Spelling Strategy: Plural Words

Why is spelling so difficult? Remember that our history lesson a few weeks ago explained how English is made up of many different languagesincluding spelling! However, we can feel confident in our spelling skills when we know a few tricks. Today we will discuss a few spelling strategies that deal with plural words.

Look at this list of words. Do you notice anything about them?

dogs     children     babies     fish     dishes     leaves     toys

They are all plural words, but they all have a different plural ending! A few guidelines concerning plural spellings can help us. Let's first break up our list into two categories: regular and irregular.

Regular Plural Endings
Plural -s ending

In general, when you want to make a noun plural, simply add an -s to the end of the word. Most plural nouns end in -s because -s is considered the regular plural ending.

dogs     cats     trees     flowers     students     desks     cars    planes

Plural -es ending

The -es ending is also considered a regular plural ending, but follows nouns that end with -s, -x, -z, -ch, or -sh.

kisses     dresses     foxes     boxes     quizzes     arches     churches     bushes     brushes

Words that end with -y

We have to be careful when we see nouns that end with -y. BEFORE you add an -s, check the letter before the -y.

If the letter is a VOWEL, simply add -

keys     trays     guys     monkeys     toys     ways     turkeys

If the letter is a CONSONANT, change the -y to and i and add -es.

baby - babies     party - parties     lady - ladies     spy - spies     university - universities

Words that end with -f

Generally, nouns that end in a single -f will change spelling. Change the f to a v and add -es.

leaf - leaves     loaf - loaves     knife - knives     life - lives     wolf - wolves

However, there are exceptions to this rule:

roof - roofs     belief - beliefs

Irregular Plural Endings      
Words that change spelling

Sometimes nouns completely change spelling. These words are usually easy to remember because they are more common.

man - men     woman - women     child - children     person - people     foot - feet

Words that don't change

Sometime count nouns don't change at all! Again, these words are also usually easy to remember because there aren't very many of them.

fish     deer     sheep     moose     scissors

Greek and Latin

Many words derived from Greek and Latin have irregular endings.

crisis - crises     fungus - fungi     phenomenon - phenomena     appendix - appendices

Spelling words correctly is a continuous process for many people. Don't be discouraged if spelling is difficult. Learning can be a fun and exciting process! Nomen Global students enjoy learning together every day. If you would like to know more about spelling or studying at Nomen Global, visit our website. Check back next week for some more English practice!

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