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?




Thank you very much..
Kind regards

Thank you very much..
Kind regards

Writing about distances, what's the abbreviation for kilometres, km or kms?

Hello Ilariuccia,

Normally the plural is not indicated in the abbreviation – in other words, both 'kilometres' and 'kilometre' are abbreviated as 'km' (not 'kms'). I'm sure you can find exceptions to this use, however. 

When reading an abbreviation, note that you should use the plural form if that's appropriate. For example, if you see '10 km' in a guidebook and read it out loud to a friend, you should say 'ten kilometres'.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

I've looked the word 'people' up in many dictionaries and known that it is plural. But I've heard that the word can be used in a singular sense as well. Can you please provide some information on this? Thank you.

Hello KrisArchibald,

It is possible in certain contexts to use 'people' to mean 'nation', 'tribe' or 'group' but it is quite rare. With this meaning it can be used in the plural form:

The peoples of Asia.

There are many diverse peoples in southern Africa.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Sir in the question "A lot of ________ use this street. Ans:lorries" why cant it be lorry if "of" is considered as "determinant".

Hello Varun,

'a lot of' is a unit and can't really be separated into different parts here; it's a quantifier that is used only with plural nouns or uncount nouns, so 'lorry' is not correct here.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Kirk,

Which one is the correct form "There is a lot of lorries" or "There are a lot of lorries"?
And I am confused as I found an app of British Council on Android mobile phone called Johnny Grammar. There was a sentence "We visited a farm that had a lot of sheep." I chose "sheeps" and it said that was wrong.