Plural Nouns: Regular and Irregular, The English Language Has Both


Health Editor’s Note:  Sometimes we just have to memorize things….no way to work them out using grammatical rules. English is a difficult language to learn and you are fortunate if you leaned it as you grew up, not as a second language…Carol

100 Irregular English Plural Nouns

By Richard Nordquist ThoughtCo.

Most English nouns form their plural by adding either -s (books, bands, bells) or -es boxes, bunches, batches). These plural forms are said to follow a regular pattern.
There are no easy rules, unfortunately, for irregular plurals in English. They simply have to be learnt and remembered.
(S. Curtis and M. Manser, The Penguin Writer’s Manual, 2002)</cite

But not all nouns conform to this standard pattern. In fact, some of the most common English nouns have irregular plural forms—such as woman/women and child/children.

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  1. Sometimes knowing other languages helps.
    For example German Zahn, Zähne ; English tooth, teeth. The vowel shift is called “Umlaut” and shows that English has some Germanic roots. Another example is Dutch kind, kinderen ; English child, children.
    Knowing som Latin also helps, because when you recognize a word as a Latin loan word, then you get its plural from the Latin declination tables. This is a great help for foreigners who have had several languages in school.

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