Category of number of the noun

Страница: 1/2

Category of Number of the Noun.

Regular – one.

Plural – more than one.

Regular Plurals:

Nouns ending in vowels & voiced consonants - -s(bee-bees, dog-dogs, [z])

Voiceless consonants - -s(book-books, [s])

–s,-sh,-ss,-ch,-x,-z - -es (actress-actresses, [iz])

–o: -es-hero-heroes. But:


after a vowel – bamboos, embryos, folios, kangaroos, radios, studios, zoos.

In proper names – Romeos, Eskimos, Filipinos.

In abbreviations - kilos, photos, pros(professional).

Also: pianos, concertos, dynamos, quartos, solos,tangos, tobaccos.

In other cases the spelling is -oes (tomatoes, echoes, Negroes, potatoes, vetoes, torpedoes, embargoes)

–oes/-os : cargo(e)s, banjo(e)s, halo(e)s

Consonant+y - -ies (sky-skies). But:


After vowels, except nouns ending –quy(day-days, soliloquy-soliloquies)

In proper names: the two Germanys, the Kennedys, the Gatsbys

In compounds: stand-bys, lay-bys.

Penny: pence-the British currency(денежная сумма), pennies-for individual coins.


–ves: wife-wives, life-lives, leaf-leaves, knife-knives, wolf-wolves, calf-calves, half-halves, loaf-loaves, self-selves, shelf-shelves.

–s: other nouns(proof-proofs, chief-chefs, safe-safes, cliff-cliffs, gulf-gulfs, dwarf-dwarfs, reef-reefs, grief-griefs

–ves/-s: scarf-scarfs/scarves, dwarf-dwarfs/dwarves, hoof-hoofs/hooves.

–th - -ths (mouth-mouths)

in abbreviations - -s(M.P.-M.P.s) But: Ms(manuscript)-MSS, p.(page)-pp., Mr-

Irregular Plurals.

By vowel change (Man-men, woman-women, tooth-teeth, foot-feet, goose-geese, mouse-mice, louse-lice).

–en (ox-oxen, child-children)


(sheep-sheep, swine-swine(свинья), deer-deer, grouse-grouse(куропатка). But: 2 variants: fish-fish/fishes, pike-pile/pikes, trout-trout(s), carp-carp(s), salmon-salmon(s). The zero plural is more common to denote hunting quarries. (We caught a few fish, five salmon); the regular plural – different individuals, species.

Nationality nouns in –ese, -ss: Chinese, Swiss. And: Englishmen = the English, Dutchmen = the Dutch.

Latin & French nouns: series-series(ряд, серия), species-species(вид, порода, род), corps [ko:]-corps[ko:z] (корпус, род войск).

Pair, couple, dozen, score(20), stone(6,35 kg), head (поголовье): 2 dozen of children, dozens of children.


Loans of Greek origin -(-is - -es: basis-bases, crisis-crises, analysis, thesis, parenthesis, axis[вал, ось, шпендель], hypothesis, diagnosis; -on – a: criterion – criteria, phenomenon, -a – ata: miasma-miasmata)

Loans of Latin origin (-us - -i, -ora, -era: stimulus-stimuli, nucleus-nuclei[ядро],radius-radii[тело], genus-genera[род]; -a - -ae: formula-formulae(formulas), antenna, vertebra[позвонок]; -um - -a: datum-data[данная величина], stratum-strata[описка], erratum-errata[опечаток]; -es,-ix - -ices, -es: index-indices(indexes), appendix, matrix)

Other loan nouns (-ean - -eaux: tableau-tableaux, bureau; -o - -i: tempo-tempi)

2 variants (memorandum –memoranda, memorandums, curriculum-curricula, curriculums[курс обучения], formula-formulae, formulas, cherub-cherubim[херувим], cherubs, focus-foci, focuses)

Different meaning index-indexes-list of contents of books, indices-показатель; genius-geniuses-men of talent, genii-духи, домовые)

Plural in compound nouns

The 2nd component takes the plural form as a rule (housewives, tooth-brushes)

–ful – at the end of the word(handfuls, spoonfuls)

man & woman –the 1st components(men-servants, women-docters)

ending –man – men(policeman-policemn) But:Germans, Romans(not compounds)

prepositional noun phrase where the preposition is a linking element only – the 1st noun takes the plural form(editors-in-chief-главный редактор, mothers-in-law, commanders-in-chiefs-главнокомандующий, coats-of-mail-кольчуга, men-of-war-военный корабль)

compounds = conjunction as a linking element – the plural is taken by the 2nd noun (gin-and-tonics)

compound=noun+preposition/adverb/adjective-the 1st element-plural(passers-by, lookers-on-зритель, courts-material-военно-полевой суд, attorneys-general-министр юстиции)

when the compound is a substantivized phrase which doesn’t contain a noun, the last element –plural(forget-me-nots-незабудка, breakdowns-поломка, stand-bys-запасной, grown-ups, close-ups-крупный план, pick-ups-случайные знакомства, drop-outs-дезертир, go-betweens-посредник)

Invariable nouns(can’t change their number)

Singular invariable nouns


Material(tea, sugar) But:cheeses-kind of cheese

Abstract-music, anger

Proper nouns The Thames, Henry

Some ening-s

news(10 o’clock news), means-by this means(этими средствами), Gallows(виселица)

Реферат опубликован: 31/01/2009