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Irregular Plurals Study Guide

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Updated on Sep 28, 2011

Irregular Plurals

Some words cannot be made plural by adding -s or -es to the end. This lesson will introduce you to irregular plurals and show you some tips to help you remember them.

AS YOU WILL HAVE noticed by now, the English language is filled with exceptions to the rules. Plurals are no different. A number of words do not follow the regular rules pluralizing words. Such words are considered irregular plurals.

Many of the words with irregular plurals have come into the English language from Latin or Greek. Because of this, you can find some patterns that will help you to remember how to pluralize these words. However, since the rules are not as straightforward as for regular plurals, you will need to spend some time memorizing the irregular plurals.

Here are several of the plurals that don't follow the -es and -s rules, grouped according to the patterns in the way their plurals are formed.

Irregular Plurals

TIP: Note that although the plural of man is men and the plural of woman is women, the plural of human is humans—not humen! Take care not to group the word human together with man and woman as far as forming the plural is concerned.

In addition to the irregular plurals that can be nicely grouped according to their patterns, there are some words that you will simply have to memorize because their plurals don't seem to make much sense. Here is a list of the most common of those irregular plurals.

Irregular Plurals

Some words can be pluralized in two different ways. These include:

Irregular Plurals

While there are some words that can be pluralized in different ways, there are also some words where you don't need to do anything to make them plural: the plural form of many animal names, and a few other words, is the same as the singular form. These words include:

    bison

    deer

    fish

    moose

    series

    sheep

    species

While you might be tempted to report that you came across several meese in your travels, you would correctly report that you saw several moose!

Practice exercises for this study guide can be found at:

Irregular Plurals Practice Exercises

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