Category: Singular vs. Plural

Apostrophes with Names Ending in s, ch, or z

Posted on Tuesday, July 28, 2009, at 9:17 am

Are you confused about how to show the plural and the possessive of certain names? Maybe you know to write I met the Smiths, I drove Brenda Smith’s Ferrari, and I visited the Smiths’ house. But what if the name is Sanchez or Church or Williams? Rule: To show the plural of a name that …

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None Were vs. None Was

Posted on Sunday, June 14, 2009, at 2:15 pm

Rule: The word none is versatile. It has a plural sense (“not any”) as well as a singular sense (“not a single one”). When none is followed by of, look at the noun in your of phrase (object of the preposition). If the object of the preposition is singular, use a singular verb. If the …

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Irregular Plurals

Posted on Saturday, April 5, 2008, at 12:32 am

Many nouns in English have a plural form either with an s/es ending or without. For example, when is it correct to use youth vs. youths, fish vs. fishes, or hair vs. hairs? Use youths and hairs when countable. Example: Three youths were given awards for community service. If youth is being used collectively, do …

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Plural and Possessive Forms with Names Ending in y

Posted on Tuesday, October 23, 2007, at 2:17 pm

How do you form the plural of a proper noun that ends in y such as Murphy? Should you change the name to Murphies? Given how other English words ending in y form their plurals, you would think so. Examples: puppy / puppies army / armies supply / supplies However, proper nouns are not pluralized …

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When to Add s to a Verb

Posted on Saturday, April 14, 2007, at 8:44 pm

Please note: This original post from April 2007 has been updated and replaced by a new version of When to Add s to a Verb, published on May 16, 2017.  If you feel confident about forming plurals in English by adding an s or es at the end of the word, I’m about to make …

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