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Plural is a grammatical number equal to 2 or more. In English, nouns that are not singular are plural. Mass nouns are not usually used in plural.
Plurals can be classified into two types; regular plurals, which are formed by inflecting the noun with the plural -s suffix, and irregular plurals which don’t. The distinction between regular and irregular plurals is rather fuzzy.
Most plurals are countable plurals applied to countable nouns; a minority are uncountable plurals applied to uncountable nouns.
Heteronyms[edit | edit source]
- axes /ˈæksɪz/ plural of axAmE/axeBrE; /ˈæksiːz/ plural of axis
- bases /ˈbeɪsɪz/ plural of base; /ˈbeɪsiːz/ plural of basis
Mass nouns[edit | edit source]
Some nouns ending in -s are mass nouns: measles – a news item – mathematics - physics – politics
Uncountable plurals[edit | edit source]
A few words are used only in the plural. e.g. Clothes. These are uncountable, literally in the sense that we don’t say "2 clothes, 3 clothes, 4 clothes", but do possess a grammatical number of "many" or "2.” So are uncountable plurals.
Words usually used in the plural[edit | edit source]
Words referring to a pair of something are usually plural, e.g. trousers. But can sometimes be used in the singular, e.g. “a trouser leg.”