Count nouns have two forms: singular and plural.

Singular count nouns refer to one person or thing:

a book; a teacher; a wish; an idea

Plural count nouns refer to more than one person or thing:

books; teachers; wishes; ideas

Singular count nouns

Singular count nouns cannot be used alone. They must have a determiner:

the book; that English teacher; a wish; my latest idea

Plural forms

We usually add –s to make a plural noun:

book > books; school > schools; friend > friends

We add -es to nouns ending in –ss; -ch; -s; -sh; -x

class > classes; watch > watches; gas > gases; wish > wishes; box > boxes

When a noun ends in a consonant and -y we make the plural in -ies...

lady > ladies; country > countries; party > parties

…but if a noun ends in a vowel and -y we simply add -s:

boy > boys; day > days; play > plays

Some common nouns have irregular plurals:

Man > men; woman > women; child > children; foot > feet;
person > people

Plural count nouns do not have a determiner when they refer to people or things as a group:

Computers are very expensive.
Do you sell old books?

Exercise

Comments

Could You help me, Please? When I want to order a meal, which word is correct?
- Half (chicken - a chicken) with rice.
Thank you

Hi Ahmed Imam,

I would say either 'half a chicken' or 'a half chicken', probably the first more than the second.

Now I'm hungry!

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Dear teacher

As I quote:
"Plural count nouns do not have a determiner when they refer to people or things as a group:

Computers are very expensive.
Do you sell old books?"

According to this, so the sentence "Can you sell my old books?" is wrong?

Thank you
Daisy9

Hi Daisy9,

No, your question is not wrong. You make a good point and I will make a note to improve the wording of that explanation. The difference here is that in your question, a specific set of old books is being talked about, whereas in the question that is used as an example on this page, the books are not a specific group the speaker has in mind.

I can see how the explanation doesn't make this distinction, though, so we are grateful for your feedback.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

This is the headline in newspaper :

Monsoon in south Andaman Sea; good rains for state till mid-June

My question : 'good rains' ; is the rain countable , can we make it plural

Hello dipakrgandhi,

'rain' is uncountable, but the word is also used in the plural to refer to the rainy season in the tropics. This is why it's used that way here.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello everyone,
I found the phrase "How we talk about things matters.", is that grammatically correct?
Source: Facebook, American Association for State and Local History
As I think "things" and "matters" are plural noun objects in this case, do you agree with it, please tell me?
Thank you

Hello Vitub,

The sentence is grammatically correct. The reason a singular verb is used is that the subject is not 'things' but rather the whole noun phrase 'the way we talk about things'. The key part here is 'way', which is singular. If we changed it to 'the ways we talk about things' then a plural verb would be needed.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

I was very confused about noun. Now I think I am learning from this website. This website is best to improve my English skills. This lesson is very understandable.

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