Singular and Plural Nouns in English Grammar – Number

Number - Singular and Plural in English Grammar
Singular and Plural: Number

In the context of grammar, a number refers to a grammatical category that indicates whether a noun or pronoun is singular or plural. (व्याकरण के संदर्भ में, एक वचन एक व्याकरणिक श्रेणी को संदर्भित करती है जो इंगित करती है कि संज्ञा या सर्वनाम एकवचन है या बहुवचन।)

Number is used to convey information about the quantity or the count of objects or entities being referred to in a sentence. (वचन का उपयोग किसी वाक्य में संदर्भित वस्तुओं या संस्थाओं की मात्रा या संख्या के बारे में जानकारी देने के लिए किया जाता है।)

There are two kinds of Number in English Grammar (अंग्रेजी व्याकरण में वचन के दो प्रकार होते हैं):

  1. Singular (एकवचन)
  2. Plural (बहुवचन)

1. Singular Number

A noun that denotes one person or thing is said to be in the Singular Number. (जिस संज्ञा से किसी एक व्यक्ति या वस्तु का बोध हो, उसे एकवचन कहा जाता है।)

जैसे- Boy, girl, man, bird, tree, book, pen, baby, sweater etc.

2. Plural Number

A noun that denotes more than one person or thing is said to be in the Plural Number. (जिस संज्ञा शब्द से एक से अधिक व्यक्ति या वस्तु का बोध हो, उसे बहुवचन कहते हैं।)

जैसे- Boys, girls, men, birds, trees, books, pens, babies, sweaters etc.

Examples of Singular and Plural

How Plural is formed?

Generally, the Plurals of nouns are formed by adding ‘s’ to the singular form. (साधारणतया संज्ञाओं के बहुवचन रूप, एकवचन में ‘s’ जोड़ने से बनते हैं।) For example:

Singular Plural
Boy boys
Girl girls
Bird birds
Cow cows
Ship ships
Desk desks
Pencil pencils
Book books
Cassette cassettes
Film films

But, there are some rules also for changing singular nouns to plural. (लेकिन, एकवचन संज्ञाओं को बहुवचन में बदलने के भी कुछ नियम हैं।) These are (ये नियम निम्न हैं):

Rule 1. If s, ss, sh, ch, x and z are the last letters of noun, ‘es’ puts to the end to make them plural. (यदि s, ss, sh, ch, x और z संज्ञा के अंतिम अक्षर हों, तो उन्हें बहुवचन बनाने के लिए अंत में ‘es’ लगता है।)

Singular Plural
Class Classes
Mass Masses
Kiss Kisses
Toss Tosses
Miss Misses
Bus Buses
Brush Brushes
Dish Dishes
Bush Bushes
Watch Watches
Bench Benches
Match Matches
Branch Branches
Tax Taxes
Box Boxes
Topaz Topazes

But, in case of Stomach (Pronounced as Stomak), Monarch (Pronounced as Monark) only ‘s’ is needed at their end to make them plural. (लेकिन, Stomach (उच्चारण के रूप में Stomak), Monarch (Monark के रूप में उच्चारित) के मामले में उन्हें बहुवचन बनाने के लिए उनके अंत में केवल ‘s’ की आवश्यकता होती है।)

Stomach Stomachs
Monarch Monarchs

Rule 2. If there is ‘O’ in the end of a noun, put ‘es’ to the end for plural. (संज्ञा के अंत में ‘O’ हो तो बहुवचन के अंत में ‘es’ लगाएं।)

Singular Plural
Hero Heroes
Zero Zeroes
Volcano Volcanoes
Mango Mangoes
Mosquito Mosquitoes
Echo Echoes
Potato Potatoes
Buffalo Buffaloes
Negro Negroes
Cargoes Cargo
Bingo Bingoes

There are some exceptions where only ‘s’ is needed for a plural one in ‘o’ ending nouns. (कुछ अपवाद भी हैं जहां ‘o’ में समाप्त होने वाली संज्ञाओं में बहुवचन के लिए केवल ‘s’ की आवश्यकता होती है।)

Singular Plural
Photo Photos
Piano Pianos
Dynamo Dynamos
Canto Cantos
Quarto Quartos
Momento Momentos
Solo Solos
Stereo Stereos

Rule 3. If there are double vowels to the end of a noun, put only ‘s’ to the end of that noun for plural. (यदि किसी संज्ञा के अंत में दोहरे स्वर हों तो बहुवचन के लिए उस संज्ञा के अंत में केवल ‘s‘ लगाएं।)

Singular Plural
Radio Radios
Ratio Ratios
Studio Studios
Portfolio Portfolios
Cuckoo Cuckoos
Bamboo Bamboos

Rule 4. If ‘y’ is the last letter of a noun and that ‘y’ is preceded by a consonant, then change ‘y’ into ‘ies’ for the plural forms. (यदि ‘y’ संज्ञा का अंतिम अक्षर है और ‘y’ के पहले कोई व्यंजन है, तो बहुवचन के लिए ‘y’ को ‘ies’ में बदलें।)

Singular Plural
Spy Spies
Baby Babies
History Histories
Lady Ladies
Fly Flies
Sky Skies
Story Stories
City Cities
Army Armies
Pony Ponies

Rule 5. If ‘y’ is the last letter of a noun and that ‘y’ is preceded by a vowels, then put only ‘s’ to the end of that noun for plural. (यदि ‘y’ संज्ञा का अंतिम अक्षर हो और ‘y’ के पहले स्वर हो तो बहुवचन के लिए उस संज्ञा के अंत में केवल ‘s’ लगाएं।)

Singular Plural
Lay Lays
Bay Bays
Ray Rays
Prey Preys
Кеу Keys
Storey Storeys
Tray Trays
Day Days
Clay Clays
Play Plays

Rule 6. If ‘f’ or ‘fe’ are the last letters of a noun, then change ‘f’ or ‘fe’ into ‘ves’ for the plural forms. (यदि ‘f’ या ‘fe’ संज्ञा के अंतिम अक्षर हों तो बहुवचन के लिए ‘f’ या ‘fe’ को ‘ves’ में बदलें।)

Singular Plural
Knife Knives
Life Lives
Wife Wives
Thief Thieves
Leaf Leaves
Loaf Loaves
Calf Calves
Handkerchief Handkerchieves
Wolf Wolves
Self Selves
Shelf Shelves

Yet, there are some exceptions to this rule, such as (फिर भी, इस नियम के कुछ अपवाद भी हैं, जैसे कि):

Proof Proofs
Roof Roofs
Chief Chiefs
Reef Reels
Gulf Gulfs
Belief Beliefs
Grief Griefs
Brief Briefs
Serf Serfs
Dwarf Dwarfs
Hoof Hoofs
Strife Strifes

Rule 7. It is found that a few nouns form their plural by changing the inside vowel of the singular form. (यह पाया गया है कि कुछ संज्ञाएँ एकवचन रूप के आंतरिक स्वर को बदलकर अपना बहुवचन बनाती हैं।)

Singular Plural
Man Men
Woman Women
Tooth Teeth
Goose Geese
Mice Mouse
Louse Lice
Foot Feet

Rule 8. There are a few nouns that form their plural by adding ‘en’ to the singular. (कुछ संज्ञाएँ ऐसी होती हैं जो एकवचन में ‘en‘ जोड़कर अपना बहुवचन बनाती हैं।)

Singular Plural
Ox Oxen
Child Children

Rule 9. There are some nouns which have their singular and plural forms a-like. (कुछ संज्ञाएँ ऐसी होती हैं जिनके एकवचन और बहुवचन रूप एक जैसे होते हैं।)

Singular Plural
Swine Swine
Sheep Sheep
Deer Deer
Trout Trout
Salmon Salmon
Pair Pair
Dozen Dozen
Score Score
Gross Gross
Stone (unit) Stone
Hundredweight Hundredweight
Hundred Hundred
Thousand Thousand

For example:

  • Ten hundred weight, make one ton.
  • The boy gave me five hundred, rupees. (When used after numerals)
  • The car cost me eighty thousand, rupees. (When used after numerals)

Rule 10. There are some nouns which are only used in the plural. (कुछ संज्ञाएँ ऐसी होती हैं जिनका प्रयोग केवल बहुवचन में होता है।)

(a) Names of instruments which have two parts forming a kind of pair. (ऐसे यंत्रों के नाम जिनके दो भाग होते हैं जो एक प्रकार का युग्म बनाते हैं।) For example:

  • Bellows,
  • spectacles,
  • scissors,
  • tongs,
  • pincers etc.

(b) Names of certain articles of dress. (पोशाक की कुछ वस्तुओं के नाम।) For example:

  • Trousers,
  • breeches,
  • drawers etc.

(c) Names of diseases. (रोगों के नाम।) For example:

  • Measles,
  • mumps etc.

(d) Names of games. (खेलों के नाम।) For example:

  • Draughts,
  • billiards etc.

(e) Certain other nouns. (कुछ अन्य संज्ञाएँ।) For example:

  • Annals,
  • thanks,
  • proceeds (of a sale),
  • tidings,
  • environs,
  • nuptials,
  • obsequies,
  • assets,
  • chattels,
  • odds,
  • amends,
  • seals,
  • shambles,
  • vegetables,
  • troops,
  • particulars,
  • aborigins,
  • alms,
  • ashes,
  • arrears,
  • dregs,
  • eaves,
  • earnings,
  • sweepings, etc.

Rule 11. There are some plural forms of nouns which are actually singular. (संज्ञा के कुछ बहुवचन रूप होते हैं जो वास्तव में एकवचन होते हैं।) For example:

  • Innings,
  • mathematics,
  • news,
  • civics,
  • politics,
  • physics,
  • ethics,
  • economics,
  • mechanics,
  • summons etc.

Mathematics is an easy subject. (Mathematics is singular number)

If plural looking subjects are particularised or possessed, they become as plural nouns (यदि बहुवचन दिखने वाले विषय विशेषीकृत या अधिकार में हैं, तो वे बहुवचन संज्ञा बन जाते हैं:):

  1. My Mathematics are strong. (Mathematics – possessed, plural number)
  2. The politics of our state are dirty. (politics – particularised, plural number)
  3. The summons was issued by the magistrate. (summons – singular number)

Rule 12. The following nouns are always used in singular number. (निम्नलिखित संज्ञाओं का प्रयोग सदैव एकवचन में होता है।) For example:

  • Scenery,
  • machinery,
  • poetry,
  • stationery,
  • sultry,
  • jewellery,
  • crockery,
  • luggage,
  • baggage,
  • breakage,
  • haltage,
  • percentage,
  • knowledge,
  • postage,
  • wastage,
  • furniture,
  • information,
  • traffic,
  • coffee,
  • dust etc.

Rule 13. Certain Collective Nouns, though singular in form, are always used as plurals. (कुछ समूहवाचक संज्ञाएं, जो एकवचन रूप में दिखाई दें, हमेशा बहुवचन के रूप में उपयोग की जाती हैं।) For example:

  • Poultry,
  • cattle,
  • vermin,
  • people,
  • gentry etc.

Rule 14. In Compound Nouns, we make their plural forms only by adding ‘s’ to the main word. (यौगिक संज्ञाओं में हम मुख्य शब्द में ‘s‘ जोड़कर ही उनका बहुवचन बनाते हैं।)

Singular Plural
Father-in-law Fathers-in-law
Daughter-in-law Daughters-in-law
Mother-in-law Mothers-in-law
Commander-in-chief Commanders-in-chief
Step-daughter step-daughters
Maid-servant Maid-servants
Looker-on Lookers-on
Passer-by Passers-by
Man-of-war Men-of-war
Coat-of-mill Coats-of-mill

Now, look at these examples (अब इन उदाहरणों को देखें):

Singular Plural
Man killer Man killers
Chief Minister Chief Ministers
Woman hater Woman haters
Cupful Cupfuls
Handful Handfuls
Drawback Draw backs

Rule 15. Nouns borrowed from other languages in English have their special rules to change them into plural. (अंग्रेजी में अन्य भाषाओं से उधार ली गई संज्ञाओं को बहुवचन में बदलने के अपने विशेष नियम हैं।)

Singular Plural
Datum Data
Ditum Dita
Erratum Errata
Bacterium Bacteria
Referendum Referenda
Memorandum Memoranda
Agendum Agenda
Medium Media
Sanatorium Sanatoria
Criterion Criteria
Phenomenon Phenomena
Oasis Oases
Thesis Theses
Hypothesis Hypotheses
Analysis Analyses
Crisis Crises
Index Indice/Indices
Apparatus Apparatus
Series Series
Innings Innings
Species Species

Rule 16. Some ‘um’ ending Latin nouns take only ‘s’ in plural form. (कुछ ‘um‘ से समाप्त होने वाले लैटिन संज्ञा शब्दों के बहुवचन रूप में केवल ‘s‘ जुड़ता हैं।)

Singular Plural
Harmonium Harmoniums
Quorum Quorums
Forum Forums
Premium Premiums
Pendulum Pendulums
Stadium Stadiums

Rule 17. “Noun + Proposition + the same noun” remain always singular in use. (“Noun + Proposition + same noun” प्रयोग में हमेशा एकवचन रहते हैं।) For example:

  • Village after village – correct
  • Match after match –correct
  • Row upon row –correct
  • Word for word –correct


  • Villages after villages –wrong
  • Matches after matches –wrong
  • Rows upon rows – wrong
  • Word for words – wrong

Rule 18. The digits, verbs, pronouns and abbreviations take their plural form in the following ways (अंक, क्रिया, सर्वनाम और संक्षिप्त रूप निम्न प्रकार से अपना बहुवचन रूप लेते हैं):

Singular Plural
70 70’s
21 21’s
shall shall’s
will will’s
if if’s
what what’s
who who’s
M.A. M.A.s (not M.A.’s)
B.A. B.A.s (not B.A’s)
M.L.A. M.L.A.s (not M.L.A.’s)

Rule 19. Some nouns have two meanings in the singular but only one in plural. (कुछ संज्ञाओं के एकवचन में दो अर्थ होते हैं लेकिन बहुवचन में केवल एक।)

Singular Plural
Light (radiance, a lamp) Lights (Lamps)
Practice (habit, exercise of a profession) Practices (habits)
Powder (dust, a dose of medicine in fine grains like dust) Powders (doses of medicine)
People (nation, men and women) Peoples (nations)

Rule 20. Some nouns have two forms for the plural each with a somewhat different meaning. (कुछ संज्ञाओं के बहुवचन के दो रूप होते हैं जिनमें से प्रत्येक का अर्थ कुछ भिन्न होता है।)

Singular Plural
Brother Brothers : sons of the same parent,
Brethren : members of a society of a community.
Cloth Cloths : kinds or pieces of cloth,

Clothes : garments.

Die Dies : stamps for coining,
Dice : small cubes used in games.
Fish Fishes : taken separately,
Fish: collectively
Genius Geniuses : persons of great talent,
Genii: spirits
Index Indexes : tables of contents to books,
Indices : signs used in algebra
Penny Pennies : number of coins,
Pence : amount in value

Rule 21. Some nouns have one meaning in the singular and more than one in the plural. (कुछ संज्ञाओं का एकवचन में एक और बहुवचन में एक से अधिक अर्थ होता है।)

Singular Plural
Colour (hue) Colours (hues, the flag of a regiment)
Custom (habit) Customs (habits, duties levied on imports)
Effect (result) Effects (results, property)
Manner (method) Manners (methods, correct behaviour)
Moral (a moral lesson) Morals (moral lessons, conduct)
Number (a quantity) Numbers (quantities, verses)
Pain (suffering) Pains (sufferings, care, exertion)
Premise (proposition) Premises (propositions, buildings)
Quarter (fourth part) Quarters (fourth part, lodgings)
Spectacle (a sight) Spectacles (sights, eye-glasses)
Letter (letter of the alphabet, epistle) Letters (letters of the alphabet, epistles, literature)
Ground (earth, reason) Grounds (enclosed land attached to house, reasons, dregs)

Rule 22. Some nouns change their meaning when we make them plural. (कुछ संज्ञाओं को जब हम बहुवचन बनाते हैं तो उनका अर्थ बदल जाता है।)

Singular Plural
Air : atmosphere Airs : affected manners
Alphabet : letter Alphabets : longuages
Advice : counsel Advices : information
Abuse : bad language Abuses : languages
Compass : exterit, range Compasses: an instrument for drawing circles
Force : strength Forces : military forces
Good : benefit, well-being Goods : merchandise
Physic: medicine Physics : natural science
Practice : habit Practices : traditions
Iron: a kind of metal Irons : fetters
Light : radiant Lights : lamps
Respect : regard Respects : compliments
Work : duty Words : creations

Rule 23. Abstract Nouns have no plural. (भाववाचक संज्ञाओं का बहुवचन नहीं होता है।) For example:

  • Hope,
  • charity,
  • love,
  • kindness,
  • happiness,
  • hatred etc.

When such words do appear in his plural form, they are used as common nouns. (जब ऐसे शब्द उसके बहुवचन रूप में प्रकट होते हैं, तो उनका प्रयोग common noun के रूप में किया जाता है।) For example:

  • Kindnesses = acts of kindness.
  • Provocations = instances or cases of Provocations.

Rule 24. There are also some names of substances or materials which are never used in plurals. They are called Material Nouns. (कुछ ऐसे पदार्थों या सामग्रियों के नाम भी हैं जिनका बहुवचन में कभी उपयोग नहीं किया जाता है। उन्हें द्रव्यवाचक संज्ञा कहते हैं।) For example:

  • Copper,
  • iron,
  • tin,
  • wood etc.

But, when these words are used in the plural, they become Common nouns and also, their meanings are changed. (लेकिन जब इन शब्दों का बहुवचन में प्रयोग किया जाता है तो ये जातिवाचक संज्ञा बन जाते हैं और इनके अर्थ भी बदल जाते हैं।) For example:

  • Coppers = copper coins.
  • Irons = fetters.
  • Tins = cans made of tin.
  • Woods = forests.

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