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

Section: 

Comments

Hi,
Is it correct to use the word 'media' for people or is it just for newspapers etc?
I read 'the media was present / the media writes..'. It seems to be like a person. Should it be 'media persons write...?
Regards

Hi Petals,

Yes, the word 'media' is often used to talk about people. For example, you might read 'The media gathered in great numbers for the press conference'.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi All!
I don't understand: A lot of is plural why do we use lorry is singular?
also the sentence: He's the sort of person you can trust.
Thank you for your help!

Hello NGUYEN HONG THU THU,

I don't see a sentence with 'a lot of' and 'lorry' on this page, so I'm afraid I don't know what you mean. What is your question about the second sentence?

I'm sorry not to help you -- I just don't understand your questions. Please ask again and we'll do our best to help you.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hi Kirk
I think THU means why "He's the sort of person you can trust." is the correct answer. Can we replace "person" by "people"?
Best wishes,
Aki

Hello Aki (and THU),

Thanks for explaining that -- you must be right.

Only 'person' is correct here because the subject of the sentence ('he') is singular. Since the subject is singular, the complement is also normally singular.

If the subject were plural (e.g. 'They are the sort of people you can trust') then 'people' would be correct.

Does that make sense?

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

HI team,

1) I think her _CHILD/CHILDREN_______ watch far too much television.

in above case it's unnkown whether she has 1 kid or many how to select the right one.

2) I can hear something in the roof. Have you got ________?
ANS:mouse mice

in above case also it's unnkown whether it's 1 mouse or many how to select the right one.

Thanks in advance.
Abdul

Dear abdulhaqcivil1,

1. we depend on the main verb "watch" to select the answer.

2. there is no article so we choose the plural noun.

please correct if I am wrong

Hi abdulhaqcivil1,

In the first sentence the verb is plural and so the answer must be 'children'. If the answer was 'child' then the verb would be 'watches'.

In the second sentence 'have mice' refers to an infestation, not to having a pet or a single animal. In addition, an article would be required if it was a singular noun: '...a mouse'.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Sir, you said In the first sentence the verb is plural and so the answer must be 'children'. If the answer was 'child' then the verb would be 'watches'.

But watch is singular. So, the answer would be for plural nouns we have to use singular verb.

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