Do you know why and when we add -ies, -ves, -s and -es to the plural nouns?
Here are some of the most important plural spelling rules:
1. Regular Plurals : add -s to regular plurals. Adding an s is all you need to do to form a regular plural. It is so easy !!
file/files, centre/centres, girl/girls, pen/pens, computer/computers.
2. Words ending in -ch, -s, -sh, -x, -z : we add -es. Words ending in -ch, -s, -sh, -x, -z add -es to form a plural. *
wash/washes, box/boxes, match/matches, glass/glasses
* There's one exception to this rule. If the -ch ending is pronounced with a 'k' then add -s. (stomach/stomachs)
3. Words ending in -f or -fe : changing to -ves. The words ending in -f or -fe change to -ves or -s * - **
knife/knives, life/lives, wife/wives, shelf/shelves
* exceptions: we add -s to these words: roof/roofs, proof/proofs, chief/chiefs.
** These words could be either -ves or -s : scarf/scarves or scarfs, dwarf/dwarves or dwarfs.
4. Words ending in Y : change -y to -ies or -s.
a. If the word ends in a vowel -a,e,i,o,u, + y then just add -s.
boy/boys, journey/journeys, key/keys, play/plays.
b. If the word ends in a consonant + y then it changes to -ies.
country/countries, baby/babies, body/bodies, memory/memories.
5. Words ending in O : we add -s or -es to words ending in O.
You can either add an -s or -es to words ending in -O or sometimes they're spelt either way.
a. If a word ends in a vowel -a,e,i,o,u + -O then we sometimes add -s.
radio/radios, stereo/stereos, video/videos
b. If a words ends in consonant + -O then we sometimes add -s or -es.
No rules for this - you just have to learn them or use a dictionary.
kilo/kilos, zero/zeros, piano/pianos, photo/photos
but hero/heroes, potato/potatoes, volcano/volcanoes, tomato/tomatoes.
6. Irregular plurals
a woman / some women, a man / 5 men, a child / children, a person / people, louse / lice
a tooth / teeth, a foot / feet, a mouse / mice, a penny / pence, a goose / geese, an ox / oxen
7. No change between plural and singular.
There are some words that are the same in the plural as in the singular:
sheep, series, fish, cod, salmon, aircraft, cattle, scissors, deer, trousers.
8. Latin and Greek plural forms
Some nouns of Latin and Greek origin have kept their own plural endings. The plural ending "es" as in the word "analyses" is pronounced [i:z], the ending "i" as in the word "alumni" is pronounced [ai], the ending "ae" as in "vertebrae" is pronounced [i:].
analysis / analyses, basis / bases, crisis / crises, diagnosis / diagnoses, hypothesis / hypotheses, thesis / theses, corpus / corpora, cactus / cacti, nucleus / nuclei, datum / data, phenomenon / phenomena, criterion / criteria, fungus / fungi, oasis / oases