Number

Number

In grammar, the number refers to the count of a noun or pronoun.
Example:   Boy-boys, wife-wives, my-our, ox-oxen, it-they, etc.

Types of Number:

Two types exist

  • Singular Number
  • Plural Number

Singular Number

It refers to the count of only one of a noun or pronoun.

Example: pen, table, aunt, father, goose, etc.

Plural Number

It refers to the count of more than one of a noun or pronoun.

Example: pens, tables, aunts, fathers, geese, etc.

How to change number

Numerous RULES are there to change the number from singular to plural. They are as follows-

Rule 1:

In general “s” is used at the end of a singular noun to make it plural

Example:

SingularPlural
PencilPencils
CowCows
HouseHouses
DogDogs
MobileMobiles

Rule 2:

If  there exist s, sh, ch, x and z in the end, “es” gets to be used.

Examples:

SingularPlural
BusBuses
DishDishes
BranchBranches
FoxFoxes
FezFezes

 Rule 3:

While  pronunciation of ch is like “k”, just “s” is added at the end

Example:

SingularPlural
MonarchMonarchs
PatriarchPatriarchs
MatriarchMatriarchs
StomachStomachs
HierarchHierarchs

Part 1: when there’s a “y” in the end  and a Consonant before that “y”, “i” substitutes it  and an “es” thereafter.

Example:

SingularPlural
StoryStories
HobbyHobbies
ArmyArmies
FlyFlies
BabyBabies

Part 2: but if there’s a vowel ahead of  that “y”, no need to change it, only “s” to add.

Example
SingularPlural
DonkeyDonkeys
ToyToys
DayDays
JoyJoys
PlayPlays

Rule 4:

“v” replaces f or fe and then adds an “es” to finish it.

Example:

SingularPlural
thiefThieves
WifeWives
KnifeKnives
WolfWolves
LeafLeaves

Part 1“es” to be added if the noun is finished by “o” and a consonant places ahead.

Example:

singularPlural
HeroHeroes
MangoMangoes
ZeroZeroes
PotatoPotatoes
EchoEchoes

Part 2: but when there’s a vowel before that “o”, only “s” is enough.

Example

SingularPlural
CuckooCuckoos
BambooBamboos
StudioStudios
PortfolioPortfolios
CameoCameos

Exception 1:  though there’s an “o” and a consonant ahead of  it, some nouns use only “s”.

Example:

SingularPlural
PhotoPhotos
PianoPianos
RadioRadios
Canto                Cantos
Memo                Memos

Exception 2: for some, “s” and “es” both are correct.

SingularPlural
MosquitoMosquitos/mosquitoes
CommandoCommandos/commandoes
PorticoPorticos/porticoes
CalicoCalicos/calicoes
MementoMementos/mementoes

Rule 5:

Some require changing the middle-vowel of the word to make it plural.

Example:

SingularPlural
ManMen
WomanWomen
FootFeet
MouseMice
ToothTeeth

Rule 6:

Some  require en, ren and ne to add at last.

Example:

Singularplural
OxOxen
ChildChildren
BrotherBrethren (brothers also correct)
CowKine (cows also correct)
SisterSistren (sisters also correct)

Part 1:if “man” means human being in a compound noun(a  noun that contains two or more words that jointly make a single noun), “men”replaces that “man”.

Example:

singularplural
FishermanFishermen
WorkmanWorkmen
BoatmanBoatmen
Man-of-warMen-of-war
Salesmansalesmen

Part 2: but when “man” is just a part of the word, or it  refers to any ethnic group, race or civilian, there comes “s”.

SingularPlural
MussalmanMussalmans
BrahmanBrahmans
GermanGermans
NormanNormans

Rule 7:

“s” to be added when there’s a “ful” in the end.

Example:

singularplural
HandfulHandfuls
Mouthfulmouthfuls
SpoonfulSpoonfuls
armfulArmfuls
cupfulcupfuls

Part 1: If compound noun contains several words,  “s” comes to join  with the main part of that noun.

Example:

SingularPlural
Brother-in-lawBrothers-in-law
Passers-byPassers-by
Step-brotherStep-brothers
Commander-in-chiefCommanders-in-chief
Maid-servantMaid-servants

Part 2: in some cases,“s”comes in every part to make it so.

Example:

SingularPlural
Lord-justiceLords-justices
Man-servantMen-servants
Woman-servantWomen-servants

Rule 8:

Besides, adding “s” only  in the end gets it done for few.

Example:

SingularPlural
Book-shelfBook-shelves
Book-caseBook-cases
Major-generalMajor-generals
Poet-lauretePoet-lauretes
Forget-me-notForget-me-nots

Rule 9:

Some singular nouns have no plural form, only used in singular.

Example:

Furniture
Scenery
Issue
Bread
expenditure

Rule 9:

Adversely, some  are always used as a plural form.

Example:

Mumps
Scissors
Trousers
Spectacles
Assets

Rule 10:

Though some nouns seem like singular, but actually they are plural.

Example:

Government
Peasantry
People
Cattle
Mankind

Rule 11:

Similarly, some nouns seem like plural though they are singular.

Example:

Physics
Politics
Ethics
News
Wages

Rule 12:

Some have the same singular and plural form.

Example:

Deer
Sheep
Species
Corps
Canon

Rule 12:

In case of letters, numbers and other symbols, it takes an apostrophe and s to change it.

Example:

Sam, write your g’s and y’s clearly.
John, add two 5’s and three 8’s.

Rule 13:

There is no specific rule for changing the number of pronouns. It’s all about memorizing.

Singularpluralsingularplural
IWeHim/herThem
MyOurYourYour
MineOursThisThese
MeUsThatThose
YouYouItThey
He/shetheyHis/hertheir
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