The problem of Singular and Plural Semantics of Different groups of Nouns
Kazakh Abylaikhan University of International
Relations and World Languages
The problem of Singular
and Plural Semantics of
Different groups of Nouns
Prepared by Ismailova D. 212g
Checked by Abil’khanova I.B.
3. The noun class can be subdivided into the following semantic subclasses:Noun
Abstract Concrete Abstract Concrete
Collective Mass Collective Individual
4. Characteristics of NounsSemantic
of a noun
of a noun
of a noun
concrete entity head of NP (e.g. number (plural)
(e.g. dog) or
the girl); can in
function as a
premodifier in a
NP (e.g. an oak
A singular noun names one person,
place, thing, or idea.
• One cat, one store, one item
A plural noun names two or more
persons, places, things, or ideas.
• Two cats, four stores, fifteen items
6. Some nouns that end in f or fe change to ves when made plural:• calf
7. Some nouns become a new word when made plural:• man
2. For nouns ending with s, x, z, sh, or ch,
9. Add ies to make nouns plural that end with a consonant and a y:• lady
3. For nouns ending with a consonant and y,
change the y to i and add es. For nouns ending
with a vowel and y, add s.
4. For some nouns ending with f or fe, add s. For others,
change the f to v and add s or es. (You will need to
memorize the spellings for such words or look them up
in a dictionary to check.
These are a little more tricky . . .
5. For nouns that end with o, add s or es. (Again, you
would need to memorize the spellings of such words or
look them up in a dictionary to double-check.)
—One trick to remember: if it has to do with sound (“music”),
just add s.—Ex: cello. piano, radio
potato / tomato
potatoes / tomatoes
13. Some nouns that end in o change to es when made plural. Some change to s:• kangaroo
6. Some nouns have irregular plural forms. You
will have to memorize the spelling for irregular
man / woman
men / women
15. Some nouns do not change at all when made plural:• sheep
7. A few nouns have the same singular and
8. A few nouns have only plural forms.
9. A few nouns that end with s look plural
but are considered singular.
10. For most compound nouns, make the most
important word plural.
For a compound noun written as one word,
make the last part plural.
For a compound noun written with hyphens
or as separate words, make the key word
maid of honor
maids of honor
11. Letters, numbers, symbols, and words used as
words are made plural by adding an apostrophe (‘)
ABC & 123
ABC’s & 123’s
22. The problem of Singular and Plural Semantics of Different groups of Nouns
Plural nouns cause two major
problems in formal writing.
First, class- or group-nouns like
"army," "audience," and "student
body" are technically singular, even
though they refer to a plurality of
individuals. They should be treated as
• The Senate, as a
rule, makes its opinion known to all.
• The board has voted to fire and
replace its Chair.
• If the navy forces its way inside the
harbor, it will overwhelm us.
"People" constitutes an exception to
this rule. Although it is grammatically
singular, it is treated as a plural: "The
people of Italy elect officials to
The second problem is that some
words called "non-count" nouns
do not normally use a plural form:
rain, weather, foliage, milk,
courage, outer space, and many
others. To pluralize non-count
words it is necessary to add a word
that signifies a unit or
measurement of quantity.