The noun : Number

Etymology: The word "Number" comes from Latin word "Numerus" means "A number, quantity".

Definition: Numeral words that express number or rank of something (noun), called number. In other sense, a form of words (noun, pronoun etc.) that shows singularity and plurality is called number.

Types of Number

a. Singular number

b. Plural number

a. Singular number

Definition: Number that expresses only one thing/person is called singular number.

For Example:-

Man/a man, girl/a girl, boy/a boy, book/a book, computer/a computer etc.

b. Plural number

Definition: Number that expresses more than two things/persons is called plural number.

For Example:-

Men, girls, boys, books, computers, pens, shirts etc.

Rules for forming plural number

Rule-1: By adding “S” with singular noun.

Singular Plural
girl girls
boy boys
book books
dog dogs
cat cats
parent parents
student students
tiger tigers
house houses
building buildings
hat hats
month months
year years
week weeks
pen pens
shirt shirts
ball balls
bat bats
table tables
chair chairs
fish fishes
lion lions
monkey monkeys
movie movies
film films
tree trees
plant plants
cap caps
decade decades
pupil pupils
disciple disciples
follower followers
flower flowers
rose roses
age ages
prize prizes
picture pictures
service services
model models
bottle bottles
idea ideas
pet pets
mat mats
friend friends
road roads
singer Singers
doctor doctors
soldier soldiers

Rule-2: The plural is written “es” after “sh/ss/x/s’’ and “ch” when it is pronounced /iz’/ and /t/.

Singular Plural
bush bushes
box boxes
bus buses
church churches
match matches
speech speeches
glass glasses
gas gases
beach beaches
branch branches
bench benches
fox foxes
ass asses
ash ashes
class classes
dish dishes

N.B: When "ch" is pronounced like /k/ we use "s" for plural. For example:- monarchs/stomachs etc.

Rule-3: Nouns ending with a consonant letter followed by "Y" we substitute ''Y" to “ies”.

Singular Plural
country countries
lady ladies
opportunity opportunities
baby babies
body bodies
city cities
army armies
enemy enemies
story stories
fly flies
family families
duty duties
party parties

Rule-4: Nouns ending with a vowel letter followed by ''Y" we substitute "Y" to "s".

Singular Plural
Boy boys
toy toys
day days
valley valleys
key keys
monkey monkeys
play plays
ray rays
way ways
joy joys
tray trays

Rule-5: Nouns ending with "f/fe" are substituted by "ves" for plural.

Singular Plural
life lives
wife wives
half halves
knife knives
leaf leaves
thief thieves
turf turves
scarf scarves
loaf loaves
sheaf sheaves
shelf shelves
calf calves
elf elves
wolf wolves
self selves

Rule-6: We use only "S" after the following nouns, though they end with "f/fe".

Singular Plural
proof proofs
roof roofs
cliff cliffs
dwarf dwarfs
gulf gulfs
chief chiefs
reef reefs
safe safes

Rule-7:We can use "s" or "ves" after the following nouns, though they end with "f/fe".

Singular Plural
scarf scarfs/scarves
hoof hoofs/hooves
staff staffs/staves
wharf wharfs/wharves

Rule-8:The plural is written by changing inner words..

Singular Plural
man men
woman Women
tooth teeth
foot feet
louse lice
mouse mice
goose geese
dormouse dormice

Rule-9: Nouns ending with consonant letter followed by “O” take “es” for plural.

Singular Plural
hero heroes
cargo cargoes
mango mangoes
negro negroes
potato potatoes
domino dominoes
veto vetoes
buffalo buffaloes
tornado tornadoes
echo echoes
volcano volcanoes
mosquito mosquitoes
embargo embargoes
memento mementoes

Rule-10: Nouns ending with a consonant letter followed by "O" take "es" or "s" for plural.

Singular Plural
buffalo buffalos/buffaloes
cargo cargos/cargoes
flamingo flamingos/flamingos
fresco frescos/frescoes
ghetto ghettos/ghettoes
mango mangos/mangoes
manifesto manifestos/manifestoes
volcano volcanos/volcanoes
Portico porticos/ porticoes
innuendo innuendos/innuendoes
memento mementos/mementoes
mosquito mosquitos/mosquitoes
motto mottos/mottoes
salvo salvos/salvoes
stiletto stilettos/stilettos
tornado tornados/tornadoes
torpedo torpedoes/torpedoes
calico calicos/calicoes

Rule-11: The following nouns ending with vowel/consonant followed by “O” take "s" for plural.

Singular Plural
canto cantos
piano pianos
photo photos
radio radios
cuckoo cuckoos
folio folios
bamboo bamboos
studio studios
commando commandos
halo halos
eskimo Eskimos
curio curios

Rule-12: The followings are the Latin and Greek words that do not follow specific rule for plural form.

Singular Plural
Agendum agenda
Amoeba amoebas
Analysis analyses
antenna antennas
appendix appendices/appendixes
aquarium aquaria
automaton automata/automatons
axis axes
basis bases
corpus corpora
crisis crises
curriculum curricula
criterion criteria
datum data
diagnosis diagnoses
erratum errata
focus focuses/foci
formula formulas/formulae
genius genii/geniuses
genus genera
hypothesis hypotheses
larva larvae
locus loci/louses
matrix matrices
medium media
memorandum memoranda
nebula nebulas
neurosis neuroses
nucleus nucleuses
oasis oases
parenthesis parentheses
phenomenon phenomena
radius radii
referendum referenda
spectrum spectra
stimulus stimuli
stratum strata
syllabus syllabi/syllabuses
tempo tempi/tempos
terminus termini/terminuses
thesis theses
vertebra vertebrae
virtuoso virtuosos/virtuosi
vortex vortices

N.B: In modern English, we use "data" and "agenda" as both singular and plural.

Rule-13: By adding "S" with compound nouns, we can form plural number.

Singular Plural
father-in-law fathers-in-law
mother-in-law mothers-in-law
brother-in-law brothers-in-law
sister-in-law sisters-in-law
son-in-law sons-in-law
daughter-in-law daughters-in-law
step-father step-fathers
step-mother step-mothers
step-brother step-brothers
step-sister step-sisters
maid-servant maid-servants
land-lord land-lords
passer-by passers-by
governor-general governor-general
commander-in-chief commanders-in-chief
boy-friend boy-friends
book-shelf book-shelves
runner-up runners-up
staff-officer staff-officers
major-general major-generals
attorney-general attorney-generals
advocate-general advocate-generals
principal-officer principal-officers

N.B: The following nouns are exceptional:

Singular Plural
man-servant men-servants
woman-servant women-servants
lord-justice lords-justices

Rule-14: Nouns ending with "ful" take ''S" for plural.

Singular Plural
handful handfuls
mouthful mouthfuls
basketful basketfuls
spoonful spoonful’s
bucketful bucketful’s
pocketful pocketful’s

Rule-15: Nouns ending with "man" (when man indicates human being) take "men' for plural.

Singular Plural
Englishman Englishmen
fisherman fishermen
sportsman sportsmen
boatman boatmen
milkman milkmen
watchman watchmen
policeman policemen
torch man torch men
salesman salesmen
washer man washer men
waterman watermen
coachman coachmen
clergyman clergymen
workman workmen
guardsman guardsmen
wolf man wolf men

Rule-16: By adding “S” with singular noun.

Singular Plural
Musalman Musalmans
Braman Bramans
Norman Normans
German Germans
Turkoman Turkomans

Rule-17: For abbreviations, we use Apostrophe (‘) + “s”. that means (‘s).

Singular Plural
B.A. B.A‘s
M.A. M.A‘s
B.Sc. B.Sc‘s
M.Sc. M.Sc‘s
N N‘s
T T‘s
H H‘s
M M‘s

Rule-18: The following nouns are used as singular number.

athletics, physics, mathematics, economics, politics, ethics, electronics, gymnastics, gallows, news, wages, measles, innings, orders, information, bread, jewellery, scenery, machinery, stationary, business, expenditure, baggage, luggage, crockery, furniture, poetry, abuse, alphabet, issue.

Rule-19: The following nouns are used as plural number.

people, public, poultry, peasantry, cattle, nobility, gentry, clergy, folk, aristocracy, perfumery, majority, minority, mankind, government, vegetables, odds, savings, alms, principles, goods, regards, riches, glasses, earnings, belongings, ashes, thanks, compliments, circumstances, surroundings, trousers, troops, tropics, assets, contents, scissors, spectacles, police, congratulations.

Rule-20: The following nouns are used as both singular and plural.

audience, bank, committee, club, class, company, family, firm, public, staff, team, union, government, school etc.

Rule-21: The following nouns have same form in both singular and plural.

apparatus, taka, deer, sheep, paisa, stone, series, means, swine etc.