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Count nouns

Count nouns have two forms: singular and plural.

Singular count nouns refer to one person or thing:

a teacher a book a wish an idea

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

teachers books wishes ideas

Singular count nouns

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

the English teacher that book a wish my latest idea
Singular count nouns 1

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Singular count nouns 2

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Plural count nouns

We usually add –s to make a plural noun:

book > books
school > schools
friend > friends

We add –es to nouns ending in –s, –ch, –sh, –ss, –x and –o:  

class > classes
watch > watches
gas > gases
wish > wishes
box > boxes
potato > potatoes

When a noun ends in a consonant and –y, we make the plural with –ies:

lady > ladies
country > countries
party > parties

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
person > people
foot > feet
Plural count nouns 1

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Plural count nouns 2

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

Computers are very expensive.
Do you sell old books?

But they may have a specific determiner:

Those computers are very expensive.
The books in that shop are very expensive. 
Her sisters live there.

or a quantifier:

some new books a few teachers lots of good ideas

or a numeral:

two new books three wishes
Plural count nouns 3

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Plural count nouns 4

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Plural count nouns 5

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Comments

HI......
Can we discuss the tow options of question no .8 ;please .

Hi Alejandero,
What would you like to know about them?  The word 'lorry' is a countable noun, so after 'a lot of' it must be plural - i.e. 'lorries' not 'lorry'.
Best wishes,
 
Peter
The LearnEnglish Team

Good morning,
in question no.2 why the answer is children and not child ?
and please if there is any grammar mistakes or my sentences are not correct please correct it
Thank you

Hello amna7994,
The answer is 'children' because the verb 'watch' is a plural form ('they watch').  If the answer was 'child' then the verb would be 'watches' ('he/she/it watches').
I'm afraid we can't correct the English of LearnEnglish users because there are simply so many!  It takes all our our team's time just to answer the questions, so you'll have to ask your teacher to help you with correction.
Best wishes, and good luck with your learning,
 
Peter
The LearnEnglish Team

thank you for you , l like this web site ^^

Hi, I'm kankool. This webside is really usefull for me, I just stay at home and improve my english skill here without go to any english centrer or class. And I have a question about plural nouns that Plural count nouns do not have a determiner when they refer to people or things as a group but in the question 12/12, "The most interesting ________ I have visited are in Asia" why we chose countries but not country, it has determiner "the" at first
I hope this is not a idiot question :)

Hi kankool,
Nice to hear that you find the site useful.
A very clever person once told me that there are no stupid questions, only stupid answers, and your question is a good one... I hope my answer is good too!
The sentence has 'the' at the beginning because it has a superlative adjective ('the most interesting') and all superlatives have a definite article.  However, I'm not sure what you mean when you say that plural count nouns do not have a determiner when they refer to people or things as a group.  They can have a determiner if, for example, the sentence makes it clear that we are talking about a specific group.  For example, I might say:
The countries that I visited last year are in Asia.
This sentence has a definite article because the countries that we are talking about are specific - not just any countries but the specific ones I visited last year.  There's no problem using a definite article with these nouns.
I hope that clarifies it for you.
Best wishes,
 
Peter
The LearnEnglish Team
 

Dear Peter,

The explanation in 'Plural forms' under 'Count noun' section indicates "Plural count nouns do not have a determiner when they refer to people or things as a group".

However, the above explanation implies Plural count noun can have a determiner when the sentence talks about a specific group (Assuming hearer / reader knows exactly what is referred).

May I understand from your explanation that determiner 'the' can be used for countable plural nouns and indefinite articles 'a/an' shall not be used for countable plural nouns.

Thanks in advance.
Regards,
Jayakumar

Hello Jayakumar,

When we use a plural noun to refer to things as a group (in other words, with a general meaning about all items of this type) then there is no article:

Computers are expensive. [computers in general]

When we want to refer to a specific group (this group and not that group) then we use a definite article.

The computers in this shop are expensive. [the computers in this shop]

The indefinite article 'a' ('an') is only used with singular countable nouns.

I wrote a long answer about how we use articles with general meaning yesterday. You can find it here.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

hello. 
I'm Chau. I learn a lot of new words and how to use English in my work. 
I have a question about plural form of nouns end -o, we add es ?? 
example: tomato plural tomatoes, or potato plural form potatoes
I didn't see mentioned above grammar of plural of noun ending in -o.

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