The Number-2

Singular Plural
boat boats
house houses
cat cats
river rivers


bus buses
wish wishes
pitch pitches
box boxes
penny pennies
spy spies
baby babies
city cities
daisy daisies
woman women
man men
child children
tooth teeth
foot feet
person people
leaf leaves
mouse mice
goose geese
half halves
knife knives
wife wives
life lives
elf elves
loaf loaves
potato potatoes
tomato tomatoes
cactus cacti
focus foci
fungus fungi
nucleus nuclei
syllabus syllabi/syllabuses
analysis analyses
diagnosis diagnoses
oasis oases
thesis theses
crisis crises
phenomenon phenomena
criterion criteria
datum data

Some nouns have the same form in the singular and the plural.


Singular Plural
sheep sheep
fish fish
deer deer
species species
aircraft aircraft


Some nouns have a plural form but take a singular verb.

Plural nouns used with a singular verb Sentence
news The news is at 6.30 p.m.
athletics Athletics is good for young people.
linguistics Linguistics is the study of language.
darts Darts is a popular game in England.
billiards Billiards is played all over the world.

Some nouns have a fixed plural form and take a plural verb. They are not used in the singular, or they have a different meaning in the singular. Nouns like this include: trousers, jeans, glasses, savings, thanks, steps, stairs, customs, congratulations, tropics, wages, spectacles, outskirts, goods, wits

Plural noun with plural verb Sentence
trousers My trousers are too tight.
jeans Her jeans are black.
glasses Those glasses are his.



Singular:           Plural:

abyss               abysses

alumnus         alumni

analysis          analyses

aquarium        aquaria

arch                 arches

atlas                atlases

axe                  axes

baby                babies

bacterium       bacteria

batch               batches

beach              beaches

brush               brushes

bus                  buses

calf                  calves

chateau          chateaux

cherry              cherries

child                children

church             churches

circus              circuses

city                   cities

cod                  cod

copy                copies

crisis               crises

curriculum     curricula

deer                 deer

dictionary       dictionaries

domino          dominoes

dwarf               dwarves

echo               echoes

elf                    elves

emphasis      emphases

family              families

fax                   faxes

fish                  fish

flush                flushes

fly                     flies

foot                  feet

fungus            fungi

half                  halves

hero                 heroes

hippopotamus  hippopotami

hoax                hoaxes

hoof                 hooves

index                indexes

iris                    irises

kiss                  kisses

knife                 knives

lady                  ladies

leaf                  leaves

life                   lives

loaf                  loaves

man                 men

mango             mangoes

memorandum   memoranda

mess                messes

moose             moose

motto               mottoes

mouse              mice

nanny               nannies

neurosis          neuroses

nucleus            nuclei

oasis                oases

octopus           octopi

party                 parties

pass                 passes

penny               pennies

person             people

plateau             plateaux

poppy               poppies

potato              potatoes

quiz                  quizzes

reflex                reflexes

runner-up        runners-up

scarf                scarves

scratch             scratches

series               series

sheaf                sheaves

sheep               sheep

shelf                 shelves

son-in-law       sons-in-law

species            species

splash              splashes

spy                    spies

stitch                 stitches

story                 stories

syllabus          syllabi

tax                    taxes

thesis              theses

thief                 thieves

tomato            tomatoes

tooth                teeth

tornado           tornadoes

try                     tries

volcano           volcanoes

waltz                waltzes

wash               washes

watch              watches

wharf               wharves

wife                  wives

woman           women

foot feet
goose geese
louse lice
dormouse dormice
man men
mouse mice (computer mouse can also take the regular plural form mouses)
tooth teeth
woman women /ˈwɪmᵻn/
alumna alumnae
formula formulae/formulas
encyclopaedia (or encyclopædia) / encyclopedia encyclopaedias / encyclopedias (encyclopaediae and encyclopediae are rare)


index indices or indexes
matrix matrices
vertex vertices
axis axes
genesis geneses
nemesis nemeses
crisis crises
testis testes
series series
species species
addendum addenda
corrigendum corrigenda
datum data.
forum fora/forums
medium media
memorandum memoranda/memorandums
millennium millennia
ovum ova
referendum referendums
spectrum spectra
alumnus alumni
corpus corpora
census censuses
focus foci
genus genera
prospectus prospectuses
radius radii
campus campuses
stylus styli
syllabus syllabi/syllabuses (in fact the Latin plural is syllabūs)
viscus viscera
virus viruses
cactus cactuses/cacti
fungus fungi
hippopotamus hippopotamuses/hippopotami
octopus octopuses
platypus platypuses
terminus termini/terminuses
uterus uteri/uteruses
automaton automata
criterion criteria
phenomenon phenomena
polyhedron polyhedra
atlas atlases (map collections)
stigma stigmata/stigmas
stoma stomata/stomas
schema schemata/schemas
dogma dogmata/dogmas
lemma lemmata/lemmas
anathema anathemata/anathemas
attorney general attorneys general
bill of attainder bills of attainder
court martial courts martial
director general directors general
fee simple absolute fees simple absolute
governor-general governors-general
passerby passersby
ship of the line ships of the line
son-in-law sons-in-law
minister-president ministers-president
chief of staff chiefs of staff