Home » Listening » Number

The number is a grammatical category. Numbers express count distinctions of a noun or pronoun.

Example: a girl, ten girls, a boy, boys, etc

Types of Number

There are two types of numbers in Grammar-

  1. singular and
  2. plural.

Singular number

  • When a noun expresses a person or thing, it is called singular.

Example: mother, bird, pen, mobile

Plural number

  • When a noun expresses more than one object or person, it is called a plural.

Example: mothers, birds, pens, mobiles

How to change the number

There are some rules to form a plural number from a singular.

Have a look-

Rule 1

The plural form of a noun generally is made by adding -s to the singular.


  • Cat
  • Pencil
    , pencils
  • Day
    , days
  • Desk
    , desks

Rule 2

The plural form of a noun ending in -y following a consonant is made by changing -y into -ies.


  • City
    , cities
  • Country
    , countries
  • Fly
    , flies
  • Pony
    , ponies

Rule 3

The plural form of a noun ending in -ch, -sh, -ss or -x is made by adding -es.


  • Church
    , churches
  • Match
    , matches
  • Dish
    , dishes 
  • Brush
    , brushes
  • Class
    , classes
  • Glass
    , glasses
  • Tax
    , taxes
  • Box
    , boxes

Rule 4

The plural form of most nouns ending in -o also is made by adding -es.


  • Buffalo
    , buffaloes
  • Hero
    , heroes
  • Tomato
    , tomatoes
  • Potato
    , potatoes

Rule 5

The plural form of foreign origin or abbreviation ending in -o is made by adding only -s.


  • Kilo
    , kilos
  • Photo
    , photos
  • Ratio
    , ratios
  • Solo
    , solos

Rule 6

The plural form of nouns ending in -f or -fe is made by adding -ves.


  • Shelf
    , shelves
  • Loaf
    , loaves
  • Thief
    , thieves
  • Wife
    , wives


But there are some exceptional nouns which are made by adding only -s.


  • Handkerchief
    , handkerchiefs
  • Dwarf
    , dwarfs
  • Safe
  • Strife
    , strifes

Rule 7:

The plural form of a few nouns is made by adding -en.


  • Child
    , children
  • Ox
    , oxen

Related Lessons-

  1. Vowels and consonants
  2. Persons
  3. Gender
  4. Use of 'am':  profession

All Lessons of Listening Grammar

Hi, I am Madhuri Kherde, an educationist, ex-principal of a secondary school in Mumbai, and founder of I have been teaching English and Mathematics for the last thirty-four years. I like to share my knowledge and experience with others. So I hope you enjoy my posts on this website.