Number

In English grammar, number refers to the grammatical contrast between singular (the concept of one) and plural (more than one) forms of nounspronounsdeterminers, and verbs.

Types of Number

1.       Singular numberA singular noun is a word that indicates that there is only one person, animal place, thing, or idea.Example:- Book, Brother, Cow, Tree etc.
2.       Plural numberA plural noun is a word that indicates that there is more than one person, animal place, thing, or idea.Example:- Books, Brothers, Cows, Trees etc.

Examples of Grammatical Number

Although most English nouns form the plural by adding -s or -es to their singular forms, there are numerous exceptions. Below are examples of nouns, pronouns, adjectives, and verbs in the two number categories:

Word TypeNumber Category
Singular ExamplePlural Example
Nouncat, mousecats, mice
PronounI, me, you, he, him, she, her, itwe, us, you, they, them
Adjectivethis, that, a, an, my, your, his, her, itsthese, those, our, your, their
Verbam, is, was, has, I play, he playsAre, were, have, they play

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Rules on changing Singular number to Plural Number

Rule 1: By suffixing s to the singular-noun.

SingularPluralSingularPlural
Cow cowsboatboats
BoyBoystoytoys
GirlGirlsideaideas
CatCatslionlions
HouseHouseshousehouses
HandHandscatcats
EyeEyesriverrivers
TigerTigersbugbugs
DeskDeskstrucktrucks
Runruns Chairchairs 

Rule 2: By suffixing es to the singular-noun if a Singular noun ends with o, x, z, ss, sh, ch. 

SingularPluralSingularPlural
BusBusesfoxfoxes
ClassClassesbeachbeaches
BrushBrushesquizzesquiz
BushBusheswishwishes
BoxBoxespitchpitches
BrunchBrunchesBenchbenches 
InchInchesChurchchurches 
WatchWatchesBuffalobuffaloes 
MatchmatchesNegronegroes
Heroheroes Mangomangoes 
EchoechoesPotatopotatoes 

Exceptional:

Singular Noun এর  শেষের ‘ch’ এর উচ্চারণ ‘’ এর মত না হয়ে ‘’ এর মত হলে ‘es’ যোগ না হয়ে শুধু ‘s’ যোগ হয়ে Plural হবে। যেমন –

SingularPluralSingularPlural
StomachStomachsMonarchMonarchs
PatriarchPatriarchs 

Rule 3: Singular Noun এর শেষ বর্ণটি ‘o’ হলে এবং তার পূর্বের বর্ণটি consonant হলে  noun এর শেষে ‘es’ যোগ করে plural করতে হয়। যেমন

SingularPluralSingularPlural
MangoMangoesCargoCargoes
PotatoPotatoesVolcanoVolcanoes
HeroHeroesBuffaloBuffaloes
NegroNegroes  

 ব্যতিক্রম  কিছু noun এর শেষে ‘o’ এবং ‘o’ এর পূর্বে consonant থাকা সত্ত্বেও সেগুলোর শেষে ‘s’ যোগ করে plural করতে হয়

SingularPlural 
PhotoPhotosMomentomomentos 
SoloSolosDynamodynamos 
PianoPianoskilokilos
CantoCantos 

Rule 4:  Singular Noun এর শেষে ‘o’ এবং ‘o’ এর পূর্বে vowel থাকলে শুধু ‘s’ যোগ করে plural করতে হয়

SingularPluralSingularPlural
RadioRadiosBambooBamboos
CuckooCuckoosStudioStudios
StereoStereos  

Rule 5:  By changing the last letter y into ies.

SingularPluralSingularPlural
CityCitiespennypennies
BabyBabiesspyspies
ArmyArmiesdaisydaisies
BodyBodiesfamilyfamilies
HobbyHobbiespartyparties
LadyLadiesStory-stories  

ব্যতিক্রম  কিন্তু y এর পূর্বে vowel হলে সেক্ষেত্রে singular noun এর শেষে শুধু s যোগ করে plural করতে হয়

SingularPluralSingularPlural
KeyKeysBoyBoys
DonkeyDonkeysToyToys
MonkeyMonkeysDayDays
Joyjoys   

Rule 6: By changing f , ef or fe into ves.

SingularPluralSingularPlural
CalfCalvesKnifeknives 
LeafLeavesWolfwolves 
WifeWivesShelfshelves 
ThiefThievesLifeLives

ব্যতিক্রম

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শেষে ief, oof, ff, rf, if, eef, ife, fe, রয়েছে  ধরনের বিশেষ শব্দের শেষে শুধু s যোগ করে plural করতে হয়

SingularPluralSingularPlural
RoofRoofsBeliefBeliefs
HoofHoofsChiefchiefs 
SafeSafesGulfgulfs 
DwarfDwarfsProofproofs 
CliffCliffsReefReefs

Rule 7: By changing the inside vowel of the singular.

SingularPluralSingularPlural
ManMenFootFeet
WomanWomenToothTeeth
MouseMiceGoosegeese

Rule 8: By suffixing en to the singular.

SingularPluralSingularPlural
OxOxenChildChildren
BrotherBrethren 

Rule 9: By suffixing s to the main word or changing vowel in a compound noun.

SingularPluralSingularPlural
Brother-in-lawBrothers-in-lawCommander-in-chiefcommanders-in-chief 
Son-in-lawSons-in-lawMan-servantmen-servant 
Washer-manWasher-menStep-sonStep-sons
Passer-byPassers-byMaid-servantMaid-servants

Rule 10:Hyphen(-) বিহীন compound noun গুলোকে s যোগে plural করতে হয়

SingularPluralSingularPlural
HandfulHandfulsArmchairArmchairs
BookcaseBookcasesSpoonfulSpoonfuls

Rule 11:  কতগুলো compound noun গুলোকে s যোগে plural করতে হয়

SingularPluralSingularPlural
Man-servantMen-servantsWoman-servantWomen-servants
Lord-justiceLords-justicesKnight-templarKnights-templars

Rule 12:  কতগুলো compound noun এর শেষের noun টির সাথে s যোগ করে plural করতে হয়

SingularPluralSingularPlural
BookcaseBookcasesShowcaseShowcases
Inspector-generalInspector-generalsArmchairArmchairs

Rule 13: Few nouns have the same forms both in singular and plural forms. 

SingularPluralSingularPlural
SheepSheepDozenDozen
PairPairGrossGross
SwineSwinecodcod
DeerDeerfishfish
speciesspeciesaircraftaircraft

Rule 14: Few collective nouns, though they are in singular forms, are used in plural forms.
Examples: poultry, people, cattle, gentry, public, vermin, majority, mankind.
Rule 15: Few common nouns, though they are in singular forms, are used in plural forms.
the rich, the poor, the virtuous, the pious.
– The rich are not always happy.
– The virtuous are blessed.
Rule 16: Special cases few nouns which end in s are used in singular form.
physics, mathematics, politics, economics, wages, athletics, news, innings optics, linguistics darts billiards statistics. etc

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– Mathematics is hard subject to me.
– This news is is important. .
Rule 17: Few nouns are always used in plural forms.
Furniture, alphabet, brick, business, hair, information, scenery, machinery, beard, issue, poetry, progress, money, abuse, expenditure, baggage. Mumps, measles,  billiards, draughts,. trousers, drawers , spectacles, scissors
– Her hair is very black.
– Money is not a matter.
Rule 18: 
বর্ণসংখ্যা বা প্রতীককে plural করতে এপস্ত্রফি ( ’ ) ব্যবহার করতে হয়।
– There are five M.A’s in our village.
– Add four 3’s and five 2’s.
Rule 19: Few nouns have different meanings in the singular and in the plural:

SingularPluralSingularPlural
Advice (counsel)Advices  (information) Good (morally correct)goods (merchandise) 
Wood (portion of tree)woods (a grove of trees) Force (strength)forces (troops) 
Physic (medicine)physics (a branch of science) Sand (বালি)Sands (desert
Air (atmosphere)airs (artificial manners) Physic (medicine)physics (a branch of science) 
Custom (habit)customs (habits & taxes collected on imports Quarter (one fourth & a direction)quarters (fourth parts, living places & directions) 
Effect (result)effects (results & property)   

Rule 20. Few nouns have two different forms in plural. But the two forms have different meanings. 

SingularPluralPlural
BrotherBrothers (sons of same parents)Brethren (members of a society) 
ClothCloths (pieces of cloth)Clothes (items of cloth) 
FishFish (more than one of same variety)Fishes (of different varieties) 
GeniusGeniuses (persons of great talent)Genii (spirits)
IndexIndexes (tables of contents)Indices (signs used in algebra) 
   

Rule 21: Material noun গুলোর সাধারণত plural হয় না। যেমন– water, sugar, iron, cooper, oil, silver, wood.
Rule 22: Abstract noun 
এর plural form হয় নাযেমন– kindness, hope, charity, love, honesty.   

Rule 23:.Letters, numbers and other symbols form their plural by adding an apostrophe ands.
Examples: Write your i’s and l’s clearly.
Add two 8’s and six 4’s.

Note the use of foreign plurals

SingularPluralSingularPlural
AgendumAgendaErratumerrata 
AxisAxesIndexindices
AnalysisAnalysesBasisbases 
BasisBasesCriterioncriteria 
CurriculumCurriculaMemorandummemoranda 
CrisisCrisesTerminustermini / terminuses
FocusFocuses /fociHypothesishypotheses 
Formula Formulas /formulaeCherubcherubim/ cherubs
MediumMediaParenthesisparentheses 
RadiusRadiicactuscacti
OasisOasesfungusfungi
GenusGeneranucleusnuclei
ForumForumssyllabussyllabi/syllabuses
analysisanalysesdiagnosisdiagnoses
thesisthesesdatumdata
phenomenonphenomenaAppendixAppendixes/appendices
AlumnusLumniStratumStrata
MediumMediaBacteriumBacteria
StimulusStimuli  

 1. Give the plural number of the following

branch, tomato, monarch, knife, monkey story, box, stomach, house, boy, army, hero, photo, roof, hoof potato, cuckoo, bamboo, mango, mosquito, dish, man-of-war, woman, ox, salesman, Musalman, fisherman, German, brother-in-law, maid servant, servant, man servant, major-general, bookcase, handful, spoonful, party, scarf, analysis, agendum, bandit, basis, Mr., Mrs., crises, phenomenon

2. Give the singular number of the following:

asses, dishes, monarchs, flies, leaves, babes, wives, mangoes, studies, pionos, heroes, staffs, Chiefs, feet, geese, mice, oxen, lice, boatmen, brahamans, spoonfuls, step brothers, fathers in-law, lords-justices, men-servants, book-cases

3. Give the opposite number of the following:

loaves, bus, bones, days, cliff, radio, foot, workmen, Norman, passer-by, commanders-in-chief, memorandum, criterian, data, hypothesis, these fez, key

4. Give the correct number of the nouns in the brackets.

(a) The girl lost all her — (tooth).

(b) The green — (leaf) look fresh.

(c) He has two — (brother-in-law).

(d) He bought ten —- (sheep).

(e) He has one — (maid-servants).

(f)The — (passer-by) were looking at the sky.

(g)Local — (buses) does not run fast.

(h) A — (lice) fell from her head.

(i) The cat killed two — (mouse).

(j) Seven — (fox) are grazing in the field.

5. Give the correct number of the nouns in the brackets

(a) (Fly) — sit on uncovered food.

(b) The — (baby) are crying.

(c) The — (day) have become shorter.

(d) The — (women) in the room is my sister.

(e) The — (lady) in the club are gossiping.

(f) (Child) — are playing.

(g)(Herd) — are always welcome.

(h) The — (woman) of our country are poor.

(i) The — (boatmen) is taking rest.

(j) (Mango) — are not available.

6. Change the following sentences into singular

(a)Roses are flowers.

(b)Do are animals

(c)Houses are shelters

(d)Nouns are the names of things

(e) Dogs have tail.

(f) Soldiers carry guns 

(g)The workers are clearing the floors.

7. Change the following sentences into singular.

(a) These oranges are very sweet.

(b) Those mangoes are not ripe.

(c) Three boys were present yesterday.

(d) Good children are liked by all.

(e) There are ten geese in the pond.

(f) Some women are waiting at the station.

(g) Many boatmen are sailing their boats in the sea.

(h) Some oxen are found in the field.

(i) Mosquitoes are insects.

(j) Babies are playing with their toys.

8. Change the following sentences into singular.

(a) The brave are heroes.

(b) The guests were narrating their stories.

(c) Our friends send us letters.

(d) Many women are garment workers.

(e) Asses carry loads.

(f) Lions are ferocious animals.

(g) Owls are nocturnal birds.

(h) Children like toys.

(i) Fishermen catch fishes.

(j) Nurses serve patients.

9. Change the following sentences into plural.

(a) There is a deer on the hill side.

(b) This sheep is white.

(c) That bookcase is made of wood.

(d) He has caught a fish.

(e) I am going to pay the workman.

(f) My school is big.

(g) He is a school boy.

(h) This woman has an umbrella.

(i) This is a boy.

(j) That is a big house.

10. Change the following sentences into plural.

(a) I saw a man sleeping.

(b) This is the boy whose pen is lost.

(c) This is a woman.

(d) A cow is a useful animal.

(e) Chair is made of wood.

(f) Loaf is made from flour.

(g) Chair is made of wood.

(h) A cat is under my table.

(i) A horse is useful to farmers.

(j) A noun is the name of a thing.

11. Choose the correct number in brackets.

(a) More than one — (singer/singers) sang beautiful songs.

(b) I always use — (spectacle/ spectacles).

(c) His — (circumstance/circumstances) are good.

(d) Spare — (part/parts) are sold in the market.

(e) I bought three — (dozen/dozens) oranges.

(f) He addressed all — (lady/ladies) present there.

(g) I bought five — (kilo/kilos) meat.

(h) There are many — (wolf/wolves) in the zoo.

(i) The old man has not a single — (tooth/teeth).

(j) He divided the mangoes into two — (hall/halves).

12. Choose the correct number in brackets.

(a) The police arrested all the — (thief/thieves).

(b) (That/those) — trees are very tall.

(c) I like to wear ready-made — (trouser/trousers).

(d) The (brother/brothers) — of the club are very co-operative.

(e) The (salesman/salesmen) — in this shop are very skilled.

(f) His (step-brother/step-brothers) — like him very much.

(g) (Bamboo/Bamboos) — are used for various purposes.

(h) (Baby/Babies) — usually like to play with toys.

(i) Seven (day/days) — make a week.

(j) (Hero/Heroes) — are respected by all.

13. Give the correct number of the nouns in the brackets.

(a) The — (wage) of sin is death.

(b) There are many — (fox) in this jungles.

(c) (Potato) — grow plenty in Bangladesh.

(d) His shop is full of — (piano).

(e) All the — (chief) met together.

(f) He used to tell me many — (story).

(g) Beware of — (fly).

(h) The old man has two — (wise).

(i) Meghna is the deepest — (river) in Bangladesh.

(j) The Padma is one of the biggest — (river) in Bangladesh.

14. Use the right form of nouns in the brackets.

(a) (Child) — like sweets. (b) (Baby) — love toys.

(c) The farmer has five — (sheep).

(d) The hunter killed three — (deer).

(e) He bought two dozen of — (pen).

(f) Ten — (mile) is a long way.

(g) She will draw some — (picture).

(h) He has six — (ox).

(i) There are three —– (knife) on the table.

(j) He lost all his — (tooth).

15. Use the right form of nouns in the brackets.

(a) The green — (leaf) look beautiful.

(b) He has five — (man-servant) in his house.

(c) A large number of  — (people) have gathered.

(d) Every — (babies) has a toy.

(e) The furniture is made of — (woods).

(f) — (lice) fell from her head.

(g) There are some — — (boatman) in the river.

(h) A few — (passer-by) are crossing the road.

(i) He has sold all his — (furnitures).

(j) Both of his — (foot) are injured.

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