The Noun and its Number
SINGULAR AND PLURAL NUMBER
Nouns have two forms: Singular and Plural.
A Noun is said to be Singular (or in the Singular Number) if it refers to one person or thing.
The Nouns-goat, boy, bus, river, doll, knife, baby, photo are Singular.
A Noun is said to be Plural (or in the Plural Number) if it refers to more than one person or thing.
The Nouns goats, boys, buses, rivers, dolls, knives, babies, photos are Plural.
MAKING NOUNS PLURAL
We can make the plural of singular nouns in different ways:
1. By adding ‘s’ to the singular noun.
Examples: book-books, cow-cows, boy-boys, Eskimo-Eskimos, rose-roses.
2. By adding-es’ to singular nouns ending with ‘o’, ‘s’, ‘ss’, ‘x’, ‘sh’ or ‘ch’.
Examples: gas-gases, box-boxes, brush-brushes, potato potatoes, bench-benches, church-churches, hero-heroes, dish-dishes, watch watches, glass-glasses, bunch-bunches.
3. By changing ‘y’ at the end of a singular noun into “-ies’.
Examples: baby-babies, lady-ladies, copy-copies, story-stories, fairy-fairies, country-countries, army-armies, duty-duties, pony ponies, fly-flies, reply-replies, city-cities, family-families.
4. By changing ‘for or ‘fee at the end of a singular noun into ‘-ves’.
Examples: leaf leaves, wife-wives, thief thieves, loaf-loaves, shelf shelves, scarf-scarves, calf-calves, life-lives, half-halves, wolf wolves, knife-knives.
5. By changing the vowels.
Examples: tooth-teeth, foot-feet, man-men, mouse-mice, goose, geese, woman-women
6. By adding -en’ or ‘-ren’ to a singular noun.
Examples: ox-oxen, child-children, brother-brothers or brethren.
7. If a noun ends in ‘y’ and ‘y’ has a vowel before it, its plural is formed by adding’-s’ to the singular noun.
Examples: boy-boys, monkey-monkeys, day-days, toy-toys, essay essays, valley-valleys, key-keys, way-ways, ray-rays.
8. Some Nouns ending in ‘F form their plurals by simply adding ‘-s’ to the singular.
Examples: chief-chiefs, gulf-gulfs, roof-roofs, hoof-hoofs, proof-proofs.
9. Some singular nouns have the same plural form.
Examples: sheep-sheep, deer-deer. 10. Nouns ending in ‘o’ and having ‘consonants’ before them, generally form plurals by adding -es to their singular forms. Examples: buffalo-buffaloes, negro-negroes, mango-mangoes, tomato-tomatoes, hero-heroes, potato-potatoes, mosquito-mosquitoes, volcano-volcanoes.
11. Nouns ending in ‘o’ or ‘oo form their plurals by adding ‘-s’ to the singular forms.
Examples: bamboo-bamboos, piano-pianos, dynamo-dynamos, stereo stereos, photo-photos, studio-studios.
12. Compound Nouns form their plurals in several ways.
13. Some Nouns are always used in the plural form. Examples: scissors, spectacles, goggles, trousers, pants, socks, shorts, thanks, cattle.
14. Some words seem plural but are used in the singular form. Examples: measles, mathematics, mumps, economics, physics, innings, politics, news.
Give the Plurals of the following nouns:
Some nouns in the following sentences have been mis-spelled. Rewrite them with correct spellings:
1. Some insects live in colonies.
2. We caught two mouses.
3. The buffalos are grazing in the field.
4. She cut the apple in two halves.
5. She liked her two daughters-in-law.
6. We bought a pair of scissors from the market.
7. On Eid people wear new clothes.
8. Yesterday I attended two birthday parties.
9. The tree has put on new leaves.
10. They bought two pairs of shoe.
Change the following sentences from singular to plural and rewrite these as per the example:
Example: (a) He met his son-in-law yesterday. (Singular)
(b) They met their sons-in-law yesterday. (Plural)
1. (a) She bought a loaf of bread.
2. (a) The old man had a severe pain in his tooth.
3. (a) A butcher uses a sharp knife to cut up meat.
4. (a) The student wrote his assignment in his diary.
5. (a) The policeman caught the thief.
6. (a) The builder promised to mend the roof.
7. (a) The child hid behind the bush.
8. (a) Dengue fever is caused by a mosquito.
9. (a) The passenger received a serious injury.
Change the nouns in the following sentences from Plural to Singular and rewrite the sentences, also making other necessary changes:
1. The diaries are on the tables.
2. The babies were eating candies.
3. The children collected the balls.
4. The wolves attacked the geese.
5. The thieves stole the ornaments.
6. The women roasted the loaves of bread.
7. The doors and windows of the house need repair.
8. Flies can spread diseases.
9. The passers-by were attracted by the cries of the children.
10. The old men were walking with sticks in their hands.
Fill in the blanks with appropriate verbs choosing from the options given in brackets:
1. What ………..(is/are) the latest news?
2. His spectacles (is/are) new.
3. The boys (has/have) the ball.
4. The oxen (are/is) plowing the field.
5. My scissors……………. (is/are) sharp.
6. Our army (fight/fights) bravely.
7. Good children (obey/obeys) their parents.
8. The children’s clothes………. (is/are) torn.
9. Birds (has/have) wings.
10. The cattle (is/are) going to the fields.
COUNTABLE AND UNCOUNTABLE NOUNS
Nouns that can be counted are called countable nouns. Examples: elephant, teacher, river, school, shop. (We can say elephants, teachers, rivers, schools, shops.)
Nouns that cannot be counted are called uncountable nouns.
Examples: salt, steel, butter, sand, bread. (We do not ordinarily say salts, steels, butters, sands, breads.)
Countable nouns have plural forms, but uncountable nouns have no plural forms. We do not use ‘a’ or ‘an’ and one or two before uncountable nouns. For example, we cannot say: a milk, one sugar, a tea, etc.
We can, however, use ‘a’ or ‘an’ and numbers (one, two or three) with uncountable nouns by adding some countable nouns before them. For example, we can say: a cup of tea, two kilos of sugar, a bag of sand, a loaf of bread, etc.
Pick out Countable and Uncountable nouns from the following sentences:
1. These shoes are not mine.
2. Mr. Kim is a friend of mine.
3. Kolkata is a big city.
4. He drank two cups of tea.
5. There was no water in the jug.
6. There is no money in my purse.
7. My brother wants to become an engineer.
8. We bought some potatoes and some butter.
9. The butcher gave me a fine piece of mutton.
10. May I borrow some milk, please?
Pick out Countable, Uncountable and Proper Nouns from the Nouns given in the box, and write them down in appropriate columns.