Plural

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Plural, commonly abbreviated pl., is a grammatical number, typically referring to more than one of the referent in the real world. In the English language, singular and plural are the only grammatical numbers.

In English, the plural is usually formed with the addition of -s (e.g. one cat, two cats; one chair, two chairs) or -es (e.g. one bush, two bushes; one itch, two itches). Generally, -s is added to all nouns that end in a voiceless consonant, vowels, or voiced non-sibilants, whereas -es is added for nouns ending in a sibilant sound. Nouns that end in e are a noted exception; though e may form a sibilant sound, -s is used in these cases: e.g. one tree, two trees; one bee, two bees.

Some plural forms require more noticeable changes in word structure. Most words ending in y are pluralised with ies: e.g. one lady, two ladies; one cherry, two cherries. Some words ending in f are pluralised with -ves: e.g. one leaf; two leaves; one roof; two rooves. Words ending in x are often pluralised with -ces: e.g. one matrix, two matrices; one index, two indices. Words ending in us often replace the us with -i: e.g. one cactus, two cacti; one fungus, two fungi. A subset of words ending in um or on are pluralised by replacing with -a: e.g. one forum, two fora; one criterion, two criteria. See English plural#Irregular plurals for more examples of irregular pluralisation.

A small class of words have identical singular and plural forms: e.g. one sheep, two sheep; one aircraft, two aircraft.


External Link

Wikipedia Article on Plural

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