Grade 2 English : Proper Nouns and Common Nouns

Grade 2 english(IEO): Adverbs

The table below shows the types of adverbs used in English along with their definitions and examples.

Type Definition Example
Adverbs of Manner Adverbs of manner provide information on how someone does something. Jack drives very carefully.
Adverbs of Time Adverbs of time provide information on when something happens. We’ll let you know our decision next week.
Adverbs of Frequency Adverbs of frequency provide information on how often something happens. They usually get to work at eight o’clock.
Adverbs of Degree Adverbs of degree provide information concerning how much of something is done. They like playing golf a lot.
Adverbs of Comment Adverbs of comment provide a comment, or opinion about a situation. Fortunately, there were enough seats left for the concert.


The table below shows the way we form English adverbs.

Adverbs are usually formed by adding ‘-ly‘ to an adjective. bad – badly
quiet – quietly
careful – carefully
careless – carelessly
Adjectives ending in ‘-le’ change to ‘-ly‘. possible – possibly
probable – probably
incredible – incredibly
Adjectives ending in ‘-y’ change to ‘-ily‘: consonant + y
Compare: vowel + y
lucky – luckily
happy – happily
angry – angrily
day (noun) – daily
Delete -e and add -ly for endings in -le noble – nobly
Adjectives ending in ‘-ic‘ change to ‘-ically‘. fantastic – fantastically
basic – basically
ironic – ironically
scientific – scientifically
Some adjectives are irregular. good – well
hard – hard
fast -fast


Position of adverbs in English

Type Position Example
Adverbs of Manner Adverbs of manner are placed after the verb or entire expression (at the end of the sentence). Their teacher speaksquickly.
Adverbs of Time Adverbs of time are placed after the verb or entire expression (at the end of the sentence). She visited her friends last year.
Adverbs of Frequency Adverbs of frequency are placed before the main verb (not the auxiliary verb). He often goes to bed late.
Do you sometimes get upearly?
Adverbs of Degree Adverbs of degree are placed after the verb or entire expression (at the end of the sentence). She’ll attend the meeting as well.
Adverbs of Comment Adverbs of comment are placed at the beginning of a sentence. Luckily, I was able to come to the presentation.

Important Exceptions to Adverb Placement

Some adverbs are placed at the beginning of a sentence to provide more emphasis.

For exampleNow you tell me you can’t come!

Adverbs of frequency are placed after the verb ‘to be‘ when used as the main verb of the sentence.

For example: Jack is often late for work.

Some adverbs of frequency (sometimesusuallynormally) are also placed at the beginning of the sentence for emphasis.

Comparison of adverbs in English

The table below shows the way we create comparative and superlative forms of adverbs in English.

  Adverb Comparative Superlative
Same form as adjective: fast faster fastest
-ly adverbs of manner easily more easily most easily
briefly more/less briefly most/least briefly
clearly more/less clearly most/least clearly
quickly more/less quickly most/least quickly
Some adverbs of frequency rarely more rarely most rarely
seldom more seldom most seldom
often more often
oftener (less common)
most often
Exceptions: badly worse worst
far farther
late later last
little less least
much more most
well better best

Latest and last can be adjectives.
I have bought the latest CD of Coldplay. (i.e. most recent)
I bought the last CD of Whitney Huston. (i.e. final)

Normally only last is used as an adverb.
That was a difficult question, so I answered it last.
It last snowed six months ago. (= The last time it snowed was …)

Farther and further can be both used to refer to distance.
He drove the miles farther/further than necessary.

Adverbs of manner in English

The table below shows how we can make adverbs from adjectives in English.

  Adjective Adverb
Add -ly to an adjective. This applies to adjectives ending in -l so that the l is doubled. But note: full/fully bad badly
careful carefully
mad madly
plain plainly
sudden suddenly
beautiful beautifully
musical musically
-y becomes -ily: consonant + y:
Compare: vowel + y
(day – noun)
busy busily
funny funnily
dry drily/dryly
sly slyly
Delete -e and add -ly for endings in -ie: noble nobly
able ably
nimble nimbly
possible possibly
whole wholy
Other adjectives ending in -e retain the -e when adding -ly: extreme extremely
tame tamely
Exceptions: due duly
true truly
Adjectives ending in -ic take -ally: fantastic fantastically
basic basically
systematic systematically
Exception: public publicly

Some adverbs have two forms which may have the same meaning:
I bought this car cheap/cheaply.

Some may have different meanings:
I work hard and play hard. He did hardly any work today.

Adverbs of place in English

Adverbs of place can be:

words like: abroad, ahead, anywhere/everywhere/nowhere/somewhere, ashore, away/back, backwards/forwards, here/there, left/right, north/south, upstairs/downstairs
words like the following, which can also function as prepositions: above, behind, below, beneath, underneath
two words combining to emphasize a place, such as: down below, down/up there, far ahead, far away, over here, over there

Position of adverbs of place

Adverbs of place are used after adverbs of manner but before adverbs of time. Chris read quietly(manner) in the library (place) all afternoon (time).

Adverbs of direction can often come after movement verbs (come, go, drive) and before other adverbials:
I drove to Manchester (direction) by train (manner) next month (time).

If there is more than one adverb of place, then ‘smaller places’ are mentioned before ‘bigger places’.
He lives in a small house in a village outside Leeds in England.

Adverbs of time in English

Adverbs of definite time

points of time today, tomorrow, yesterday
prepositional phrases functioning as adverbials of time at Christmas, in June, on April 29th

Adverbs of definite time are usually used at the very end of a sentence:
We arrived in London on Monday.

They can be also used at the beginning:
This morning I received an email from my boss

If there are more than one time reference, we arrange the adverbs starting from the particular to the general i.e. time + day + date + year.
My aunt was born at 12.25 on Saturday April 29th 1964.

Adverbs of indefinite time

The most common adverbs of indefinite time are: another day, another time, at last, at once, early, eventually, formerly, immediately, just, late, lately, now, nowadays, once, one day, presently, recently, some day, soon, still, suddenly, then, these days, yet

Adverbs of indefinite time are usually used at the end of a sentence, though they can be also used before the verb and ( to focus interest or for contrast ) at the beginning of a sentence.
I went to London recently.
recently went to London.
Recently, I went to London. I was very interesting.

Adverbs are usually used after the verb be.
was recently in London.

Adverbs of frequency in English

The table below shows a list of adverbs of frequency used in English.

Adverbs of frequency
again and again
a lot
all the time
from time to time
hardly ever

Adverbs of degree in English

Adverbs of degree answer the question: To what extent?

The most common adverbs of degree are:
almost, altogether, barely, a bit, enough, fairly, hardly, nearly, quite, rather, somewhat, too.

Adverbs of degree are used before the words they modify:
– adjectives: quite good
– adverbs: quite quickly
– verbs: I quite enjoy it.
– nouns: quite an experience.

Intensifiers in English

Intensifiers are adverbs which are used with gradable adjectives, adverbs and some verbs. They normally strengthen the meaning.
Your presentation is good.
Your presentation is very good. (the meaning is strengthened by the intensifier: very)
Your presentation is quite good. (the meaning is weakened by the adverb of degree: quite}

Adjectives and adverbs with the same form

The table below shows a list of adjectives and adverbs with the same forms.

  Adjectives Adverbs
all day an all day match play all day
all right I’m all right you’ve done all right
best best clothes do your best
better a better book speak better
big a big house talk big
cheap a cheap suit buy it cheap
clean clean air cut it clean
clear a clear sky stand clear
close the shops are close stay close
cold a cold person run cold
daily a daily paper they deliver daily
dead a dead stop stop dead
dear a dear bouquet sell it dear
big a big house talk big
deep a deep hole drink deep
direct a direct train go direct
dirty dirty weather play dirty
duty-free a duty-free shop buy it duty-free
early an early train arrive early
big a big house talk big
easy an easy book go easy
everyday my everyday suit work every day
extra an extra blanket charge extra
fair a fair decision play fair
far a far country go far
farther on the farther side walk father
fast a fast driver drive fast
fine a fine pencil cut it fine
firm a firm belief hold firm
first the first guest first I’ll wash
free a free ticket travel free
further further questions walk further
hard a hard worker work hard
big a big house talk big
high a high note aim high
home home cooking go home



Grade 2 English(IEO) : Nouns

Countable Nouns in English

In English most of nouns belong to the category of countable nouns. Here it is only a short list including examples of countable nouns. You should remember that these nouns form plural forms by adding the ending -s or -es.

  • accident
  • account
  • actor
  • address
  • adult
  • animal
  • answer
  • apartment
  • article
  • artist
  • baby
  • bag
  • ball
  • bank
  • battle
  • beach
  • bed
  • bell
  • bill
  • bird
  • boat
  • book
  • bottle
  • box
  • boy
  • bridge
  • brother
  • bus
  • bush
  • camp
  • captain
  • car
  • card
  • case
  • castle
  • cat
  • chair
  • chapter
  • chest
  • child
  • cigarette
  • city
  • class
  • club
  • coat
  • college
  • computer
  • corner
  • country
  • crowd
  • cup
  • daughter
  • day
  • desk
  • doctor
  • dog
  • door
  • dream
  • dress
  • driver
  • ear
  • edge
  • effect
  • egg
  • election
  • engine
  • eye
  • face
  • factory
  • farm
  • father
  • field
  • film
  • finger
  • foot
  • friend
  • game
  • garden
  • gate
  • girl
  • group
  • gun
  • hall
  • hand
  • handle
  • hat
  • head
  • heart
  • hill
  • horse
  • hospital
  • hotel
  • hour
  • house
  • husband
  • idea
  • island
  • issue
  • job
  • journey
  • judge
  • key
  • king
  • kitchen
  • lady
  • lake
  • library
  • line
  • list
  • machine
  • magazine
  • man
  • meal
  • meeting
  • member
  • message
  • method
  • minute
  • mistake
  • model
  • month
  • motor
  • mouth
  • nation
  • neck
  • newspaper
  • office
  • page
  • park
  • party
  • path
  • picture
  • plan
  • plane
  • plant
  • problem
  • product
  • programme
  • project
  • ring
  • river
  • road
  • room
  • scheme
  • school
  • ship
  • shirt
  • shock
  • shop
  • sister
  • smile
  • son
  • spot
  • star
  • station
  • stream
  • street
  • student
  • table
  • task
  • teacher
  • tent
  • thought
  • tour
  • town
  • valley
  • village
  • walk
  • wall
  • week
  • window
  • woman
  • year

Countable nouns vs. uncountable nouns

1. Nouns are used as uncountable nouns when they refer to a substance, material or phenomenon in general but they are used as countable nouns when they refer to one particular unit which is composed of that substance or to one occurrence of the phenomenon in question:

This tower was built of stone.
I have found a stone in my garage.
Everybody wants success.
Mrs. Smith’s speech was a great success.

2. Some uncountable nouns are used as countable nouns, both in the singular and in the plural, when they have special meanings:
tin — tin (‘it is the name of a metal’)
a tin (‘it is the name of a metal box’)
glass — glass (‘it is the name of a material’)
a glass (‘it is the name of a drinking vessel’).

3. Names of substances can be used as countable nouns, both in the singular and in the plural, when they refer to a kind or portion of that substance. Notice the adjectives in front of the nouns in question.

This cafe has a very good coffee.
Please bring me two coffees (i.e. ‘two cups of coffee’).
This is a bad butter.
Unfortunately, I bought two butters of this sort (i.e. ‘two packets of butter’).

4. Some abstract nouns can be used as countable nouns, in the singular only, when they refer to a kind. Notice the adjectives in front of the nouns in question:

Education is free in most countries.
This means that even the poorest can receive a good education.
All scientists possess knowledge.
Tom has a good knowledge of Japanese.

In English some nouns belong to the category of uncountable nouns. Not always the same uncountable nouns in English correspond with uncountable nouns in other languages. Below you can find a list of the most common uncountable nouns in English. In bold you can see the most troublesome cases.

  • Uncountable nouns:
  • absence
  • access
  • accommodation
  • advice
  • age
  • agriculture
  • anger
  • applause
  • assistance
  • atmosphere
  • baggage
  • beauty
  • behaviour
  • bread
  • business (=trade)
  • capital (=money)
  • cardboard
  • capacity
  • cash
  • chaos
  • chess
  • childhood
  • china
  • clothing
  • coal
  • comfort
  • concern
  • confidence
  • cookery
  • countryside
  • courage
  • crockery
  • cutlery
  • damage
  • dancing
  • democracy
  • depression
  • design
  • dirt
  • duty
  • earth
  • education
  • electricity
  • energy
  • environment
  • equipment
  • evidence
  • evil
  • existence
  • experience
  • failure
  • faith
  • fashion
  • fear
  • finance
  • fire
  • flesh
  • flu
  • food
  • freedom
  • fruit
  • fun
  • furniture
  • garbage
  • grass
  • ground
  • growth
  • hair (= all the hairs on the head)
  • happiness
  • harm
  • health
  • help
  • history
  • homework
  • hospitality
  • housework
  • ice
  • independence
  • industry
  • information
  • insurance
  • intelligence
  • jealousy
  • jewellery
  • joy
  • justice
  • knowledge
  • labour
  • laughter
  • leisure
  • lightening
  • loneliness
  • love
  • luck
  • luggage
  • machinery
  • magic
  • marriage
  • meat
  • mercy
  • money
  • moonlight
  • mud
  • music
  • nature
  • news
  • nonsense
  • paper
  • parking
  • patience
  • peace
  • peel
  • permission
  • philosophy
  • pleasure
  • policy
  • poetry
  • the post (= letters)
  • poverty
  • power
  • pride
  • produce
  • progress
  • protection
  • purity
  • rain
  • reality
  • relief
  • religion
  • research
  • respect
  • rubbish
  • safety
  • salt
  • sand
  • scaffolding
  • scenery
  • seaside
  • security
  • sewing
  • shopping
  • silence
  • sleep
  • smoking
  • snow
  • soap
  • spaghetti
  • spelling
  • stream
  • strength
  • spite
  • status
  • stuff
  • stupidity
  • sunshine
  • teaching
  • technology
  • thunder
  • timber
  • time
  • toast (=bread)
  • trade
  • traffic
  • training
  • transport
  • travel
  • trust
  • truth
  • underwear
  • violence
  • vocabulary
  • wealth
  • weather
  • work
  • writing

Singular nouns that end in -s

There are a number of nouns which end in -s and form plural forms by adding -es:

bus — buses
lens — lenses.

There are some exceptions:

1. Some nouns ending in -s are used in the singular only:
a) news: The news is bad.
b) some games: billiards, bowls
Billiards is my favourite game.
c) some proper nouns:
e.g. Brussels or the United States when considered as a unit:
Brussels is the capital of Belgium.

2. Some nouns ending in -s occur in the singular but the plural is also possible:
a) some diseases: measles, mumps
b) subject names ending in -ics:
e.g. linguistics, classics are used in the singular but when they do not refer directly to a science they occur in the plural:
eg. statistics — We cannot rely on these statistics. They don’t seem to be accurate enough.
acoustics — The acoustics are very bad in this hall. This is not a good place for the concert.

3. Some nouns ending in -s are followed by a singular verb when they refer to one unit, or by a plural verb when they refer to more than one:
e.g. means, species
There is no good means to obtain the aim.
Different means have been used to obtain the aim.

4. Summation plurals
This term denotes tools and articles of dress consisting of two equal joined parts. Such nouns are used in the plural but in the construction a pair of… they occur in the singular:
e.g. bellows, glasses.
a pair of glasses

5. Pluralia tantum
These are nouns that are always followed by a plural verb:
e.g. the Middle Ages, annals.

In English there is a group of singular nouns that end in s. Although one may think that a plural verb should be used with such nouns, one should remember that these nouns are followed by a singular verb. Below you can find a list with examples of singular nouns that end in s.

  • Uncountable nouns
  • acoustics
  • aerobics
  • aerodynamics
  • aeronautics
  • athletics
  • classics
  • economics
  • electronics
  • genetics
  • linguistics
  • logistics
  • mathematics
  • mechanics
  • obstetrics
  • physics
  • politics
  • statistics
  • thermodynamics
  • billiards
  • bowls
  • cards
  • darts
  • diabetes
  • measles
  • mumps
  • rabies
  • draughts
  • skittles
  • rickets
  • shingles

Forming plural nouns in English

I. Regular plurals

The regular plural is formed by adding the suffix -s to the singular: e.g. cat — cats, table — tables.

II. Irregular plurals

1. Nouns in -ss, -sh, -ch, -x
Nouns ending in -ss, -sh, -ch, -x form their plural by adding -es:
e.g. glass — glasses, dish — dishes, peach — peaches, box — boxes.

2. Nouns in -o
Nouns ending in -o form their plural by adding -es if they are used frequently they have been introduced into English early:
e.g. tomato — tomatoes, hero — heroes
They add -s only if they are of foreign origin or abbreviated words:
e.g. bamboo — bamboos, kilo — kilos.
A number of nouns ending in -o can take both -s and -es:
e.g. tornado — tornados or tornadoes, motto — mottos or mottoes.

3. Nouns in -y
Nouns ending in -y preceded by a consonant form their plural by changing -y into -i and adding -es:
e.g. fly — flies, country — countries.
Nouns ending in -y preceded by a vowel form their plural by adding -s only:
e.g. boy — boys, journey —journeys.

4. Nouns in -f or -fe
The following nouns ending in -f or -fe form their plural by changing the -f into -adding -es:
e.g. calf — calves, wife — wives. These are the following nouns:
calf, life, shelf, half, loaf, thief, knife, self, wife, leaf, sheaf, wolf
Some nouns ending in -f can either take -s or change the -f into -v- and add -es
e.g. dwarf— dwarfs or dwarves scarf — scarfs or scarves.
Other nouns ending in -f or -fe form their plural in the regular way:
e.g. handkerchief— handkerchiefs, fife —fifes.

5. Mutation
The following nouns form their plural by a vowel change:
foot — feet, louse — lice, man — men, goose — geese, mouse — mice, woman — women, tooth — teeth

6. The -en plural
The following nouns form their plural by adding -en to the singular:
brother — brethren (i.e. ‘fellow members of a religious society’) child — children ox — oxen.

7. Foreign nouns
Words of foreign origin often form their plural according to the rules of a specific language:
a) Latin: stimulus — stimuli, larva — larvae, curriculum — curricula, codex — codices.
b) Greek: basis — bases, criterion — criteria.
c) French: bureau – beueaux
d) Italian: tempo – tempi
However, foreign plurals sometimes occur along with regular plurals:
e.g. index — indices, indexes , antenna — antennae, antennas, which indicate two different meanings or only the regular plural is used:
e.g. album — albums, metropolis — metropolises.

8. Zero plural
Some nouns do not have a separate plural form:
a) the names of certain animals, birds, and fish: e.g. sheep, grouse, trout
A sheep is a grass-eating animal.
Sheep are kept for their flesh as food and for their wool.
b) nouns denoting people of one nationality and ending in -ese or -ss:
e.g. Vietnamese, Swiss
Yesterday I met a Vietnamese.
The Vietnamese are natives of Vietnam.
c) craft (meaning ‘boat’) and aircraft:
e.g. I have a handy and useful little craft.
You can see all kinds of craft in the harbour.
d) definite numbers and measurements:
e.g. two hundred years, two score eggs
but indefinite numbers and measurements take the plural form:
e.g. hundreds of years, kilos of oranges.
Note that the form five kilos of oranges is also used.
e) offspring occurs with a singular verb if it refers to one human or animal and it is followed by a plural verb if it refers to more than one:
e.g. Their offspring is extremely intelligent. Their offspring are all slightly stupid.

9. Compounds
a) The final element of compounds is usually pluralized:
e.g. breakdown — breakdowns, bookcase — bookcases.
b) In compounds whose first element is man or woman both elements are made plural:
e.g. gentleman farmer — gentlemen farmers woman doctor — women doctors.
c) Compounds consisting of countable nouns and prepositions or prepositional phrases take the plural inflection on nouns:
e.g. passer-by — passers-by, mother-in-law — mothers-in-law. d) Compounds formed by verbs or adjectives and prepositions take the plural at the end:
eg.take-off — take-offs, grown-up — grown-ups.
e) Compounds (typical of legal English) consisting of countable nouns and lake the plural inflexion on nouns:
e.g. attorney general — attorneys general, notary public — notaries public
but it is also possible to have alternative forms:
e.g. court-martials, postmaster-generals
f) Nouns ending in -ful become plural in two ways:
e.g. spoonful — spoonfuls, handful — handfuls or handsful.
g) Compounds whose last element is a mass noun do not form the plural:
e.g. sunshine, homework.

10) Proper nouns
Only surnames can be used in the plural and then they denote a family. Such plurals are formed by adding -s:
e.g. Mr. and Mrs. Brown = the Browns
Mr. and Mrs. Crosby = the Crosbys
except for names ending in a sibilant as in Mr. and Mrs. James = the Jameses, where -es in added.

Rules in forming the plural of nouns. The spelling rules of plural nouns.

General rules

Regular spelling   Singular Plural
‘-s’ in most cases   cat cats
tub tubs
dog dogs
house houses
‘-es’ when a noun ends with: -o potato potatoes
tomato tomatoes
-ss class classes
-x box boxes
-ch watch watches
-sh bush bushes
words of foreign origin take ‘-s’
-o dynamo dynamos
kilo kilos
kimono kimonos
photo photos
piano pianos
soprano sopranos
consonant + -y turns into ies country countries
baby babies
fly flies
lady ladies
cry cries
vowel + y takes ‘-s’ -ay day days
-ey key keys
-oy boy boys
-uy guy guys
proper nouns   Fry the Frys
  Kennedy the Kennedys
nouns ending with -f / -fe -ves loaf loaves
knife knives
life lives
calf calves
leaf leaves
shelf shelves
thief thieves
wife wives
wolf wolves
half halves
wharf wharves
EXCEPTIONS   chief chiefs
cliff cliffs
handkerchief handkerchiefs
roof roofs
some nouns have both forms -s or -ves hoof hoofs / hooves
scarf scarfs / scarves
dwarf dwarfs / dwarves
nouns which change vowels   foot feet
  louse lice
  mouse mice
  woman women
  goose geese
  man men
  tooth teeth
  child children
  ox oxen

Pronunciation of Plural Nouns in English

The pronunciation of plural nouns is very important. Below you will find the rules which should be followed in the pronunciation of plural nouns.

Regular spelling Pronunciation Singular Plural
when a noun ends with a vowel or voiced consonant with the exception of
/z/ and / dz /
/ z / bed beds
stove stoves
dog dogs
room rooms
when a noun ends with voiceless consonant with the exception of:
/s/, /f/ /tf/
/ s / clock clocks
cat cats
roof roofs
month months
when a noun ends with a consonant
/z/, /s/, /f/, /dz/ or /tf/
or when a singular noun ends with
s, ss, sh, ch, z
/ iz / gas gases
glass glasses
nose noses
brush brushes
watch watches
judge judges
box boxes
a consonant + -y turns into ies country countries
baby babies
fly flies
lady ladies
a vowel + y takes -s -ay day days
-ey key keys
-oy boy boys
-uy guy guys
proper nouns   Fry the Frys
  Kennedy the Kennedys
nouns ending with -f / -fe -ves loaf loaves
wife wives
wolf wolves
half halves
some nouns have double forms -s or -ves hoof hoofs / hooves
scarf scarfs / scarves
wharf wharfs / wharves
nouns which change vowels   foot feet
  louse lice
  mouse mice
  woman women
  goose geese
  man men
  tooth teeth

Nouns with the same plural and singular forms

In English there is a group of nouns with the same singular and plural forms. Here it is a list with some examples of such nouns.

Singular = Plural:
  • bison
  • deer
  • greenfly
  • grouse
  • moose
  • reindeer
  • sheep
  • cod
  • fish
  • goldfish
  • halibut
  • mullet
  • salmon
  • shellfish
  • trout
  • whitebait
  • aircraft
  • hovercraft
  • spacecraft
  • crossroads
  • dice
  • fruit
  • gallows
  • grapefruit
  • insignia
  • mews
  • offspring
  • series
  • species
  • bourgeois
  • chassis
  • corps
  • patois
  • precis
  • rendezvous
  • means

Nouns of Foreign Origin in English

In English there is a group of nouns with very unusual plural forms. This group consists mainly of nouns of foreign origin especially of Latin and Greek. Below you can find a list with some examples of such nouns.

Singular Plural
analysis analyses
antenna antennae / antennas
appendix appendixes/appendices
axis axes
bacterium bacteria
basis bases
bureau bureaux
cactus cactuses/cacti
codex codices
criterion criteria
crisis crises
curriculum curricula
datum data
diagnosis diagnoses
focus focuses/foci
formula formulae / formulas
fungus fungi
index indexes/indices
kibbutz kibbutzim
larva larvae
medium mediums/media
nucleus nuclei
oasis oases
octopus octopuses/octopi
phenomenon phenomena
stimulus stimuli
syllabus syllabuses/syllabi
tempo tempi
terminus termini / terminuses
thesis theses

Nouns only in plural in English

In English there is a group of nouns with only plural form. Below you can find a list of such nouns.

  • trousers
  • scrissors
  • pliers
  • shorts
  • jeans
  • goods
  • clothes
  • BUT: a cloth
  • glasses
  • BUT: a glass
  • spectacles

Possessive nouns in English

Possessive nouns. In English possessive form of nouns is created by adding to the noun
apostrophe (‘) and letter -s.

General rules

typical possessive form John’s car
the girl’s father
James’s sister
a dog’s life
plural nouns get apostrophe after the final letter the boys’ father
our neighbours’ dog
the Browns’ house
the Joneses’ car
plural nouns get apostrophe and -s the children’s toys
women’s rights
men’s clothing
gentlemen’s agreement
nouns referring to things a pound of sugar
the door of the room
the conquest of space
a proof of honesty
nouns in case of personification of the names of countries, town, rivers, some nature phenomena Poland’s economy
England’s sons
Warsaw’s pride
the sun’s rays
in expressions referring to time and measure concepts a day’s journey
a four-weeks’ holiday
a three-miles’ walk
a yard’s distance

Genitive case in English

The forms of the genitive

The genitive is formed in two ways:

1. By a prepositional phrase with of and a head noun (of- genitive):
e.g. the title of the book, the top of the mountain.

2. By -s which is preceded by an apostrophe (which is called apostrophe -s) or by an apostrophe only:
a) Apostrophe -s is used in the following:
— when nouns occur in the singular:
e.g. a child’s dream, the dog’s kennel, Tom’s new job, the boy’s toy, the elephant’s trunk
– when two names are joined by and, add ‘s to the second:
John and Mary’s bank account; Scott and Henderson’s race
– when plural nouns are irregular:
children’s games, the men’s club, sheep’s wool
— when singular nouns end in -s or -x:
e.g. an actress’s career, a waitress’s job, St. James’s Square, Joe Alex’s detective stories
— when the final syllable begins and ends with -s and the syllable has more than four letters:
e.g. Peter Sparks’s poetry, Strauss’s music
— when plural nouns do not end in -s:
e.g. the gentlemen’s hats, the children’s behaviour.

b) Only apostrophe is used in the following:
— when proper nouns ending in -s are classical or less usual:
e.g. Archimedes’ Law, Pepys’ Diary
— when the last syllable of a noun has not more than four letters and when last syllable not only ends but also begins with -s:
e.g. Mrs. Onassis’ jewels, Moses’ times
— when singular nouns form fixed expressions of the type: for … sake:
e.g. for goodness’ sake, for kindness’ sake
— when plural nouns end in -s:
e.g. boys’ schoo, girls’ school, Winchester Ladies’ College, the Joneses’ house, the heroes’ honesty.

The use of the genitive

1) The of- genitive
a) The genitive with of is usually used with inanimate nouns:
e.g. the leg of the table, the bank of the river.
In some constructions of this type it is possible to use such expressions
e.g. town walls, church tower, where “the possessor” noun functions as an adjective.
b) The of construction is also found with animate nouns if they are postmodified by a phrase or relative clause:
e.g. What is the name of the guest in the long white dress?
What is the name of the guest who came first ?

2) The -s genitive
The -s genitive occurs with animate nouns:
e.g. the family’s money, the dog’s food.
There are some cases when inanimate nouns are used in the genitive with apostrophe -s:
a) When inanimate nouns are personified: e.g. the ship’s funnel, the country’s beauty.
b) When nouns denote the length of duration: e.g. a month’s time, a two weeks’ holiday.
c) When nouns concern measurement:
e.g. five yeards’ length, a park’s area
d) When nouns express value:
e.g. fifty pence’s worth of bananas, fifteen dollars worth of flowers.
e) When inanimate nouns are of special interest to human activity:
e.g. the science’s development, the brain’s power.
f) In a number of idiomatic expressions:
e.g. to come to one’s journey’s end, to go down to the water’s edge, a pin’s head, to be at one’s wits’ end.
g) Optionally, when inanimate nouns refer to a group of people, to places where people live, to human institutions:
e.g. the nation’s problems, London’s smog, the club’s terrains.
It should be noted that the usage of the -s genitive has recently changed. This is observed in such frequently used expressions as:
e.g. Seven Years War, twenty-four hour general strike.

The group genitive

1) Compounds are treated as one word and therefore apostrophe -s is added to the final part of the word:
my sister-in-law’s car, the passer-by’s observation.
2) In titles apostrophe -s is used with the last word:
e.g. Henry the Eighth’s marriages, the Secretary of State’s visit, Elizabeth the First’s reign, The Prince of Denmark’s island.
3) In case of nouns that are postmodified apostrophe -s is added to the final part of the post-modification:
e.g. the teacher of biology’s equipment -someone else’s business.
4) When two or more nouns are conjoined and they denote one idea, they are treated as single units:
e.g. Beaumont and Fletcher’s plays
Tom, Mary and John’s house. However, when they refer to different ideas, they form the genitive as follows:
e.g. Mr. Brown’s and Stephen’s gardens or Mr. Brown’s garden and Stephen’s garden
Eve’s and James’s books or Eve’s books and James’s books.

Double genitive

1) Form
The double genitive is formed by combining an of- genitive with an -s genitive:
e.g. a friend of Tom’s
this book of my brother’s.
A double genitive construction must begin with a, this, that, these, those whereas it cannot start with the definite article the or with the proper noun.
On the contrary, the noun with the -s genitive must be both definite and personal.

2) Meaning
The meaning of the double genitive may be observed by the analysis of contrasting examples:
a) a photograph of Tom (means ‘a photograph presenting Tom’) b) a photograph of Tom’s (means either ‘a photograph done by Tom’ or ‘a photograph belonging to Tom’)

The genitive with ellipsis

1) Form
The noun modified by the -s genitive may be omitted:
e.g. My daughter is taller than Mr. Brown’sI shall be at the tailor’s.

2) Use
The genitive with ellipsis is used in the following cases:
a) If the identity of the noun is clear from the context:
e.g. I have a tall son. Mr. Greene’s is a tall son, too (i.e. ‘Mr. Greene’s son’}
His strength is like Hercules’. (i.e. ‘Hercules’ strength’).
b) In expressions relating to premises or establishments:
e.g. I shall be at the doctor’sI shall be at Mary’s.
The same refers to small shops:
e.g. I always buy at Smith’s.
as well as to commercial firms:
e.g. I always buy at Harrod’s.

List of Plural Nouns

Two plural forms with different meanings

Some nouns have two plural forms with different meanings:
1. Both forms follow the English pattern:
e.g. cloth — cloths (i.e. ‘some pieces of material to wipe something up’)
clothes (i.e. ‘garments’)
penny – pennies (i.e. ‘single coins’)
pence (i.e. ‘a sum of money’)

2.Foreign plurals occur along with regular plurals:
genius – genii (i.e. ‘supernatural beings’) – geniuses (i.e. ‘very intelligent persons’) formula – formulae (i.e. ‘a mathematical term’) – formulas (i.e. ‘a general term’)

Singular nouns Plural nouns
analysis analyses
status status/statuses
moose moose
crisis crises
fish fish / fishes
series series
appendix appendixes / appendices
Mr. / Mr / Mister Misters / Messrs. / Messrs
sheep sheep
bus buses / US also busses
formula formulae / formulas
life lives
apparatus apparatuses
deer deer
ox oxen
focus focuses / foci
basis bases
platypus platypuses
cactus cacti / cactuses
sheep sheep
analysis analyses
woman women
equipment equipment
dice dice
leaf leaves
life lives
phenomenon phenomena
staff staff
alumnus alumni
genius geniuses
radius radii / radiuses
staff staff
alumnus alumni
software software
data data
addendum addenda
virus viruses
synopsis synopses
mongoose mongooses
genus genera
formula formulae / formulas
roof roofs
phenomenon phenomena
medium media / mediums
business businesses
datum data
chassis chassis
crisis crises
hero heroes
axis axes

Plural nouns list

The table below shows some examples of singular and plural nouns in English. As you can see some plural nouns have exactly the same forms as the singular ones.

Singular nouns Plural nouns
monkey monkeys
synopsis synopses
Ms Mss. / Mses.
cactus cacti / cactuses
chassis chassis
deer deer
process processes
business business / businesses
Mister Misters / Messrs. / Messrs
bus buses / US busses
memorandum memorandums / memoranda
passerby passers-by
antenna antennae
fetus fetuses
goose geese
equipment equipment
addendum addenda
agenda agendas
status statuses / (rare) stati
process processes
antenna antennae
leaf leaves
dice dice
virus viruses
nemesis nemeses
crisis crises
agenda agendas
person persons / people
woman women
it they or them
analysis analyses
quiz quizzes
calf calves
potato potatoes
census censuses
hippopotamus hippopotamuses or hippopotami
dwarf dwarfs or dwarves
prospectus prospectuses
woman women
species species
focus focuses or foci
software software
fly flies
mango mangoes or mangos
hypothesis hypotheses
scarf scarves or scarfs
fish fish / fishes
Christmas Christmases
advice some / pieces of advice

Singular and plural words list

In English there are some countable nouns which have the same form for both singular and plural. Many of these words refer to animals and fish. Below you can find singular and plural words list.

  • Singular and plural words list
  • bison
  • deer
  • greenfly
  • grouse
  • moose
  • reindeer
  • sheep
  • cod
  • fish
  • goldfish
  • halibut
  • mullet
  • salmon
  • shellfish
  • trout
  • whitebait
  • aircraft
  • hovercraft
  • spacecraft
  • crossroads
  • dice
  • fruit
  • gallows
  • grapefruit
  • insignia
  • news
  • offspring
  • series
  • species
  • bourgeois
  • chassis
  • corps
  • patois
  • précis
  • rendezvous

Mass nouns examples

Mass nouns often refer to quantifiers of a particular kind of food or drink. They also refer to types of something. Below you can find examples of mass nouns.

  • adhesive
  • beer
  • brandy
  • cake
  • cheese
  • claret
  • cloth
  • coal
  • coffee
  • cognac
  • coke
  • cotton
  • curry
  • deodorant
  • detergent
  • disinfectant
  • dye
  • fabric
  • fertilizer
  • fuel
  • fur
  • gin
  • glue
  • ink
  • insecticide
  • iron
  • jam
  • jelly
  • juice
  • lager
  • liqueur
  • lotion
  • meat
  • medicine
  • metal
  • milk
  • oil
  • ointment
  • ore
  • paint
  • perfume
  • pesticide
  • plastic
  • poison
  • preservative
  • ribbon
  • salad
  • sauce
  • sherry
  • soap
  • soil
  • soup
  • steel
  • sugar
  • tea
  • vodka
  • whisky
  • wine
  • wood
  • wool
  • yarn
  • yoghurt

Titles before names

Below you can find a list of the most common titles used before names used in English.

  • Admiral
  • Archbishop
  • Baron
  • Baroness
  • Bishop
  • Brother
  • Captain
  • Cardinal
  • Colonel
  • Constable
  • Corporal
  • Dame
  • Doctor
  • Emperor
  • Father
  • General
  • Governor
  • Inspector
  • Justice
  • King
  • Lady
  • Lieutenant
  • Lord
  • Major
  • Miss
  • Mr
  • Mrs
  • Ms
  • Nurse
  • Police Constable
  • Pope
  • President
  • Prince
  • Princess
  • Private
  • Professor
  • Queen
  • Saint
  • Sergeant
  • Sir
  • Sister

Male and female animal names

The table below shows a list of animal names used in English. The names are divided into Male and Female animal names.

Male Female
stalion mare
bull cow
cock hen
dog bitch
drake duck
fox vixen
gander goose
lion lioness
ram ewe
buck hind
stag doe
tiger tigress
boar sow

Compound nouns list

The table below shows a list of compound nouns used in English. This is only a short list to show you some examples of English compound nouns.

  • Compound nouns list
  • address book
  • air conditioner
  • air raid
  • alarm clock
  • assembly line
  • baby-sitter
  • back-seat driver
  • bank account
  • bird of prey
  • book token
  • blood donor
  • bride-to-be
  • bring-and-buy sale
  • bother-in-law
  • burglar alarm
  • bus stop
  • can opener
  • car park
  • come-on
  • compact disc
  • comrade in arms
  • contact lens
  • cover-up
  • credit card
  • dining room
  • drawing pin
  • driving licence
  • estate agent
  • fairy tale
  • film star
  • fire engine
  • fork-left truck
  • trying pan
  • guided missile
  • heath centre
  • heart attack
  • high school
  • human being
  • letter=box
  • lily of the valley
  • looker-on
  • musical instrument
  • nervous breakdown
  • news bulleting
  • old hand
  • one-parent family
  • package holiday
  • parking meter
  • passer-by
  • pen-friend
  • personal computer
  • polar bear
  • police station
  • post office
  • runner-up
  • sleeping bag
  • summing-up
  • swimming pool
  • T-shirt
  • tea bag
  • telephone number
  • traveller’s cheque
  • tea-table
  • washing machine
  • X-ray
  • youth hostel
  • zebra crossing



In English gender system affects only nouns and pronouns. Natural sex differentiations determine the distinctions between masculine and feminine, whereas inanimate things are usually neuter.


There are four genders in English:

  • masculine e.g. policeman, man, dog, etc.
  • feminine e.g. waitress, woman, bitch, etc.
  • neuter e.g. chair, table, idea, etc.
  • common e.g. doctor, baby, etc. (i.e. nouns which can be either male of female):
    My baby is only half-a-year old and he already has three teeth.
    Is it your baby? How old is she?


Some neuter nouns are considered either masculine or feminine:

Some neuter nouns can be personified and then they become masculine or feminine:
a. masculine, e.g. the fatherland
b. femininine, e.g. creation, nature, luck (Lady Luck), the earth (Mother Earth), the mother-land, the mother-language (a mother-tongue), fortune, fame.

The names of countries, cities, and towns become feminine when they denote political or economic units, but when they indicate geographical units they are neuter.

Sometimes cars and trains are considered feminine, especially when an affectionate attitude is expressed.

4. The moon, religion, ships are feminine.

5. The sun and winter are always masculine.

The distinction between masculine and feminine

There are three ways in which masculine and feminine are distinguished:

1. The feminine is formed from the masculine by adding -ess: e.g. count — countess, host — hostess,
however, a number of nouns ending in -er or -or drop the -e- or the -o-:
e.g. waiter — waitress, actor — actress.
Also, other, including zero, morphological markers are used: e.g. bridegroom — bride, widower — widow, hero — heroine, usher — usherette, sultan — sultana, testator — testatrix.

2. Different words are used for masculine and feminine: e.g. uncle — aunt, bull — cow.

3. One element indicating the gender is introduced: e.g. man-servant — maid-servant, he-goat — she-goat. ‘A gender marker’ is also used when a given activity is expected to be male or female, thus:
e.g. a nurse but a male nursea doctor but a woman doctor.