Plural of Rice

by Craig Shrives
The Quick Answer
Rice is a mass noun. It has no plural form.

The Plural of Rice

Rice is a mass noun. It has no plural form.
  • Rice was introduced to Europe through Western Asia.
  • Rice is typically rinsed before cooking to remove excess starch.

Are You Good at Plurals?

Here's a quick test.
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The Standard Rules for Forming the Plurals

The table below shows the standard rules for forming the plurals of nouns in English.
Type Example of Type Forming the Plural Plural
Most Nouns cat
scythe
add s cats
scythes
Noun Ending s, sh, ch, x or z bus
dress
add es buses
dresses
Nouns ending [consonant] o mango
zero
tomato
add either s or es
(There are no rules for this - you have to know.)
mangoes or mangos
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
Mass nouns rice
flour
some nouns do not have a plural form
rice
flour
Nouns ending f or fe dwarf
knife
ves and/or s
(There are no rules - you have to know.)
dwarfs
knives
Exceptions goose
louse
some nouns undergo a vowel or letters change geese
lice
More exceptions salmon
sheep
some nouns do not change at all salmon
sheep

Why Is There Confusion over the Plural of Rice?

Confusion arises because rice is a mass noun. A mass noun is a noun without a plural form. They refer to items that can't be counted (e.g., music, milk, chalk).
Another Interactive Exercise
Here are three randomly selected questions from another exercise on plurals, which can be edited, printed to create an exercise worksheet, or sent via email to friends or students.

See Also

Unusual pluralsPlural forming table Quirks with forming plurals Forming the plurals of abbreviations Forming the plurals of compound nouns