Irregular Plural Nouns - Confusing, Difficult Grammar Words
So Many Exceptions with Plurals
Mouse = Mice, so House = Hice?
Tooth = Teeth, so Booth = Beeth?
Dish = Dishes, so Fish = Fishes?
Regular nouns form plurals with "-s" or "-es."
While most plural nouns form their plurals with “s” or “es,” there are many that form the plural with a different spelling on the end. I'm not talking about plurals like feet, teeth, geese, mice, children, or any other commonly used irregular plurals. I'm talking about ones that are hard to remember--at least for me--and sound funny to the ears. Even as an English teacher, with a Master's in the subject, I don’t use these irregular plurals often, and I don’t hear them often. However, if you ever have to write a report, an article, or academic paper, you should use the correct plural. And if you need to make a speech in front of people, well, you should use the proper plural even if most of your audience would never use the irregular plural. At least, they should be impressed that you do!
While it might be more fun to spit out the plural of “hypothesis” as “hypothesises,” that isn’t the correct plural. There’s probably a reason for that, as it sounds really funny. Some more common words I hear with irregular plurals are:
Plurals that change "i" to "e"
Nouns whose Plural Changes "us" to "i"
Irregular Plurals that end in -a or -ia
Check out this fun hub by DzyMsLizzy!
Other Confusing Irregular Plurals
The plural of “alumna” is “alumnae” if the alumna is female. A male “alumnus” becomes plural “alumni.” I can’t seem to keep that one in my head! Here’s a common word: data. Although “data” is thought by many to be both the singular and plural, “datum” is technically the singular form. And has anyone ever heard the plural of “formula” to be “formulae”? Neither have I. I’m sticking with “formulas,” which is also accepted. “Appendix” becomes “appendices.” The plural of “syllabus” is “syllabi,” although syllabuses (can you believe this?) is also accepted. Syllabuses. Now that is fun to say! I’m going with it.
I know I haven't hit all the irregular plurals. Consider how life turns to lives and knife to knives. Child becomes children, and man and woman become men and women. But we are more familiar with those, so I hope this article has been helpful in helping you with the most irregular of irregular plural nouns. Check out my other grammar hubs if you'd like. I'd love to see you there!
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