Why is the English spelling so irregular

Nouns: Irregular plural forms in English

Nouns ending in -f end up

Unfortunately there is for that Nounsthat on -fend up, no clear rule.The word ends on -ff, will only be one -s attached.

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a riff - two riffs

Stands in front the -fa long vowel, becomes the plural form either regularly or irregular educated.

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  • a roof -> two roofs
  • a thief -> two thieves

Both singular forms are formed similarly. The words end on -f and before that there is a long vowel. At roof becomes the plural form regularly by Attach of -sformed at thiefunfortunately this is not the case. Here it becomes -f by -vesreplaced.This irregular plural form often occurs with words that end on a simple -fend up. In addition, there are also many nouns that end in -fe end, irregular. The plural form of these nouns usually ends in -ves:

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  • a leftfe-> two leftves
  • a kneefe -> two kneesves

As you can see, you are unfortunately not spared from learning some irregular shapes by heart. Because not every time there is a clear rule that describes the formation of the plural.

Nouns that do not change in the plural

You may already know that some plural nouns don't change. So they look exactly the same in the singular and plural. Take a look at the following examples:

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  • one sheep -> three sheep
  • one fish -> th fish
  • a deer -> eight deer

With these words, neither one -sattached, still changeyou yourselfotherwise in some way. Again, there is no general rule, which is why you have to memorize these words with their plural forms.

Nouns ending in -O end up

Nounsthat on -Oend up, behave similarly to on -fending nouns. You can use either regularly -s form the plural form, but often they also form the plural irregularly. Unfortunately, there is no clear rule for these nouns either. Take a look at the following examples with irregular and regular plural forms:

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  • one studiO -> two studios
  • a photO -> five photos
  • a potatO -> ten potatoes
  • a herO -> three heroes

You realize: Nouns, the on -O end up, to take in the Pluraleither a -sor a -itto himself. Unfortunately, there is no explanation for the different education, which is why you have to learn by heart here too.

Nouns that end on a sibilant

Nounsthat on a End sibilant, take im Plural a -itto himself. For example, sibilants can be the letters -z, -x, -ch, -sor -sh represent. Try to type in to these sounds as you speak -sappending is going to be difficult for you, if it works at all. Therefore, when you append -s another -e prefixed. Take a look at the following examples:

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  • one box -> three boxit
  • one sandwich -> two sandwichit
  • a bus -> two busit
  • a crash -> three crashit

More irregular plural forms

Finally, we want to introduce you to a few nouns that form the plural so irregularly that at all no rules can describe education. It is especially important that you learn these nouns along with their irregular plural forms to avoid mistakes! You can look at a number of these nouns here:

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  • one mouse -> two mice
  • a man -> two men
  • a woman -> two women (the -O becomes in the plural like a -ipronounced!)
  • a foot -> two feet
  • one tooth -> five teeth
  • a child -> three children
  • a goose -> two geese
  • an ox -> four oxen

You have now seen a lot of irregular plural forms in English. You can use our tasks to test whether you already have an overview of the shapes. We wish you a lot of fun and success!