The plural of most nouns is formed by adding final –s: song – songs, boy – boys, book – books.
Final –es is added to nouns that end in –sh, -ch, -s, -ss, -x: squash – squashes, bench – benches, class – classes, atlas – atlases, bush – bushes.
The plural of words that end in –z is spelled –zes: quiz – quizzes
The plural of words that end in a consonant + -y is spelled -ies: baby – babies, country – countries, family – families.
Final –s is added to nouns that end in a vowel + -y: boy – boys, key – keys, day – days, guy – guys.
Proper nouns that end in –y just add an –s ending: The last four Januarys have been very cold.
To nouns ending in –o we add –es: hero – heroes, potato – potatoes, tomato – tomatoes, echo – echoes.
Some nouns that in –o add only –s to form the plural: auto – autos, ghetto – ghettos, kangaroo – kangaroos, kilo – kilos, memo – memos, photo – photos, piano – pianos, radio – radios, solo – solos, soprano – sopranos, studio – studios, tattoo – tattoos, video – videos, zoo – zoos, bamboo – bamboos.
Some nouns that in –o add either –es or –s to form the plural (with –es being the more usual plural form): volcano – volcanoes / volcanos, cargo – cargoes / cargos, zero – zeroes / zeros, memento – mementoes / mementos, mosquito – mosquitoes / mosquitos, tornado – tornadoes / tornados.
We change the ending –f or –fe into – ves: calf – calves, half – halves, knife – knives, leaf – leaves, life – lives, loaf – loaves, self – selves, sheaf – sheaves, shelf – shelves, thief – thieves, wife – wives, wolf – wolves.
Some nouns that end in –f simply add –s to form the plural: belief – beliefs, chief – chiefs, cliff – cliffs, roof – roofs, handkerchief – handkerchiefs, kerchief – kerchiefs, proof – proofs.
We add –s or –ves to: hoof – hooves / hoofs, scarf – scarves / scarfs.
Some nouns have irregular plural forms that do not end in –s:
man – men, woman – women, child – children, ox – oxen, foot – feet, goose – geese,
tooth – teeth, mouse – mice, louse – lice, person – people, penny – pence.
Some nouns have the same singular and plural forms: one deer – two deer, one fish – two fish (fishes is also possible, but rarely used), one means – two means, one offspring – two offspring, one series – two series, one sheep – two sheep, one shrimp – two shrimp (shrimps is also possible), one species – two species, one aircraft – two aircraft, one salmon – two salmon, one trout – two trout, one headquarters – two headquarters.
Nationality nouns ending in –ese and –ss have the same singular and plural forms: a Chinese – the Chinese, a Japanese – the Japanese, a Swiss – the Swiss.
Some nouns that English has borrowed from other languages have foreign plurals:
-is changes to –es: analysis – analyses, basis – bases, crisis – crises, hypothesis – hypotheses, oasis – oases, parenthesis – parentheses, thesis – theses, axis – axes;
-us changes to –i: cactus – cacti /cactuses, fungus – fungi, nucleus – nuclei, stimulus – stimuli, syllabus – syllabi / syllabuses, radius – radii (But: crocus – crocuses, octopus – octopuses, walrus – walruses);
-um changes to –a: datum – data, bacterium – bacteria, curriculum – curricula, medium – media, memorandum – memoranda, symposium – symposia (But: stadium – stadiums, album – albums);
-a (but not –ia) is changed to –ae: antenna – antennae, formula – formulae / formulas, vertebra – vertebrae (But: agenda – agendas, banana – bananas, phobia – phobias);
– on (but not – tion) changes to –a: phenomenon – phenomena, criterion – criteria (But: balloon – balloons, carton – cartons).
-ix changes to –ices or –ixes: appendix – appendices / appendixes, index – indices / indexes
Noncount nouns are used only in singular.
This list is a sample of nouns that are commonly used as noncount nouns. Many other nouns can also be used as noncount nouns.
Whole groups made up of similar items: baggage, clothing, equipment, food, fruit, furniture, garbage, hardware, jewelry, junk, luggage, machinery, mail, makeup, money / cash / change, postage, scenery, traffic, etc.
Fluids: water, coffee, tea, milk, oil, soup, gasoline, blood, etc.
Solids: ice, bread, butter, cheese, meat, gold, iron, silver, glass, paper, wood, cotton, wool, etc.
Gases: steam, air, oxygen, nitrogen, smoke, smog, pollution, etc.
Particles: rice, chalk, corn, dirt, dust, flour, grass, hair, pepper, salt, sand, sugar, wheat, etc.
Abstractions: beauty, confidence, courage, education, enjoyment, fun, happiness, health, help, honesty, hospitality, importance, intelligence, justice, knowledge, laughter, luck, music, patience, peace, pride, progress, recreation, significance, sleep, truth, violence, wealth, advice, information, news, evidence, proof, time, space, energy, homework, work, grammar, slang, vocabulary, cloth, etc.
Languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, Spanish, etc.
Fields of study: chemistry, engineering, history, literature, mathematics, psychology, phonetics, economics, mechanics, etc.
Recreation: baseball, athletics, gymnastics, soccer, tennis, chess, bridge, poker, darts, billiards, etc.
Activities: driving, studying, swimming, traveling, walking, etc. (and other gerunds)
Natural phenomena: weather, dew, fog, hail, heat, humidity, lightning, rain, sleet, snow, thunder, wind, darkness, light, sunshine, electricity, fire, gravity, etc.
Often to transform the noncount noun into a count one we may add a piece of: bread – three pieces of bread, furniture – a piece of furniture, luggage – two pieces of luggage, advice – three pieces of advice (три поради), information – a piece of information.
We can use singular or plural verbs with nouns like committee, company, family, government, jury, the public, the youth: What will you be doing while the family is (or are ) on holidays?
We can use only plural verbs with nouns like cattle, the military, people, the police, vermin: The cattle are in the field. There are tоo many people in the world.
Nouns ending in –ics take a singular verb: Mathematics is not the most popular school subject.
Acoustics, economics, phonetics and statistics take a singular verb only when they refer to the academic subject: Statistics is a branch of economics.
Nouns that have a plural form and are followed by a plural verb: glasses (=spectacles), jeans, pants, shorts, trousers, pyjamas, pliers, scissors, tights, binoculars, tongs, scales, clothes, riches, wages, goods, outskirts, premises, stairs, congratulations, lodgings, foundations, authorities, contents, traffic lights, headphones.