plurals of nouns

plurals of nouns
English nouns normally form their plurals by adding -s, or -es if the singular form ends in -s, -x, -z, -sh, or soft -ch (as in church but not loch). Words in -y form plurals in -ies (policies) unless the ending is -ey in which case the plural form is normally -eys (monkeys); but see moneys. Difficulties occur mainly when the singular form is unusual and does not allow ready application of the normal rules or when the word is of foreign origin (or both). Nouns in -f and -fe are given in the entry -fs, -ves, nouns of the type cupful at the entry -FUL, and nouns in -o in the entry -o; plurals of some Latin nouns in English are given in the entry Latin plurals. For plurals of abbreviated forms (such as MP) see abbreviations 3. The following table lists other plural forms that cause difficulties of various kinds.
irregular plurals
child / children
foot / feet
goose / geese
louse / lice
man / men
mouse / mice
tooth / teeth
woman / women
animal names the same in the plural
bison / bison
cod / cod
deer / deer
grouse / grouse
salmon / salmon
sheep / sheep
squid / squid
swine / swine
nouns in plural form only: tools
spectacles (= glasses)
nouns in plural form only: articles of clothing
pyjamas (US pajamas)
compound nouns
Attorney-General / Attorneys-General*
brother-in-law / brothers-in-law
commander-in-chief / commanders-in-chief
court martial / courts martial
daughter-in-law / daughters-in-law
father-in-law / fathers-in-law
Governor-General / Governors-General*
lay-by / lay-bys
man-of war / men-of-war
mother-in-law / mothers-in-law
passer-by / passers-by
Poet Laureate / Poets Laureate*
sister-in-law / sisters-in-law
son-in-law / sons-in-law
stand-by / stand-bys
*The forms Attorney-Generals, Governor-Generals, and Poet Laureates are also used

Modern English usage. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • -es — 1. suffix forming plurals of nouns ending in sibilant sounds (such words in e dropping the e) (kisses; cases; boxes; churches). Etymology: var. of S(1) 2. suffix forming the 3rd person sing. present of verbs ending in sibilant sounds (such words… …   Useful english dictionary

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