What is a plural?

Plurals are ‘more than one’.

Add s

The most common plural in English is add ‘s’.

2 cats
5 dogs
100 bottles
1000 computers

Add ‘es’

Nouns ending in a vowel (a, e, i, o, u), ‘s’, ‘ch’, ‘th’, ‘sh’ or ‘x’ usually use ‘es’ for plurals:

2 bosses
5 watches
100 brushes
1000 boxes

(Note: this is usually, but not always, true; for example: 1000 paths (1 path))

Add ‘ves’

Nouns that end one ‘f’ (or have an ‘f’ as the last sound) often change the ‘f’ to ‘v’, then add ‘es’:

2 halves (1 half)
5 wives (1 wife)
100 loaves (1 loaf)

(Note: nouns that end in ‘ff’ do not change in this way; for example: 5 cuffs)

Unusual plurals

Some nouns in English have unusual plurals:

2 women (1 woman)
5 men (1 man)
10 oxen (1 ox)
1000 millenia (1 millenium)
1000000 people (1 person)

There is not an easy way to learn these; usually English speakers learn through experience.

Uncountable nouns

Nouns that cannot be counted do not use plurals.

Some uncountable nouns are:
water
tea
money
air

It is OK to say ‘some water’, but not ‘5 water’.

Exercises

What are the plurals for these nouns?

cloud
hoof
bush
tree
phone
fox
potato
thief