Enhancing English Proficiency: Plural Nouns Practice Exercises for University Students

Several areas of the English language are very different from other languages, especially Asian languages such as Thai and Chinese. In this series of lessons some of these areas are addresses, starting with nouns that are different in English when there is one (single), or more than one (plural), of the noun.

Plural Nouns

Nouns change when there are more than one

Wrong: I have two dog

Correct: I have two dogs

Singular = 1 (one)   Plural = 2 + (two or more)

  • A flower                  flowers
  • A week                    weeks
  • A nice place             nice places
  • This hat                    these hats

Often we just add an s at the end (-s)

  • dog – I have two dogs
  • cat – you have two cats
  • book – please read the many books available
  • student – there are about 20 students
  • table – there were few tables in the room
  • apple – I bought bananas and four apples

but not always

we don’t add –s to every noun

Wrong: “The informations are incorrect“

Correct: “The information is incorrect.”

Regular and Irregular Nouns

  • Regular Nouns – most nouns add –s, e.g. one elephant, two elephants, but not all,
  • Irregular nouns – there are also irregular nouns

We have 4 main options when we have more than one noun

  1. Add –s  chair  ->   chairs
  2. Add –es  bus  ->   buses
  3. Add –ies (remove –y)  baby  ->   babies
  4. irregular nouns

irregular nouns

  •     man  ->   men
  •     woman ->  women

Plural Regular Nouns - es

Add -es if a noun ends in one of the following sounds:

  •   /s/,    –ss  classes, glasses, guesses 
  •   /z/,    –z  roses, lenses, quizzes  
  •   /ʃ/,   –sh   dishes, brushes, wishes
  •   /ʒ/,    -z  garages, massages, judges
  •   /tʃ/,  –ch   churches, watches, benches
  •   /dʒ/   j sound  bridges, hedges, judges

Add -es if a noun ends in a consonant followed by “o”

  • heroes,
  • potatoes,
  • tomatoes

Plural Regular Nouns - ies

If a singular noun ends in a consonant followed by “y,”  change the “y” to “i” and add “es.” Examples:

  • babies
  • cities
  • flies

Irregular Nouns

Irregular nouns have a different plural form than the single form

  • Single  leaf,   child,   fungus,   mouse,   sheep
  • Plural  leaves,   children,   fungi,   mice,   sheep

Irregular plural forms

#1 –f to-ves

  • leaf, loaf, calf -> leaves, loaves, calves

#2 –en

  • Child -> children, ox -> oxen

#3 base plurals

  • sheep -> sheep, fish, bison (Species of fish are called fishes)

#4 mutant plurals (like Germanic)

– vowel changes

  • foot, woman, man, tooth, goose, mouse, louse
  • feet, women, men, teeth, geese, mice, lice

#5 foreign plurals

  • Latin – fungus, cactus -> fungi, cacti 
  • Latin a->ae,   larva-> larvae (larvas)
  • Latin us–> I,   fungus-> fungi (funguses)
  • Latin um->a,   datum-> data
  • Latin ex->ices,   index-> indices (indexes)


  • Greek is->es,   thesis – > theses
  • Greek on->a,   criterion, criteria

Plural Noun Exercises

Exercise 1

Put the plural form of the verb in the correct column
































Exercise 2

Tick the correct plural forms and cross out the wrong ones

  1. knives
  2. tooths
  3. women
  4. matchs
  5. citys
  6. cities
  7. countries
  8. potatoes
  9. teeth
  10. wishes
  11. tomatos
  12. wishs
  13. familys
  14. matches
  15. wifes
  16. wives
  17. mens
  18. mice
  19. knifes
  20. families