Spelling Plurals With –S, –Es, Or Other Plurals
When do you add ‑s and when do you add ‑es to make a plural? It’s not quite as arbitrary as it may seem. The rule is this: if a word ends in ‑s, ‑sh, ‑ch, ‑x, or ‑z, you add ‑es.
I only had to take one bus; you had to take two buses.
I only had to do one wash; you had to do two washes.
I have a splotch on my shirt; you have two splotches.
I’m carrying one box; you’re carrying two boxes (but yours are lighter than mine).
Finding a word that ends in ‑z and can be pluralized is pretty rare.
I heard a buzz; did you hear two buzzes?
For all other endings, add ‑s.
I have one cat; you have two cats.
I have one cup; you have two cups.
I have one shoe; you have two shoes. Where is my other shoe?
I have one ski; you have two skis. How am I supposed to ski?
I have one toque; you have two toques.
Be careful of words that don’t change when they’re pluralized (e.g. fish, sheep, moose). If you’re unsure, check the dictionary.