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?



I would like to know if the word landline is used in British English as well. I think the word is used in American English?
Thank you in advance

Hello agie

Yes, this word is commonly used in both American and British English.

Best wishes


The LearnEnglish Team

I would like to ask what is the difference between the two following words
Air conditioner and air condition
Thank you in advance

Hello agie,

An air conditioner is a machine which controls the temperature in a building or car, enabling us to set it to a comfortable level.

Air condition describes how the air is in a particular locality and means the same as 'the condition of the air': The air condition in the city today is very bad, with high levels of pollution.



The LearnEnglish Team

Please help me to understand the use of these two words
The mountain is too dangerous to (climb - be climbed).
The ladder is too long to (put - be put) on the car.
Thank you.

Hello Ahmed Imam,

Both options are possible and can be used interchangeably.

In terms of the grammar, the difference is in the choice of an active voice infinitive (to put) or a passive voice infinitive (to be put). We can rephrase the sentences as follows:

The ladder is too long (for me/someone) to put on the car.

The ladder is too long to be put (by me/someone) on the car.


This page deals with count nouns rather than active and passive voice. Please try to post questions on relevant pages as it helps to keep the site organised. Your questions and our answers may be helpful to other users learning about the topic and they will find the information more easily if it is on a relevant page.



The LearnEnglish Team

Please, Help me to differentiate between these two words, (each, both). Some colleagues say that "both" is the only correct one but some others argue that "each" is also correct.
My parents each/both have a mobile phone.
Thank you.

Hello Ahmed Imam,

In this example both words are possible.

In general, 'each' refers to the individuals separately, while 'both' refers to them as a pair. In some situations this is important. For example:

There were two boys. I gave each £10 to each. [£10 for one and £10 for the other]

There were two boys. I gave £10 to both. [this could mean £10 for one and £10 for the other, or it could mean £10 for them to share]



The LearnEnglish Team

Some of my colleagues say that "each" is not correct as it must have a singular verb "has", what do you say?
Thank you.

Hello Ahmed Imam,

My answer was in the first reply: In this example both words are possible.

In modern English many people use a plural verb after 'each'. In fact, I would say that it is far more common now to use a plural verb than it is to use a singular verb. It is an example of how the language changes over time.



The LearnEnglish Team