I. Forming Plural Nouns
a. Common and proper nouns generally add “s” to form the plural.
Examples: dogs, houses, papers, Smiths
b. Nouns that end in a sibilant (hissing) sound, add “es”.
These consonants include: (soft "ch", "s", "sh", "ss", "x", and "z")
Examples: biases, lasses, dishes, birches, boxes, quizzes
c. Nouns ending in “o” add “s” or “es”.
1. The plurals of most nouns ending in an "o" that's preceded by a vowel are formed by adding "s".
2. The plurals of most nouns ending in an "o" that's preceded by a consonant are formed by adding "es".
3. Exceptions: All musical terms ending in an "o" form plurals by adding only an "s".
4. Some nouns ending in “o” may add either “es” or “s”.The words in bold are www.merriam-webster.com's preferred spelling.
5. These do not follow the consonant rule and need to be memorized.
6. Some nouns are the same in both singular and plural form and will also need to be memorized.
|stone (British weight measurement)||stone|
Anytime there is uncertainty as to which rule or exception to use, consult a dictionary.
These examples are not comprehensive, nor is the challenge meant to be comprehensive.
Forming Nouns Challenge - Part 1B
What is a noncount noun?
Noncount (or uncountable) nouns exist as masses or abstract quantities that cannot be counted. They have no plural form. Although most English nouns are count nouns, noncount nouns frequently occur in academic writing.
Here are some common categories of noncount nouns. Like all things in English (and language in general), there may be exceptions.
A mass:work, equipment, homework, money, transportation, clothing, luggage, jewelry, traffic
A natural substance: air, ice, water, fire, wood, blood, hair, gold, silver
Food: milk, rice, coffee, bread, sugar, meat, water
An abstract concept: advice, happiness, health, education, research, knowledge, information, time
A game: soccer, tennis, basketball, hockey, football, chess, checkers
A disease: diabetes, measles, polio, influenza, malaria, hypothyroidism, arthritis
A subject of study: economics, physics, astronomy, biology, history, statistics
A language: Arabic, Chinese, Spanish, English
An activity (in the –ing form): swimming, dancing, reading, smoking, drinking, studying
Important: Noncount nouns do not use the indefinite articles a/an. They can, however, use the definite article the if what is being referred to is specific. They can also use no article if what is being referred to is general (generic) or nonspecific. Please see our page on article usage for more information.