Irregular nouns form plurals in unusual ways. Dictionaries will give you the plural spelling if it is irregular.
One person => two people
One goose => two geese
One louse => two lice
One mouse => two lice
Some nouns are spelled the same way whether they are singular or plural.
One cod => two cod
One quail => two quail
One fish => two fish
Nouns with Latin and Greek origins form plurals in strange ways. Because Latin and Greek plural endings are so unusual, many people try to follow the English rules by adding s or es. Applying the English rules is acceptable for some nouns, but using the original spelling is usually better. You will notice in the chart below that nouns with the same endings form plurals in the same way every time. Impress your friends and family by knowing the correct forms.
|-a => -ae||–us => -i||-is => -es||-on ⇒ -a and -ie ⇒ -ce|
|Alga => algae||Radius => radii||Basis => bases||Zoon => zoa|
|Larva => larvae||Stimulus => stimuli||Thesis => theses||Automaton => automata|
|Nebula => nebulae||Syllabus => syllabi||Ellipsis => ellipsis||Polyherdon => polyherda|
|Focus => foci||Oasis => oases||Ortacerdon => ortahedra|
|Synthesis => syntheses|
Some nouns exist only in the plural form.
|Note: This is not a complete list.|
Hint: Many people think that you have to use an apostrophe + s when making years plural, but most style guides actually suggest that you leave out the apostrophe.
The Industrial Revolution took place between the late 1700s and early 1800s. I was born in the ’90s. (Notice how the apostrophe in ’90s comes before the number. That’s because the apostrophe is being used to replace the 19 in 1990s. It has nothing to do with whether the number is plural or not.)
Find out irregular plural nouns from example for exercise.
- The boys were throwing baseballs back and forth between bases.
- Our horses are much happier wearing lightweight English sadless.
- There are mice in the kitchen.
- The women in my reading club are very good friends of mine.
- When I arrived home I had to change my clothes.
- Yesterday at the mall I bought a pair of pants.
- The fish we ordered was delicious.
- The men in the room are making me nervous.
- I broke my foot riding bicycle.
- My children are in the school.