Plural and singular of countable nouns


A plural noun is the form of a noun used to show there are more than one.

Countable nouns are for things we can count using numbers

  1. If the singular noun ends in s, sh, ch, x, and z we add es to it to form a plural

Dress   – dresses                      Dish     – dishes

Church – churches                   Box      – boxes

Blaze   – brazes                        Axe      – axes

  1. If the singular nouns ends in f or fe the plural is formed by changing the f or fe to v and then adding es or by dropping f or fe and then adding ves.

e.g.      Calf      – calves

Self      – selves

Knife    – knives

Wife    – wives

Thief    – thieves


roof – roofs

belief – beliefs

chef – chefs

chief – chiefs

  1. There are seven nouns in English which form their plural by changing their inside vowel sound.

e.g             Singular          Plural

man     –           men

woman –          women

tooth     –         teeth

foot      –           feet

mouse   –         mice

louse    –           lice

goose   –           geese

  1. If the singular noun ends in ‑o, add ‑es to make it plural.

potato – potatoes

tomato – tomatoes


photo – photos

piano – pianos

halo – halos

With the unique word volcano, you can apply the standard pluralization for words that end in -o or not. It’s your choice! Both of the following are correct:



  1. If a singular noun ends in y and the letter before the -y is a consonant, change the ending to ies to make the noun plural.

e.g       city – cities

puppy – puppies

  1. If the singular noun ends in -y and the letter before the -y is a vowel, simply add an -s to make it

e.g       ray – rays

boy – boys

  1. If the singular noun ends in us, the plural ending is frequently

E.g       cactus – cacti

focus – foci

  1. If the singular noun ends in is, the plural ending is es.

e.g       analysis – analyses

ellipsis – ellipses

  1. If the singular noun ends in on, the plural ending is

e.g       phenomenon – phenomena

criterion – criteria

  1. Some nouns don’t change at all when they’re pluralized.

e.g       sheep – sheep

series – series

species – species

deer –deer

You need to see these nouns in context to identify them as singular or plural. Consider the following sentence:

Mark caught one fish, but I caught three fish

Share This