Saturday, July 9, 2011

Number

In English there are two numbersSingular and plural. When one thing is spoken of, the noun is singular; but when more than one thing is spoken of, the noun is plural.

*When one person or thing is spoken of, the noun is singular and when more than one person or thng is spoken of, the noun is plural.—J. C. Nesfield.

**Rules for forming the plural:
a) Most nouns from their plural by adding‘s’ to the singular. Examples: Books, Pens.
b) Nouns ending, ss, sh, ch (soft) and x take es in the plural. Examples: lasses, bushes, benches, boxes.
But when ch is pronounced as k only s is added. Example: monarchs.
c) Nouns ending in y proceeded by a consonant change y into I and add es in the plural. Examples: Ladies, Cities. But if y is preceded by a vowel, add only s. examples: Boys, Plays.
d) Nouns ending in f or fe change f or fe into v after adding es. Examples: Life-lives, Calf-calves, knife-knives.
But noun ending in ief, ff, oof, rf, eef, generally take only s: chiefs, cliffs, proofs, dwarfs, dwarfs, reefs.
**NOTE:
(i) But safe-safes, strife-strifes, thief-thieves.
(ii) Some take both forms: staff-staffs, staves; wharf-wharfs, wharves.
e) Nouns ending in o preceded by consonant generally take es in the plural: heroes, mangoes, potatoes.
Exceptions: pianos, halos etc.
f) Nouns ending in o preceded by a vowel generally take only s in the plural: folios, bamboos, radios.

g) Some noun form their plural by change of vowels:     
Singular
Plural
Singular
Plural
Man
Men
Louse
Lice
Woman
Women
Mouse
Mice
Foot
Feet
Goose
Geese

Some nouns add en:
Singular
Plural
Singular
Plural
Ox
Oxen
Brother
Brethren (also brothers)

**Nouns which have no plural forms:
Furniture, expenditure, offspring (Child or children), poetry, scenery, machinery, issue (Child of children). Of these, issue and offspring are used in both the numbers.
He has sold his furniture.
His expenditure is less than his income.
He died without any offspring or issue.
This machinery does not work well.
Poetry is my favorite subject.
The scenery of the place charms me.

**Nouns which have no singular forms:
Aborigines, alms, amends, annals, ashes, assets, auspices, bellows, billiards, bowels, dregs, eaves, entrails, environs, fetters, measles, mumps, nuptials, obsequies, odds, politics, proceeds, scissors, shears, spectacles, thanks, tidings, vitals, wages.

**Nouns which have the same form in both the number:
Apparatus, cannon, crops, deer, grass, means, pice, salmon, series, sheep, species, swine, and the noun of number, weight or money, such as dozen, score, yoke, stone (weight), hundred, weight, etc. when used after a numeral. The singular meaning is expressed by putting a singular adjective such as a, an, one, this, that, etc. before them. A deer, one sheep, this pice; but two deer, two pice.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Online English Grammar Learning