[Infographic] Converting a Singular Noun to a Plural Noun

A plural noun is more than one person, place or thing. The majority of nouns in written English are transformed into their plural noun form through the addition of the letter “s” at the end of the word. However, this is not always the case and there are a number of rules that you should be aware of. Our free infographic provides a handy decision tree that you can use to decide how to change the singular form of a noun into the plural form. Simply start at the beginning and answer each question in turn in order to find out what the plural noun form of your word should look like.

If you’re looking for more practice advice on using nouns, check out our guides to concrete nouns and abstract nouns.

Infographic plural noun decision tree
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Thirteen rules for changing singular nouns to their plural form

1. Add s to most nouns.
girl/girls
bicycle/bicycles

2. Add es to nouns ending is s, x, z, ch, or sh.
class/classes
ax/axes buzz/buzzes

3. For nouns ending in y preceded by a consonant, change y to i and add es.
fly/flies
party/parties
daisy/daisies

4. For nouns ending in y preceded by a vowel, add s.
monkey/monkeys
valley/valleys

5. For nouns ending in o preceded by a consonant, add es.
hero/heroes
potato/potatoes

6.For nouns ending in o preceded by a vowel, add s.
Oreo/Oreos
radio/radios
patio/patios

7. For musical terms ending in o, add s.
solo/solos
alto/altos

8. For nouns ending in f or fe, usually change the f or fe to ves.
leaf/leaves
shelf/shelves
wolf/wolves
Exceptions: chief/chiefs
chef/chefs
safe/safes

9. Add s to the end of singular nouns ending in ful.
cupful/cupfuls
spoonful/spoonfuls

10. Change the spelling of some words.
cactus/cacti
mouse/mice

11. Leave some nouns as they are.
sheep/sheep
deer/deer

12. Add s to the most important noun in a hyphenated word.
editor-in-chief/editors-in-chief
brother-in-law/brothers-in-law

13. Add s to proper nouns which do not end in s. Add es to proper nouns which do end in s.
Mr. and Mrs. Walker/the Walkers
Mr. and Mrs. Ross/the Rosses
printer/printers
church/churches
wish/wishes
piano/pianos
goose/geese
woman/women
fish/fish
moose/moose

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