsIn most cases, a noun will form its plural by adding "s" to the singular form. For example:
- 1 dog > 2 dogs
- 1 house > 2 houses
- 1 video > 2 videos
- How to form the plurals of nouns (spelling rules)
- How to form the plurals of compound nouns (e.g., mothers-in-law, Knights Templar)
- How to form the plurals of abbreviations (e.g., MOTs, L.R.S.s)
What Are the Plural Pronouns?The plural personal pronouns are "we," "you," and "they." They contrast with the singular personal pronouns, which are "I," "you," "he," "she," and "it." (NB: The personal pronoun "you" can be both singular or plural. That's because you can say "you" to mean one person or several.)
Here are the personal pronouns in a table with their full names (plural pronouns shaded):
|I||first person singular|
|You||second person singular|
|He / She / It||third person singular|
|We||first person plural|
|You||second person plural|
|They||third person plural|
What Is the Plural Form of a Verb?The plural form of a verb is the form that fits with a plural subject. Look at these examples (the plural verbs are shaded):
|I||first person singular||I ate||I eat||I will eat|
|You||second person singular||You ate||You eat||You will eat|
|He / She / It||third person singular||He ate||He eats||He will eat|
|We||first person plural||We ate||We eat||We will eat|
|You||second person plural||You ate||You eat||You will eat|
|They||third person plural||They ate||They eat||They will eat|
The English language is quite unusual because the singular and plural forms of verbs in each tense are identical. The only exception is the third-person-singular form in the present tense (shown in red). This is the main reason why English is easy for foreigners to learn. In many other languages, there would be a different spelling in every single box in the table above.
Read more about subject-verb agreement.
What Are Plural Demonstrative Determiners?The demonstrative determiners (called demonstrative adjectives in traditional grammar) are "this," "that," "these," and "those."
The singular ones are "this" and "that." The plural ones are "these" and "those."
This is worth knowing because "these" and "those" must be paired with a plural word. In others, you cannot say:
- These kind of things.
- These kinds of things.
Forming the Plurals of Foreign WordsWords "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
"Plural" Also Applies to ZeroSomewhat counter-intuitively, the word "plural" also applies to zero. Look at this list.
- 0 dogs (plural)
- 1 dog (singular)
- 2 dogs (plural)
- 3 dogs (plural)
- There are no alligators in the lake. (Note that "no" attracts the plural verb "are" and the plural noun "alligators.")