Collective Nouns/Nouns of Multitude
Поможем в ✍️ написании учебной работы
Поможем с курсовой, контрольной, дипломной, рефератом, отчетом по практике, научно-исследовательской и любой другой работой


Collective Nouns (class, army, party, group, crew, family, herd, etc.) - nouns that name not a single thing but a group of things and individuals, taken as a whole, as a single undivided body. The same nouns may be treated as nouns of multitude that indicate the group as a collection of individuals.

· We have a nice family. Our family is well-known in our town. - collective nouns

· When I entered the room my family were sitting round the table. («все члены семьи») - a noun of multitude

Some of the collective nouns: people, police, cattle, poultry require a plural verb and are used with the definite article.




English nouns have two numbers - the singular and the plural. The plural form is formed by adding “-s “ or “-es “ inflexion.

· a book - books, a boy - boys, a class - classes

The “s” inflexion is pronounced as:

[ s ] - after voiceless consonants : caps, books, hats

[ z ] - after voiced consonants and vowels: beds, bees, toys

[ iz ] - after sibilants (- s, -ss, -x, -ch, -dg, -sh, -tch ): boxes, benches, sledges, bushes, noses, classes


Spelling Rules


1. Nouns ending in ~s, -ss, -x, -sh, -ch, -tch add -es to the singular:

e. g. a bus - buses, a box - boxes, a glass - glasses


2. Nouns ending in “y” with a preceding consonant change “y” into “i + es”:

e. g. a lady - ladies, a penny - pennies, a fly - flies


But if the final “y” is preceded by a vowel the plural is formed by adding -s:

e. g. a day - days, a play - plays, a key - keys, a boy -- boys


Proper names ending in “y” simply add -s.

e. g. Mary - Marys, Lily - Lilys


3. Nouns ending in “o” with a preceding consonant add -es:

e.g. a hero - heroes, a potato - potatoes


BUT: a piano - pianos, a solo - solos, a photo - photos, a cello - cellos, zero - zeros, a credo - credos, a rhino - rhinos and many words of foreign origin and abbreviated words


If “o” is preceded by a vowel add -s.

e. g. a cuckoo - cuckoos, a tattoo - tattoos, a radio - radios, a studio - studios, a zoo - zoos


4. 13 nouns ending in “f” and “fe” form plural by changing “f “ into “v” and adding –es [vz].

e. g. a leaf - leaves, a wolf - wolves, a knife - knives, a life - lives, a half - halves, an elf - elves, a shelf - shelves, a sheaf - sheaves, a wife - wives, a thief - thieves, a calf - calves, self - selves, a loaf - loaves.


But other nouns ending in “f and “fe” and all nouns ending in “ff” form plural by adding only -s.

e. g. a proof - proofs, a roof - roofs, a reef - reefs, a belief - beliefs, a chief - chiefs, a brief - briefs, a gulf - gulfs, a fife - fifes, a safe - safes, a handkerchief- handkerchiefs, a cliff - cliffs.


Some nouns may have both forms in the plural:

e.g. a scarf - scarfs or scarves, a wharf - wharfs or wharves, a dwarf - dwarfs or dwarves, a hoof - hoofs or hooves, a turf - turfs or turves, an oaf - oafs or oaves


5. Nouns ending in “th” [Ɵ] after a long vowel or a diphthong change [Ɵ] into [ð] in the pronunciation and add -s in spelling.


After short vowels and consonants including “r” the sound [Ɵ] doesn’t change:

e. g. a path - paths [ðz], an oath - oaths [ðz], a mouth - mouths [ðz], a month - months [Ɵs]


6. Some nouns form the plural by adding -en:

e. g. an ox - oxen, a child - children, a brother - brethren (members of the same society)


7. A few nouns form their plural by a change of the root vowel:

e. g. a man - men, a woman - women, a tooth - teeth, a foot - feet, a goose - geese, a mouse - mice, a louse - lice


8. A few nouns have the same form for the singular and the plural;

e. g. a sheep - sheep, a swine - swine, a deer - deer, a fish - fish, a trout - trout, a cod - cod, a pike - pike, a salmon - salmon, a bass - bass, a bream - bream, a sturgeon - sturgeon, a dace - dace, a craft - craft.


9. The following nouns ending in -s in the singular remain unchanged in the plural:

e.g. a means - means, a barracks - barracks, a headquarters - headquarters, a series - series, a species - species.


10. In compound nouns the head noun adds -s.

It may be the final component that is made plural:

e. g. a schoolgirl - schoolgirls, a fisherman - fishermen, a tooth brush - tooth brushes,


or the first component:

e. g. a looker-on - lookers-on, a mother-in-law - mothers-in-law, a passer-by - passers- by, an editor-in-chief - editors-in-chief.


If there is no noun-stem in the compound, -s is added to the last element:

e.g. a forget-me-not – forget-me-nots, a merry-go-round – merry-go-rounds.


When the first component is man or woman the plural is expressed twice:

e.g. a woman-clerk – women-clerks, a man servant – men servants.


11. Some nouns borrowed from Latin and Greek keep their foreign plural forms.

basis - bases crisis - crises analysis - analyses is-es
stratum - strata datum -- data sanatorium - sanatoria um - a
formula - formulae antenna - antennae BUT: arena- arenas, diploma - diplomas a - ae
focus - foci nucleus - nuclei radius - radii us - i
phenomenon - phenomena criterion - criteria on-a
index - indices appendix - appendices  ex - ices
dogma - dogmata schema - schemata a - ata


12. Some nouns are used only in the plural form:

a) spectacles, trousers, scissors, binoculars, scales, tongs, pants, compasses (циркуль). They agree with the predicate in the plural.

b) billiards, dominoes, draughts, cards, darts. The predicate is in the singular.

c) physics, optics, phonetics, politics, measles, mumps. The predicate is in the singular.


13. There are a few nouns in English that have only the plural form. But they happen to be homonyms of nouns which are used in both forms, the singular and the plural:


clothes (одежда) a cloth - cloths (ткани)
customs (таможня) a custom - customs (=habits)
glasses (очки) a glass - glasses (стаканы)
goods (товар) good (добро, благо)
steps (стремянка) a step – steps (шаг, ступень)
studies (учение, изучение) a study – studies (кабинет)


14. The following nouns are used only in the singular:

advice, progress, knowledge, information, and money.

e. g. His knowledge of English is good.

This information is very important.


15. Special cases:

a) Unlike in Russian the word “watch” has both the singular and the plural:

e. g. My watch is on the table. Nick has two watches.

b) “News” is always used in the singular:

e. g. No news is good news.

’’Wages” - заработная плата - is always plural:

e. g. What are your wages?

’’Applause” - аплодисменты - is singular.

c) People (люди, народ)

e.g. Our people are nice.

Peoples - народы, нации.

d) The noun “penny” has two plural forms: pennies (when referring to individual coins) and pence (when the amount only is meant).

e.g. She dropped three pennies in the slot machine. The fare cost him eight pence.       

e) Nouns denoting a period of time, distance, measure are used with the predicate in the singular.

e.g. Three years is a very long time.




Дата: 2019-02-25, просмотров: 279.