Nouns plural

Nouns can be singular (one only) or plural (more than one). To make most nouns plural add s at the end of them, e.g. gardens, chairs, cups, papers, girls. However there are some exceptions.

General rules for making words plural

Words ending in:





add 's'

houses, games, tables



add 's'

cuckoos, igloos, zoos


'ch', 'sh', 's', 'ss' or 'x'

add 'es'

churches, glasses, foxes, dishes



add 'es'

tomatoes, heroes, volcanoes

photos, pianos, radios, kilos

'a' vowel and 'y' (e.g. 'ay', 'ey', 'oy' )

add 's'

keys, boys, monkeys


a consonant + 'y' (e.g. 'phy', 'ly', 'gy', 'ty', 'fy', 'py', 'ky', 'by', 'ry')

change the 'y' to 'i' and add 'es'

story – stories, sky – skies, baby – babies, family – families, trophy – trophies


'f' or 'fe'

change the 'f' to 'v' and add 'es'

shelf – shelves, loaf – loaves,

roof – roofs, cliff – cliffs, chief – chiefs

Other interesting plurals

Some words remain the same for singular and plural

For example:

  • sheep
  • bread
  • weather
  • paper
  • grapefruit
  • information.

Some words are always plural

For example:

  • trousers
  • scissors
  • tweezers
  • politics
  • riches
  • police
  • news.

Some words have a different form for the plural

For example:

  • tooth – teeth
  • mouse – mice
  • woman – women
  • man – men
  • child – children.

Compound nouns usually have the base word as a plural

For example:

  • handbags
  • brothers-in-law
  • runners-up
  • lookers-on
  • cupfuls
  • spoonfuls
  • bucketfuls.


  • Teaching and learning

Business Unit:

  • Communication and Engagement
Return to top of page Back to top