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LEARN ENGLISH NOUNS OVERVIEW

Nouns are naming words. We use them to give names to people, objects, thoughts, feelings, substances, etc.

Example

Peter, table, solution, happiness, gold etc (Peter, mesa, solución, felicidad, oro, etc)

In English nouns do not distinguish between masculine and feminine.

Example

This is my child. (Este es mi hijo/hija)

In this example the noun "child" can be naming a girl or a boy and it does not change at all its form. The noun only changes its form when distinguishing between singular and plural.

PLURAL RULES

We are going to explain some rules that will help you to form the plural forms of the nouns. The general rule is to add "-s" to the noun in singular.

Example

one table (una mesa)

three tables (tres mesas)

When the singular noun ends in: -sh, -ch, -s, -ss, -x, -o we do not form their plural form by adding "-s" but "-es".

Example

brush - brushes (cepillo - cepillos)
sandwich - sandwiches (bocadillo - bocadillos)
bus - buses (autobús - autobuses)
abbess - abbesses (abadesa - abadesas)
box - boxes (caja - cajas)
potato - potatoes (patata - patatas)

When the singular noun ends in "y", we change the "y" for "i" and then add "-es" to form the plural form.

Example

nappy - nappies (pañal - pañales)

*BUT: We do not change the "y" for "ies" to form the plural when the singular noun ends in "y" preceded by a vowel (a, e, i, o, u)

Example

day - days (día - días)
toy - toys (juguete - juguetes)

There is a group of words whose plurals are irregular (These you need to learn by heart). The most commons ones are:

Man - men (hombre - hombres)
Louse - lice (piojo - piojos)
Woman - women (mujer - mujeres)
Mouse - mice (ratón - ratones)
Child - children (niño - niños)
Ox - oxen (buey - bueyes)
Tooth - teeth (diente - dientes)
Goose - geese (ganso - gansos)
Foot - feet (pie - pies)

*AND:

Sheep (oveja), deer (ciervo) and fish (pez / pescado), do not change at all for the plural.

Some nouns that in singular end in "-f" or "-fe" form their plural in "-ves".

Example

shelf - shelves (estantería - estanterías)

Others do it in the regular way: adding just "-s".

Example

safe - safes (caja de caudales - cajas de caudales)

Some of them accept both plural forms: "-ves" or "-s".

Example

scarf - scarfs / scarves (bufanda - bufandas)

Nouns ending in "-ics" can take on both singular and plural forms.

Example

Mathematics is a difficult subject for me. (Las matemáticas son una asignatura difícil para mí)

We can divide English nouns into two big groups: countable nouns and uncountable nouns. The diagram below will provide a high level overview of the English noun structure.

English Nouns

Countable Nouns

Common Nouns
Concrete Nouns
Possessive Nouns
Compound Nouns
Abstract Nouns

Uncountable Nouns

Proper Nouns
Common Nouns
Compound Nouns
Abstract Nouns