Most nouns form the plural by adding -s or -es.

Singular         Plural 

boat            boats 

hat              hats 

house          houses 

river             rivers

A noun ending in -y preceded by a consonant makes the plural with -ies.

Singular         Plural

a cry            cries 

a fly             flies 

a nappy       nappies 

a poppy       poppies 

a city           cities 

a lady          ladies 

a baby         babies

There are some irregular formations for noun plurals. Some of the most common ones are listed below.

Examples of irregular plurals:

Singular         Plural

woman         women 

man            men 

child            children 

tooth           teeth 

foot             feet 

person         people 

leaf              leaves 

half              halves 

knife            knives  

wife              wives  

life               lives  

loaf              loaves  

potato          potatoes 

cactus          cacti  

focus            foci  

fungus          fungi  

nucleus         nuclei  

syllabus        syllabi/syllabuses  

analysis        analyses  

diagnosis      diagnoses

oasis             oases 

thesis            theses  

crisis             crises 

phenomenon phenomena  

criterion         criteria  

datum           data

Some nouns have the same form in the singular and the plural.

Singular     Plural

sheep       sheep  

fish           fish  

species     species  

aircraft      aircraft

Some nouns have a plural form but take a singular verb.


news - The news is on at 6.30 p.m.

athletics - Athletics is good for young people.

linguistics - Linguistics is the study of language.

darts - Darts is a popular game in England.

billiards - Billiards is played all over the world.

Some nouns have a plural form and take a plural verb.


trousers - My trousers are too tight.

jeans - Her jeans are black.

glasses - Those glasses are his.

others include:

savings, thanks, steps, stair, customs, congratulations, tropics, wages, spectacles, outskirts, goods, wits