Plural -s is a plural suffix, found in English and other related languages, which are added to the singular form of count nouns to form regular plurals. It acts as a grammatical marker for plural grammatical number.
Form[edit | edit source]
Note that there may be some minor spelling changes. Words ending [C]y change to [C]ies, e.g. baby --> babies. But note that words ending in [V]y do not change, e.g. bay --> bays.
Words ending in certain sounds /s/, /z/, /tʃ/, /dʒ/, /ʃ/ and /ʒ/ take -es instead, unless singular ends in -e, in which case it just takes -s. For example, bus->buses, buzz->buzzes, church->churches, bush -> bushes, fromage -> fromages.
Pronunciation[edit | edit source]
Pronunciation is the same as for third person -s.
The final sound of the base word determines the pronunciation of plural -s:
- /s/ for non-sibilant voiceless consonants /f/ (but see below), /k/, /p/, /t/, and /θ/ (but see below).
- /z/ for vowels and non-sibilant voiced consonants /b/, /d/, /ð/, /g/, /l/, /m/, /n/, /ŋ/, /r/, and /v/.
- /ɪz/ for sibilants: /s/, /z/, /tʃ/, /dʒ/, /ʃ/ and /ʒ/.
There are some exceptions to this; voiced plurals, see the final vowel sound change; particularly those ending /-f/ are voiced to /-vz/. E.g. "1 wolf, 2 wolves."
There is also arguably one devoiced plural; die-dice.
Pedagogy[edit | edit source]
Plurals are typically introduced at a beginner level.