Friday, 22 October 2010

Plurals Spelling rules + Games

Regular Plurals

The plural of most nouns are formed by adding 's' at the end of the singular noun: cup - cups, snake - snakes, bicycle - bicycles. However, there are some special cases.

We add 'es' to nouns that end in s, x, z, ch, or sh.

bus - buses
box - boxes
waltz - waltzes
match - matches
brush - brushes

We also add 'es' to nouns ending with o.

echo - echoes
tomato - tomatoes
potato - potatoes
hero - heroes

However, not all nouns ending with o have an -es ending.

For nouns ending in a vowel + o, we just add an s.

kangaroo - kangaroos
radio - radios
zoo - zoos

The following words also have just an s added. Most 'new' words also follow this rule.

commando - commandos
concerto - concertos
Eskimo - Eskimos
kilo - kilos
logo - logos
photo - photos
piano - pianos
solo - solos
soprano - sopranos

Some words ending with an o can have either s or es added.

tornado - tornados, tornadoes
mosquito - mosquitos, mosquitoes
volcano - volcanos, volcanoes

For nouns ending in a consonant + y, we remove the y and add ies.

baby - babies
city - cities
ferry - ferries
lady - ladies
party - parties
strawberry - strawberries

However, if the y is preceded by a vowel, we just add an s.

holiday - holidays
monkey - monkeys
boy - boys

Irregular plurals

For irregular nouns ending in f or fe, we remove the f or fe, and add ves.

calf - calves
half - halves
knife - knives
leaf - leaves
thief - thieves
wife - wives
loaf - loaves

Some nouns ending in f are considered regular.

belief - beliefs
cliff - cliffs
proof - proofs

These nouns below, mostly of old English origin, are irregular plurals that do not follow the other spelling rules. The plurals have a different vowel sound from its singular version.

foot - feet
goose - geese
man - men
mouse - mice
person - people
tooth - teeth
woman - women

Some nouns referring to groups of animal have the same singular and plural form.

bison - bison
deer - deer
moose - moose
salmon - salmon
sheep - sheep
trout - trout

Words of foreign origin have special plurals, which generally follow the original rules.

analysis - analyses
bacterium - bacteria
cactus - cacti
fungus - fungi
criterion - criteria
medium - media

Here are some games for you to practise. These games have been designed to be played more than once if you want to reap the benefits. The objective is to keep on improving your scores, and you will learn the plural forms even if subconsciously.

Chiew's EFL ESL CLIL Blog: English Plurals Explanation and Games
 Arcade Game: shoot the plural form!
The list of nouns changes each time you play a new game!

Chiew's EFL ESL CLIL Blog: English Plurals Explanation and Games 
Point and click the regular plural form

Chiew's EFL ESL CLIL Blog: English Plurals Explanation and Games
 Point and click the irregular plural form


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