Plural Nouns: The Basics

     Book, books... Table, tables... Phone, phones... Day, days... So... life, lifes, right? Nope! The plural of life is lives. And, isn't the plural of sheep sheeps? Nope! The plural of sheep is sheep. It's the same word.
     Have you ever wondered how to handle all of the rules and exceptions to rules in the English language? Here is an introduction (a beginning) to understanding the rules about plural nouns. Hopefully, it will make figuring out how to change that word less of a guessing game and more of a skill.

What is a plural noun?

A plural noun is a person, place, or thing of which there is more than one.

Example: If there is more than one phone, they are called phones.

When should I make a noun plural?

Make a noun plural when there is more than one of what that noun represents

How do I make a noun plural?

Usually, add the letter “s” to the end of the word. THIS IS TRUE FOR MOST WORDS IN ENGLISH.


One book, two books
One car, two cars

If the word ends with an “ee” sound made by the letter “y”, then remove the “y” and add “ies” to the end of the word. When you read these plurals out loud, it sounds like there is a “z” at the end of the word.


One fly, two flies

F-L-Y… remove “y”… F-L… add “ies”… Flies
One baby, two babies

B-A-B-Y… remove “y”… B-A-B… add “ies”… Babies
IMPORTANT: This rule only applies when the “y” at the end of the word makes an “ee” sound. Words that end in the letter “y” but do not end in an “ee” sound follow the first rule for plurals (add an “s). For instance, the plural of “day” is “days” not “daies”.
If the word ends in “fe”, remove “fe” and add “ves”


One life, two lives

L-I-F-E… remove “fe”… add “ves”… L-I-V-E-S
One knife, two knives
K-N-I-F-E… remove “fe”… add “ves”…
Some words do not change to become plural


One sheep, two sheep
Unfortunately, even with these pointers, there are always exceptions in the English language.
Child, children


And also the plural "day" is "days" is because of there is a vowel "o" before the "y". 


Bethany G.

Specialized tutoring to meet your needs

20+ hours
if (isMyPost) { }