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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


Singular count nouns 2


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


Plural count nouns 2


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


Plural count nouns 4


Plural count nouns 5




Hello Chau!
That's a good question! However, the rules for words ending in -o are a little ocmplicated. The two examples you give, potato and tomato both end in -es, but zoo adds -s - one rule is that words with two Os, or another vowel then an O end in -s. 
However, there aren't many words ending in -o in English, and a good dictionary (like our online Cambridge dictionary!) will tell you the ending you need - so don't worry about it too much!
Jeremy Bee
The LearnEnglish Team 

Hi there,
Could someone please tell me if some and any is compulsory before uncountable nouns and plurals? Or can we skip it? For example:
1) I need cotton wool or I need some cotton wool?
2) I need help or I need some help?
3) Can I have some tablets please or can I have tablets please?
4) There are some chairs in the room or There are chairs in the room.
5) They're books or They're some books ( this one sounds weird with some)
6) She has money or She has some money, ( I think the meaning here is different. First one means she's rich and the second one that she has some money on her?)
7) There aren't any books on the desk or There aren't books on the desk?
8) I need syrup or I need some syrup or I need a syrup ( a = one bottle of syrup)
9) It's nice furniture or It's a nice piece of furniture?
I know it's a lot but could someone please explain this to me? I get the rules but would like to know if it is compulsory to use some, any or a piece of  etc before plural and uncountable nouns?

Hi Adam,
(some new books; a few books; lots of good ideas)
These examples (books, books, ideas) have a quantifier, aren't they Plural?
Why are they mentioned in Singular count nouns section?
Please explain it to me, Thanks.

 Which one is correct: Pg. 31,32 and 33 or Pgs. 31,32 and 33

I love this site

Your website is very good for beginners. But it would be very helpful if you could add lessons for intermediate and advanced learners.

Thanks a lot.


nice site.

very very soft learning English.

I would like you to clarify the point above concerning singular count nouns.  Under the quantifier and numeral headings you have used plural nouns to illustrate the teaching point.  This has raised some confusion amongst students.  Thanks.