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Noun: Number (Basic)

English

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Singular Number

A noun that denotes one person or thing is said to be in the singular number.
For example: tree, book, animal, father

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Plural Number

A noun that denotes more than one person or thing is said to be in the plural number.
For example:  trees, animals, books, mothers

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Formation of Plural Nouns by Adding '-s'

Plural nouns may be formed by adding -s to the singular noun.
For example:
Singular - boy; Plural - boys
Singular - table; Plural - tables
Singular - dog; Plural - dogs

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Formation of Plural Nouns by Adding '-es'

Plural Nouns may be formed by adding -es to singular nouns which end with s, sh, ch, or x.
For example:
Singular - branch; Plural - branches
Singular - latch; Plural - latches
Singular - box; Plural - boxes

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Formation of Plural Nouns by Adding '-es' to Nouns Ending in 'o'

Plural nouns may be formed by adding -es to nouns ending in -o.
For example:
Singular - buffalo; Plural - buffaloes
Singular - tomato; Plural - tomatoes
Singular - tornado; Plural - tornadoes

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Formation of Plural Nouns by Adding '-s' to Nouns Ending in 'o'

Plural nouns may be formed by adding -s to nouns ending in -o.
Eg:
Singular - photo; Plural - photos
Singular - logo; Plural - logos
Singular - piano; Plural - pianos

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Formation of Plural Nouns by Changing 'fe' or 'f' to 'ves'

Plural nouns may be formed by changing a noun ending in 'f' or 'fe' to 'ves'.
For example:
Singular - half; Plural - halves
Singular - knife; Plural - knives
Singular - leaf; Plural - leaves

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Formation of Plural Nouns Ending in 'fe' or 'fe' in other cases

Some nouns ending in 'f' or 'fe' take either 'ves' or 's' as their plural forms.
For example:
Singular - dwarf; Plural - dwarfs or dwarves
Singular - hoof; Plural - hoofs or hooves
Singular - scarf; Plural - scarfs or scarves

For some nouns ending in 'f' or 'fe', the plural noun is formed by adding an 's'.
For example:
Singular - chief; Plural - chiefs
Singular - handkerchief; Plural - handkerchiefs
Singular - cliff; Plural - cliffs

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Formation of Plural Nouns by Changing 'y' to 'ies'

Plural nouns may be formed for nouns ending in -y preceded by a consonant by changing -y to -ies.
For example:
Singular - army; Plural - armies
Singular - story; Plural - stories
Singular - city; Plural - cities

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Formation of Plural Nouns by Changing the Inside Vowels

Plural nouns may be formed by changing the inside vowels of the singular nouns.
For example:
Singular - man; Plural - men
Singular - goose; Plural - geese
Singular - tooth; Plural - teeth

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Formation of Plural Nouns by Adding 'en'

Plural nouns may be formed from singular nouns by adding 'en' to the singular.
For example:
Singular - ox; Plural - oxen
Singular - child; Plural - children

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Formation of Plural Nouns by Keeping the Singular Noun Unchanged

Some nouns remain unchanged in the singular and plural forms.
For example:
Singular - sheep; Plural - sheep
Singular - deer; Plural - deer
Singular - aircraft; Plural - aircraft

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Nouns Used Only in the Plural

Some nouns are used only in the plural.
For example: scissors, spectacles, suspenders, jeans, shorts, thanks, tidings

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Nouns that Look Plural but are Singular

Some nouns look plural but are, in fact, singular.
For example: mathematics, billiards, news

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Collective Nouns Used as Plurals

Some collective nouns are used as plurals though they are singular in form.
For example: poultry, cattle, people

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Plurals of Compound Nouns

The plural of compound nouns is formed by adding 's' to the principal word or by making the principal word plural in some other way.
For example:
Singular - father-in-law; Plural - fathers-in-law
Singular - passer-by; Plural - passers-by
Singular - salesman; Plural - salesmen

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Plurals of Words from Other Languages

Nouns from other foreign languages keep their original plural form.
For example:
From Latin -
Singular - index; Plural - indices
From Greek -
Singular - crisis; Plural - crises
From Italian -
Singular - bandit; Plural - banditti
From French -
Singular - madame; Plural - mesdames
From Hebrew -
Singular - seraph; Plural - seraphim

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Nouns with Two Plural Forms with Different Meanings

Some nouns have two plural forms with somewhat different meanings.
For example:
Singular - brother; Plural - brothers (sons of the same parent) or brethren (fellow members of a society or community)
Singular - cloth; Plural - cloths (pieces of cloth) or clothes (garments)

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Nouns with Two Meanings in the Singular and One in the Plural

Some nouns have two meanings in the singular and only one in the plural.
For example:
Singular - light (radiance or a lamp); Plural - lights (lamps)
Singular - people (men and women or a nation); Plural - peoples (nations)

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Nouns with One Meaning in the Singular and Two in the Plural

Some nouns have one meaning in the singular and two meanings in the plural.
For example:
Singular - colour (hue); Plural - colours (hues or the flag of a regiment)
Singular - quarter (fourth part); Plural - quarters (fourth parts or lodgings)

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Nouns with Different Meanings in the Singular and Plural

Some nouns have different meanings in the singular and the plural.
For example:
Singular - air (atmosphere); Plural - airs (affected manners)
Singular - iron (a kind of metal); Plural - irons (fetters/chains)

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Plurals of Letters and Numbers

Plurals may be formed from letters or numbers by adding an apostrophe and an 's.'
For example: The k's in the document are lightly printed.
Mind your p's and q's.
There are three 5's in fifteen.

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Plurals of Abstract Nouns

Abstract nouns usually have no plurals. They are considered uncountable nouns.
For example: love, hope, patience
However, abstract nouns may occasionally appear in the plural. In these cases, they are being used as countable nouns.
For example:
loves - meaning, many things that are loved
hopes - meaning, many things that are hoped for

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Noun Number Agreement

The number of nouns in a sentence must agree with other nouns and verbs in the same sentence. Questions regarding this will test you in the case of words like 'neither', 'either', 'both' and lists.
For example:
Neither John nor Barry is good at carpentry.
In this case, because 'neither' is used, the verb must take a singular form, i.e. 'is'.

Violet, indigo, blue and red are all colours in the rainbow.
In this case, the sentence refers to several colours, therefore the verb should be plural, i.e. 'are', and the following nouns should also be plural, i.e. 'colours'.

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Number in the case of 'More Than One'

The phrase 'more than one' is always followed by a singular noun.
For example:
More than one dress in the cupboard needs to be ironed.
He placed more than one vegetable in his fridge.

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Number in the Case of 'One Of'

The phrase 'one of' is always followed by a noun in the plural.
For example:
One of the men refused to sign the document.
He visited one of his neighbours last Tuesday.