Adding -s and -es

To make plurals, we usually add -s eg cars, houses, shops.

We add –es to words which end –ch, -s, -sh, -ss, -x and –zz.

For example,

churches, buses, dishes, boxes.

Decide whether to add –s or –es to make the words plural.

watch    watches  

light     lights  

glass    glasses  

fox       foxes  

photo   photos  

letterbox  letterboxes  

eyelash     eyelashes  

wish        wishes  

journey    journeys  

brush       brushes  

porch       porches  

house      houses  

kiss   kisses  

smile         smiles  



Words ending -y

Words that end in a vowel followed by –y just need an –s.

Words which end in a consonant then –y are more difficult.

Drop the –y and add –ies eg diary/diaries.

Make these words plural.

fairy _________     fairies  
boy __________    boys  
cry __________     cries  
play _________      plays  
valley ________     vallies  
tray _________      trays  
lady _________      ladies  
sky __________     skies  
city _________       cities  
quay ________        quays  


There is no rule to remember, you just need to learn the individual words.

Words ending with –f, -ff and –fe

 Some words ending in –f just add –s for the plural eg chief/chiefs.
 Words ending with –ff also just add –s eg cliff/cliffs.
 Some words ending in -f or -fe change their plurals to –ves eg calf/calves.

Some words can use either spelling eg roof/roofs/rooves.

Using the patterns above, make these words plural.

scuff   scuff  
wolf   wolves  
wife    wives  
loaf     loaves  
hoof     hooves  
shelf    shelves  
half     halves  
scarf   scarves  
knife   knives  
sniff   sniffs  
leaf      leaves  
life      lives  
dwarf  dwarves  
thief     thieves  
yourself  yourselves  
wharf       wharves  



5. There are some words you just have to learn. Test yourself on these and see how many you get right.

goose    geese  

woman  women  

antenna   antennas  

tooth       teeth  

thesis       thesis  theses

child         children  

deer         deer  deers

louse      louses   lice

formula   formulas  

cactus     cacti  

larva       larvae  

mouse   mise  mice

nucleus   nuclei  

fish        fish  fishes




total    47/54

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