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Singular & Plural Nouns

A noun names a person, place, thing, or idea.

Usually, the first page of a grammar book tells you about nouns. Nouns give names of concrete or abstract things in our lives. As babies learn "mom," "dad," or "milk" as their first word, nouns should be the first topic when you study a foreign language.

 

For the plural form of most nouns, add "s".

  • bottle - bottles
  • cup - cups
  • pencil - pencils
  • desk - desks
  • sticker - stickers
  • window - windows

For nouns that end in 'ch', 'x', 's', or 's' sounds, add "es".

  • box - boxes
  • watch - watches
  • moss - mosses
  • bus - buses

For nouns ending in 'f' or 'fe', change 'f' to 'v' and add "es".

  • wolf - wolves
  • wife - wives
  • leaf - leaves
  • life - lives

Some nouns have different plural forms.

  • child - children
  • woman - women
  • man - men
  • mouse - mice
  • goose - geese

Nouns ending in vowels like 'y' or 'o' do not have definite rules.

  • baby - babies
  • toy - toys
  • kidney - kidneys
  • potato - potatoes
  • memo - memos
  • stereo - stereos

A few nouns have the same singular and plural forms.

  • sheep - sheep
  • deer - deer
  • series - series
  • species - species

 

Quiz

Choose the correct form of the noun in each sentence.

1) I have three (child, children).
2) There are five (man, men) and one (woman, women).
3) (Baby, Babies) play with bottles as toys.
4) I put two big (potato, potatoes) in the lunch box.
5) A few men wear (watch, watches).
6) I put a (memo, memos) on the desk.
7) I saw a (mouse, mice) running by.
8) There are few (bus, buses) on the road today.

 

Uncountables Grammar Chart for English Nouns

Count Nouns vs. Non-Count Nouns

Most nouns in the English language change to the plural form when there are more than one noun being counted. However, a few rare nouns are not pluralized - and a few have a rare plural form and each must be memorized separately.

 

Count nouns

Can be counted as one or more.

  • pen, computer, bottle, spoon, desk, cup, television, chair, shoe, finger, flower, camera, stick, balloon, book, table, comb, etc.

 

Take an s to form the plural.

  • pens, computers, bottles, spoons, desks, cups, televisions, chairs, shoes, fingers, flowers, cameras, sticks, balloons, books, tables, combs, etc.

 

Work with expressions such as (a few, few, many, some, every, each, these, and the number of).

  • a few pens, a few computers, many bottles, some spoons, every desk, each cup, these televisions, the number of chairs, a few shoes, a few fingers, many flowers, some cameras, every stick, each balloon, these books, the number of tables, many combs, etc.

 

Work with appropriate articles (a, an, or the).

  • a pen, the computer, a bottle, the spoon, a desk, the cup, a television, the chair, a shoe, the finger, a flower, the camera, a stick, the balloon, a book, the table, a comb, etc.

Do NOT work with much (for example, you would never say much pens or much computers).

 

Non-count Nouns

Cannot be counted. They usually express a group or a type.

  • water, wood, ice, air, oxygen, English, Spanish, traffic, furniture, milk, wine, sugar, rice, meat, flour, soccer, sunshine, etc.

Generally cannot be pluralized.

 

Work both with and without an article (a, an, or the),
depending on the context of the sentence.

  • Sugar is sweet.
  • The sunshine is beautiful.
  • I drink milk.
  • He eats rice.
  • We watch soccer together.
  • The wood is burning.

 

Work with expressions such as (some, any, enough, this, that, and much).

  • We ate some rice and milk.
  • I hope to see some sunshine today.
  • This meat is good.
  • She does not speak much English.
  • Do you see any traffic on the road?
  • That wine is very old.

Do NOT work with expressions such as (these, those, every, each, either, or neither).

 

Quiz

Choose all of the non-count nouns in the following list:

wine, student, pen, water, wind, milk, computer, furniture, cup, rice, box, watch, potato, wood

 

 

Possessive Nouns

Possessive nouns are used to indicate ownership.

 

Possessive nouns usually are formed by adding an apostrophe (') and [s].

  • Tereza's book
  • Tereza's car
  • Witch's mirror

 

When a noun is plural and ends in [s], just add an apostrophe (').

  • The kids' toys
  • My parents' house
  • The teachers' lounge

 

If two people own one thing, add the apostrophe and [s] to the second person only.

  • Brett and Tereza's wedding
  • Brett and Tereza's new home
  • Brett and Tereza's car

 

If two people own separate things, add the apostrophe and [s] for each person.

  • Brett's and Tereza's books
  • Brett's and Tereza's pants
  • Brett's and Tereza's offices

 

Quiz

Which of the following is not correct?

1) Dr. Hunts has a new computer.
2) Dr. Hunts's new computer is working well.
3) Dr. Hunts' computer is new.
4) Dr. Hunts old computer is not working.

 

 

Basic English Grammar Lessons:

  1. Parts of Speech
  2. Vocabulary
  3. Nouns
  4. Pronouns
  5. Verbs
  6. Adjectives
  1. Adverbs
  2. Prepositions
  3. Conjunctions
  4. Articles
  5. Tense
  6. Gerunds
  1. Infinitives
  2. Passive Voice
  3. Mood
  4. Interjections
  5. Capitalization
  6. Punctuation

Learning Conversational English

 

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