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Write the Right Word: Plurals

Are you confused whether to add an “s” or an “es” to make a word plural?

Here are some tips:

  • Most words – Add “s.” For example: boys, ships, villages
  • Words ending in ch, s, sh, ss, x and z – Add “es.” For example: churches, lenses, glasses, boxes
  • Words ending in is – Change “is” to “es.” For example: oasis/oases, thesis/theses
  • Words ending in y – Change “y” to “i” and add “es.” For example: army/armies, city/cities
  • Words ending in o – Most require “es.” For example: buffaloes, potatoes, echoes, heroes One exception: pianos
  • Words ending in f – In general, change “f” to “v” and add “es.” For example: hoof/hooves, leaf/leaves, self/selves. An exception: roof/roofs
  • Proper names ending in es, s or z – Add “es.” For example: Charleses, Joneses, Gonzalezes
  • Proper names ending in y – Generally, add “s.” For example: Duffys. Exceptions: Allegheny Mountains/Alleghenies, Rocky Mountains/Rockies
  • Figures – Add “s” and do not use an apostrophe after the figure. For example: 747s, size 7s, temperatures in the low 20s
  • Single letters – Add “’s.” For example: mind your p’s and q’s, the three R’s
  • Multiple letters – Add “s” but not an apostrophe after the letters. For example: ABCs, IOUs

, Information Specialist, 701-231-5391

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