In English Grammar, the number denotes to the count of noun, or pronoun. There are two types of number; singular number and plural number.
Singular number denotes one noun or pronoun. In other word, if the noun or pronoun refers to one person or things, then it is called singular number.
Example: Boy, Girl, pen, man, table, aunt, cat, goose, etc.
Plural number denotes more than one noun or pronoun. In other world, if the noun or pronoun refers to more than one person or things, then it is called plural number.
Example: Boys, Girls, pens, men, tables, aunts, cats, geese, etc.
Rules to change singular number to plural number:
1. Generally “s” is used at the end of a singular noun to make it plural
Examples: Ant - Ants Book - Books Chair – Chairs Desk – Desks House – Houses Road - Roads Shop – Shops Teacher – Teachers
2. If there is s, sh, ch, x and z in the end of singular nouns, then “es” are added to make it plural.
Examples: Box - Boxes Class – Classes Dish - Dishes Gas – Gases Fish – Fishes Match – Matches Watch - Watches Tax – Taxes
If the pronunciation of “ch” is “k”, then only “s” gets to be used to make it plural.
Examples: Arch – Archs Monarch – Monarchs Patriarch - Patriarchs Stomach – Stomachs
3. If there is a “y” in the end of the noun and before “y” there is a consonant, then “y” gets replaced with “I” and “es” gets in used thereafter.
Examples: Body – Bodies Cry - Cries Diary - Diaries Family - Families Lady – Ladies Pony - Ponies Story – Stories
4. If there is a “y” in the end of the noun and before “y” there is a vowel, then only “s” is added to make them plural.
Example: Boy – Boys Day – Days Holiday - Holidays Key – Keys Monkey – Monkeys Play – Plays Ray - Rays Toy – Toys Way – Ways
5. When there is “o” in the end of the noun and before “o” there is a consonant, then only “es” is added to make them plural.
Examples: Buffalo – Buffaloes Echo - Echoes Hero – Heroes Mango – Mangoes Negro - Negroes Potato – Potatoes Tomato – Tomatoes
Exception: Canto - Cantos Photo – Photos Piano – Pianos Ratio - Ratios
6. When there is “o” in the end of the noun and before “o” there is a vowel, then only “s” is added to make them plural.
Examples: Bamboo – Bamboos Cuckoo – Cuckoos Folio – Folios Radio – Radios
Exceptions: Some noun can be converted to plural by adding both “s” or “es”.
Examples: Calico – Calicos/Calicoes Commando – Commandos/Commandoes Memento – Mementos/Mementoes Mosquito – Mosquitos/Mosquitoes Portico – Porticos/Porticoes
7. When there is “f” or “fe” at the end of the noun, then “f” or “fe” is replaced with “v” and “es” is added to make it plural.
Example: Calf – Calves Half – Halves Knife – Knives Life - Lives Self – Selves Thief – Thieves
Exceptions: Belief - Beliefs Chief – Chiefs Cliff – Cliffs Dwarf – Dwarfs Grief - Griefs Gulf - Gulfs Handkerchief - Handkerchiefs Mischief - Mischiefs Proof – Proofs Roof – Roofs Safe – Safes Strife – Strifes
8. Some singular noun requires changes in internal vowel in order to convert them into plural.
Examples: Foot – Feet Goose – Geese Louse - Lice Man – Men Mouse - Mice Tooth – Teeth Woman – Women
9. Some noun requires “en” or “ren” to be added to be plural.
Examples: Child - Children Ox – Oxen
10. Compound noun can be converted in plural generally by changing the main noun in plural.
Examples: Brother-in-law – Brothers-in-law Father-in-law – Fathers-in-law Mother-in-law – Mothers-in-law Son-in-law – Sons-in-law Boy-friend – Boy-friends Girl-friend – Girl-friends
Exceptions: Some compound noun needs to be changed in both parts.
Examples: Man-servant – Men-servants Woman-servant – Women-servants Man-doctor – Men-doctors Woman-doctor – Women-doctors
11. Some noun can be used as a singular and plural without any changes.
Examples: Brace Deer Innings Pair Police Series Sheep
12. Some nouns are used only in plural forms
Examples: Alms Ashes Auspicious Athletics Bowles Cards Classes Riches Scales Scissors Spectacles Thanks Trousers
13. Some nouns seems like singular, but used as a plural.
Examples: Cattle Folk Infantry People Police Public
14. Some nouns are used only as a singular.
Examples: Advice Alphabets Economics Expenditure Furniture Mathematics Machinery Music Politics Physics Stationary
15. Pronouns are used as a singular and plural in accordance with their forms.
Pronouns used as singular: Anybody, Each, I, Mine, Myself, It, Itself, He, His, Himself, She, Her, Herself, Nobody, Someone, Yourself, etc.
Pronouns used as plural: Both, Ours, Ourselves, Many, They, Themselves, These, We, Us, Yourselves, etc.
Pronoun used as both singular and plural: All, None, Some, What, Which, Who, Whose, etc.