Singular and Plural Number

1, 2 , 3 , 4 - these are mathematical numbers. But there are also number and categorization of number in English language. Today we are going to discuss number of Noun, its formation and usage.

Singular number and plural number of noun are there in the English grammar.
Singular number denotes single quantity or default quantity showed or represented by noun, pronoun, adverb etc.  

Singular number of noun normally indicates things or quantity not more than one.

On the other hand, plural (PL) number of noun indicates the quantity more than one. Some important rules on making plural number from singular number of noun are being written below.

Important Rules

Rule 1. Some plural numbers are made by adding en, ren, ne at theirs ends.

Example :
ox -  oxen
child - children
cow - kine
brother - brothern

Rule 2. When the last part 'man' of any word denotes human then plural number is made by changing man to men.
fisherman - Fishermen

But if the 'man' part indicates the sense of citizenship or community, it takes s and becomes plural.

Example :
Mussalman - Mussalmans
German  - Germans
Brahman  - Brahmans
Exercise ( Make plurals) :
Norman, Woman, Workman, Salesman
Rule 3. Word retaining ful at its end becomes plural by adding s to ful .
Handful - Handfuls
Spoonful - Spoonfuls

Rule 4. S is added at the main part of a compound word and becomes plural.

Father-in-law  -  Fathers-in-law

Rule 5. Either s or es is added to some words in this plural making process.

Leaf -    Leafs / Leaves
Wife - Wifes/Wives

But if there are ief, oof, if, rf or eef, only s can be added.
Roof - Roofs
Cliff - Cliffs
Reef - Reefs

Rule 6. Words ending with ch, x, z, s, so take es to be plural but if ch is sounded like k or q, it needs only S.

Bus - Buses
Dish - Dishes
Ass - Asses

But ,
Monarch - Monarchs
Stomach - Stomachs

Exercise ( Make plurals) :
Patriarch, matriarch, glass, box.

Forms and Usages 

Sometimes some plurals ( different forms) take two different meanings.
Example :

Brother - Brothers ( son of the same parents)
Brother- Brothern ( habitant of the same community)
Genius - Geniuses
Genius - Gennii

Also two different meanings although in single form.

Example :
Arm - Arms ( weapons)
Arm - Arms ( many arms normally hand)

One interesting point is that sometimes some singular noun ( single form) takes two meanings but the plural takes one.

Word (means commitment) , Word   (means normal word) but words  (means many words, not many commitments )
#Same - foot, force.

➲ Now let's read some lists of numbers -

1. Always singular number:
Scenery, machinery, poetry, expenditure etc

2. Always plural number though looking seems to be singular:
aristocracy, peasantry, cattle, poultry, artillery vermin etc.

3. Looking is plural but actually singular :
news, physics, optics,  innings, ethics etc

4. Some noun has same words as singular and plural without any changing.
Example :
deer, sheep, canon, corps etc.

- Other than single fraction is plural.
two thirds and one third.

- 'more than one' takes singular.

- We add s to letter and figure to make plural.

Two 5's make ten. 
We have two M.A.'s.

➲ Exercise

The police ..... watching the house.
The policeman .....  watching the house.

Ans.  are, is.
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