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Irregular Plural Nouns


Some nouns DON’T follow the rules. For example, many nouns that end in -o are made plural by adding an -s, but others need an -es. Some nouns completely change their spelling when they become plural and other don’t change at all. Words that originate from Latin or Greek often have irregular endings. We must study and learn these irregular plural nouns.

Nouns that end with -o

A lot of nouns that end with -o usually just add -s to become plural. Look:

  • piano – pianos
  • radio – radios
  • dynamo – dynamos


But there are some nouns that end in -o that add -es to become plural. Look:

  • potato – potatoes
  • tomato – tomatoes
  • buffalo – buffaloes
  • mosquito – mosquitoes
  • hero – heroes


Spelling Change

Some nouns change their spelling in the plural. Look:

  • foot – feet
  • tooth – teeth
  • goose – geese
  • child – children
  • man – men
  • woman – women
  • ox – oxen
  • person – people


Original Language

Some nouns have kept their plural form from their original language (Latin or Greek). Look:

  • addendum – addenda
  • alga – algae
  • alumnus – alumni
  • bacterium – bacteria
  • cactus – cacti
  • datum – data
  • syllabus – syllabi


Nouns ending in -f or -fe

Most words ending in the F sound (-f or -fe) drop the -f or -fe and add -ves. Look

  • shelf – shelves
  • wolf – wolves
  • wife – wives
  • life – lives


But, like everything in English, there are some exceptions. Look:

  • belief – beliefs
  • chief – shiefs
  • roof – roofs
  • cliff – cliffs


Nouns ending in -is

Some nouns that end in -is become plural by dropping the -is and adding -es. Look:

  • axis – axes
  • analysis – analyses
  • emphasis – emphases
  • thesis – theses
  • parenthesis – parentheres

NOTE: In the above cases the pronounciation changes from an /s/ in the singular form to a /z/ in the plural form.

Nouns that don’t change at all

Some nouns have the same form in the singular and plural forms. Look:

  • deer – deer
  • fish – fish
  • series – series
  • sheep- sheep

Nouns that end with -z

Most nouns that end with -z are made plural by adding -es but there are a couple of exceptions.  Don’t worry, there aren’t many. Look:

  • quiz – quizzes
  • whiz – whizzes

Substantivos plurais IRREGULARES

Alguns substantivos NÃO seguem as regras. Por exemplo, muitos substantivos que terminam em -o, tornam-se plural pela adição de um -s, outros levam -es. Alguns substantivos mudam sua ortografia completamente quando passam para o plural, e outros não mudam nada. Palavras que se originam do latim ou grego, muitas vezes têm terminações plurais irregulares.

Devemos estudar e aprender estes substantivos plurais IRREGULARES.

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