Singular or Plural – Which is which?

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When building sentences a writer needs to keep the verbs in agreement with the nouns.

Simply put, if the subject (noun) is singular, the associated verb must also be singular, and vice versa. Thus it is important to know if your noun is singular or plural.

Most often we can tell that the subject is plural by the “s” or “es” at the end of the noun (boy/boys; dog/dogs; fence/fences; hero/heroes; kiss/kisses).

Sometimes the plural subjects are completely different from their singular forms, but the difference is so common to use that we don’t even notice (tooth/teeth; child/children; mouse/mice; man/men; goose/geese).

But a number of subjects that try to trick you up. Sometimes singulars are disguised as plurals. Mrs. Ramsey, my 5th grade grammar teacher, gave us these two rules to help us remember the differences:

GROUPS

If you can use the article “a” in front of the noun, it’s singular. If you can use “several” in front of it, it must be plural.

A Team Several teams
A family Several families
A bunch Several bunches
A dozen Several dozen

 

ONE or BODY

If the noun ends with “one” or “body” it is singular

Anyone Anybody
Everyone Everybody
Someone Somebody
No one Nobody

 

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One thought on “Singular or Plural – Which is which?

  1. Rolli Beauty

    April 5, 2017 at 3:52pm

    This is really interesting! I hadn’t ever really thought about 🙂

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  2. gtcookbook

    April 5, 2017 at 5:23pm

    A really easy breakdown! This will be a good reference for the ESL kids I teach in Spain!

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      admin

      April 8, 2017 at 6:10pm

      That is one of the best compliments you could give! Thank you for telling us that you are using our material. Subscribe to our blog at exploringexpression.com. We’ll try to bring you more good resources.

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  3. Daniyal

    April 6, 2017 at 3:16am

    I like to write stories on my blog and do book reviews, this post is surely gonna help me. Thanks.

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    • Author

      admin

      April 8, 2017 at 6:02pm

      What is your blog address? I’d love to read it.

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  4. wellingtonwt

    April 6, 2017 at 8:38am

    I always look out for your posts because it’s very informative. Thanks for sharing this and reminding us on noun-verb agreement.

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      admin

      April 8, 2017 at 6:00pm

      Your comment means a lot to me. Thank you. I hope you’ll consider subscribing to our site so we can email you the new articles. You won’t have to look
      exploringexpression.com

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