Category of number of the noun

Category of number of the noun

2. Category of Number of the Noun.

Regular one.

Plural more than one.

Regular Plurals:

1. Nouns ending in vowels & voiced consonants - -s(bee-bees, dog-dogs, [z])

2. Voiceless consonants - -s(book-books, [s])

3. s,-sh,-ss,-ch,-x,-z - -es (actress-actresses, [iz])

4. o: -es-hero-heroes. But:


after a vowel bamboos, embryos, folios, kangaroos, radios, studios, zoos.

In proper names Romeos, Eskimos, Filipinos.

In abbreviations - kilos, photos, pros(professional).

Also: pianos, concertos, dynamos, quartos, solos,tangos, tobaccos.

In other cases the spelling is -oes (tomatoes, echoes, Negroes, potatoes,

vetoes, torpedoes, embargoes)

oes/-os : cargo(e)s, banjo(e)s, halo(e)s

5. Consonant+y - -ies (sky-skies). But:


After vowels, except nouns ending quy(day-days, soliloquy-soliloquies)

In proper names: the two Germanys, the Kennedys, the Gatsbys

In compounds: stand-bys, lay-bys.

Penny: pence-the British currency( ), pennies-for individual


6. f(e)

ves: wife-wives, life-lives, leaf-leaves, knife-knives, wolf-wolves, calf-

calves, half-halves, loaf-loaves, self-selves, shelf-shelves.

s: other nouns(proof-proofs, chief-chefs, safe-safes, cliff-cliffs, gulf-

gulfs, dwarf-dwarfs, reef-reefs, grief-griefs

ves/-s: scarf-scarfs/scarves, dwarf-dwarfs/dwarves, hoof-hoofs/hooves.

7. th - -ths (mouth-mouths)

8. in abbreviations - -s(M.P.-M.P.s) But: Ms(manuscript)-MSS, p.(page)-pp.,


Irregular Plurals.

1. By vowel change (Man-men, woman-women, tooth-teeth, foot-feet, goose-

geese, mouse-mice, louse-lice).

2. en (ox-oxen, child-children)

3. Identical

(sheep-sheep, swine-swine(), deer-deer, grouse-grouse().

But: 2 variants: fish-fish/fishes, pike-pile/pikes, trout-trout(s), carp-

carp(s), salmon-salmon(s). The zero plural is more common to denote hunting

quarries. (We caught a few fish, five salmon); the regular plural

different individuals, species.

Nationality nouns in ese, -ss: Chinese, Swiss. And: Englishmen = the

English, Dutchmen = the Dutch.

Latin & French nouns: series-series(, ), species-species(,

, ), corps [ko:]-corps[ko:z] (, ).

Pair, couple, dozen, score(20), stone(6,35 kg), head (): 2 dozen

of children, dozens of children.


Loans of Greek origin -(-is - -es: basis-bases, crisis-crises, analysis,

thesis, parenthesis, axis[, , ], hypothesis, diagnosis; -on

a: criterion criteria, phenomenon, -a ata: miasma-miasmata)

Loans of Latin origin (-us - -i, -ora, -era: stimulus-stimuli, nucleus-

nuclei[],radius-radii[], genus-genera[]; -a - -ae: formula-

formulae(formulas), antenna, vertebra[]; -um - -a: datum-

data[ ], stratum-strata[], erratum-errata[];

-es,-ix - -ices, -es: index-indices(indexes), appendix, matrix)

Other loan nouns (-ean - -eaux: tableau-tableaux, bureau; -o - -i: tempo-


2 variants (memorandum memoranda, memorandums, curriculum-curricula,

curriculums[ ], formula-formulae, formulas, cherub-

cherubim[], cherubs, focus-foci, focuses)

Different meaning index-indexes-list of contents of books, indices-

; genius-geniuses-men of talent, genii-, )

Plural in compound nouns

1. The 2nd component takes the plural form as a rule (housewives, tooth-


2. ful at the end of the word(handfuls, spoonfuls)

3. man & woman the 1st components(men-servants, women-docters)

4. ending man men(policeman-policemn) But:Germans, Romans(not compounds)

5. prepositional noun phrase where the preposition is a linking element

only the 1st noun takes the plural form(editors-in-chief-

, mothers-in-law, commanders-in-chiefs-, coats-

of-mail-, men-of-war- )

6. compounds = conjunction as a linking element the plural is taken by

the 2nd noun (gin-and-tonics)

7. compound=noun+preposition/adverb/adjective-the 1st element-

plural(passers-by, lookers-on-, courts-material--

, attorneys-general- )

8. when the compound is a substantivized phrase which doesnt contain a

noun, the last element plural(forget-me-nots-, breakdowns-

, stand-bys-, grown-ups, close-ups- , pick-ups-

, drop-outs-, go-betweens-)

Invariable nouns(cant change their number)

Singular invariable nouns

1. Non-count

Material(tea, sugar) But:cheeses-kind of cheese

Abstract-music, anger

2. Proper nouns The Thames, Henry

3. Some ening-s

news(10 oclock news), means-by this means( ),


diseases(mumps-, measles-, rickets-, shingles-)

games(billiards, bowls-, dominoes, draughts)

some proper nouns(Algiers, Athens, Brussels, Flanders, Marseilles, Naples,

Wales, The United Nations, the United States.

Nouns ending ics(classics, phonetics)

Plural invariable nouns

1. Marked

Names of toolsconsisting 2 equal parts(bellows-, binoculars, breeches-

, braces- , flannels- , glasses, pants-

, , pincers-, pliers-, , pyjamas, scales,

scissors, shorts, spectacles-, suspenders-, tights-,

tongs-, trousers, tweezers-)

Miscellaneous nouns() (annals, antics, archives, arms, ashes, the

Commons, contents, customs, customs-duty, customs-house, earnings, goods,

goods train, greens, holidays, manners, minutes, outskirts, quarters,

stairs, suds, surroundings, thanks, troops, wages, whereabouts, the Middle


Some proper nouns (the East Indies, the West Indies, the Hibrides, the

Highlands, the Midlands, the Netherlands)

2. Unmarked(nouns of multitude & collective):

C: the family was large, m: the family were fond of their house.

Ways of showing partition

A piece of, a loaf of, a stick of, a bar of, a sheet of, lump, blade,

block, strip, grain, pile, heap, word, item, article, fit

2. Category of Case of the noun

Shows the relation of the noun with other words in the sentence

Common case-zero inflexion

Genitive case-apostrophe s(s)

1. Genitive


[z]-after vowels & voiced consonans-negros, dogs

[s]-after voiceless consonants-students

[iz]-after sibilants()- princes, judges; Marxs ideas

zero ending-girls, boys

with regular plural nouns(boys)

greek nouns in s(Socrates wife, Xerxes()

other names: 2 variants Burns & Burnss poems

Compound nouns-s joined to the final component(the editor-in chiefs


Group genitive(when s can be joined)

1. 2 persons possess or are related to smth they have in common(mom & dads

room, John & Marys car)

2. to a more extensive phrase which may even contain a clause(the Duke of

Norfolks sister, the secretary of states room, the man I saw

yesterdays son)

3. to a noun(pronoun)+a pronoun group(someone elses benefit)

4. to a group ending in a numeral(in an hour or twos time)

The main meaning of the genitive case-possession, Possessive case, main


1. the idea of belonging: Johns coat

2. Different kinds of relations:

Relation of the whole to its part(Jons leg)

Personal or social relations(Johns wife)

3. subjective relations(The doctors arrival, the Chekhovs book)

4. authorship(Byrons poem)

5. objective relations(Johns arrest-he was arrested)

6. measure(an hours trip, a miles distance)

s lost the meaning of possession (womans work, idiots smile, womens

college, angels eyes)

The use of genitive case & its equivalent of-phrase

with nouns denoting persons & animals(Johns idea, swalows nest). With

other nouns-of+noun phrase

with nouns denoting time & distance(minute, moment, year & substantivized

adverbs - today)todays papers-, the papers of today-


with the names of countries & towns(Britains national museum, Canadas


with the names of newspapers denoting different kinds of

organizations(companys plan, Guardians analysis, Geographical Societys

gold medal)

with the nouns world, nation, country, city, town(the nations health)

with the nouns ship, boat, car(ships crew)

with nouns denoting planets(sun, moon, earth)(this earths life)

set expressions: to one hearts content(desire), at deaths door, at arms

length, out of harms way, a hairs breadth, a needles eye, at a stones

throe, to move at a snails pace, at the waters edge

The syntactical function of the genitive attribute. Its always used as a

premodifier & sometimes called the depend genitive.

The absolute genitive when the genitive case is not followed by the

headword & when it stands for the whole noun phrase:

It is used:

to avoid repetition(our house is better than Marys(house))

after the preposition of(an old frend of my mothers)

to denote shops(the grocers, the bakers)

saints nameSt Pauls(cathedral)

places of residence(at my uncles, at Timothys)

Double genitive

My mothers fathers people

The boys half-hours run

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