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Spelling Plurals With -s or -es

Updated on September 23, 2022Grammar

If a word ends in –s, –sh, –ch, –x, or –z, you add –es. For almost all other nouns, add –s to pluralize.

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How to spell plural nouns: With –es or –s?

When do you add –s and when do you add es to make a plural noun? It’s not quite as arbitrary as it may seem.

If a word ends in –s, –sh, –ch, –x, or –z, you add –es

Examples of plural nouns ending in –es

I had to take only one bus; you had to take two buses.

I had to do only 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.

I heard one buzz; you heard two buzzes.

Some single nouns ending in –s or –z require more than the –es to form their plural versions. To pluralize these nouns, you must double the –s or –z before adding the –es

Examples of single nouns ending in –s or –z

Do you smell the gasses coming from the chemistry lab?

How many fezzes can the boy possibly have?

All other regular nouns can be pluralized by simply adding an –s. These are just a few examples:

I have one cat; you have two cats.

I have one cup; you have two cups.

I have one shoe; you have two shoes.

I have one ski; you have two skis.

I have one toque; you have two toques.

Adding –s or –es to a noun to make it plural is the most common form of pluralization, but there are many other plural noun rules that apply to words with certain endings.

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