A plural noun is a word that describes more than one person, place, or thing.
In kindergarten, children practice forming regular plural nouns orally by adding /s/ or /es/ to familiar common nouns (e.g., dog, dogs; wish, wishes). First grade students begin to practice noun-verb agreement as well as spelling plural nouns correctly. In second grade, students practice forming plural nouns by adding the letters /es/ to nouns that end in x, ch, sh, s, or ss (e.g., boxes, beaches, dishes, buses, dresses).
The terminology used in K-2 is “one” and “more than one,” with the terms “singular” and “plural” introduced in Grade 3. Grade 2 students practice spelling some common irregular plural nouns, such as men, women, children, feet, and mice, as they learn which nouns change to a different word to describe more than one.
Teaching Plural Nouns
Word study with plural nouns in Grades 2 and up should continue to provide opportunities for students to demonstrate proficiency in noun-verb agreement. In third grade, more irregular plural nouns are introduced, providing opportunities for students to practice forming plural nouns from nouns that end with a consonant and the letter y (lady/ladies) as well as nouns that end with a vowel and the letter y (toy/toys).
Grade 4 word study includes exceptions to rules already learned, introducing students to the plural forms of family names, such as “the Kellys,” not “the Kellies”. Fourth grade students also practice forming plural nouns from nouns that end in f or fe, such as calf/calves and knife/knives, as well as common irregular plurals, such as sheep/sheep and deer/deer.
In Grade 4 and higher, word study with irregular plural nouns continues, including nouns that end with the letter o, such as solo/solos and tomato/tomatoes, and words that end in z, such as waltz/waltzes.
Common Core State Standards Related to Plural Nouns
Form regular plural nouns orally by adding /s/ or /es/ (e.g., dog, dogs; wish, wishes).
Use singular and plural nouns with matching verbs in basic sentences (e.g., He hops; We hop).
Form and use frequently occurring irregular plural nouns (e.g., feet, children, teeth, mice, fish).
Form and use regular and irregular plural nouns.
K-2 – Regular Plurals – change final y and add s: baby, babies, lady, ladies, party, parties, candy, candies, story, stories
K-2 – Irregular Plurals – Internal change: man, men, tooth, teeth, mouse, mice, woman, women, foot, feet
3-5 – Regular Plurals – s or es endings: church, churches, glass, glasses, box, boxes, circus, circuses, brush, brushes
3-5 – Regular Plurals – change final y and add s: grocery, groceries, cherry, cherries, jelly, jellies, country, countries, butterfly, butterflies
3-5 – Irregular Plurals – changed endings or unchanged words: deer, ox, oxen, moose, child, children, sheep, shelf, shelves, series
6-8 – Regular Plurals – s or es endings: brooch, brooches, wilderness, wildernesses, speech, speeches, success, successes, lens, lenses
6-8 – Plurals – consonant endings into vowels: spectrum, spectra, criterion, criteria, cactus, cacti, radius, radii, curriculum, curricula
6-8 – Plurals of “o” words: piano, pianos, tomato, tomatoes, solo, solos, potato, potatoes, kimono, kimonos
9-12 – Regular Plurals – s or es endings: flourish, flourishes, breach, breaches, metropolis, metropolises, annex, annexes, prospectus, prospectuses
9-12 – Plurals with no singular: scissors, species, shorts, trousers, pajamas, pants, cattle, tights, tongs, slacks
9-12 – Plurals ending in a vowel: phenomenon, phenomena, alumnus, alumni, formula, formulae, bacterium, bacteria, nucleus, nuclei
9-12 – Plurals of is or ix words: oasis, oases, appendix, appendices, analysis, analyses, index, indices, diagnosis, diagnoses
VocabularySpellingCity.com provides word lists, printables, and interactive games and activities that give students the opportunity to form and use form and use regular and irregular plural nouns. In addition, targeted lists and activities allow students to use singular and plural nouns with matching verbs in basic sentences.
Try Test-N-Teach with the Elementary School Plural Nouns list.