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Introduction to singular and plural nouns

The difference between singular and plural nouns is that a singular noun refers to one thing, and a plural noun refers to multiple things. "Button" is singular. "Buttons" is plural. Most English nouns can be made plural by adding an "s" to the end.

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Video transcript

- Hello grammarians! Let's talk about singular and plural nouns. Nouns, as we discussed previously, are a type of word. They are a part of speech. A noun is any word that is a person, a place, a thing, or an idea. In English, we can figure out just by looking at a noun whether or not there is one of something, whether it's a singular, or whether or not there is more than one of something. There's an easy way to tell the difference between singular and plural. If you write the words down, singular contains the word single. Single, means there's only one of it. Plural is maybe a little bit less obvious, but it comes to us from Latin. It comes to us from this word plus, which means more, which you might recognize plus, as we call it in English, from mathematics, from arithmetic. We usually says it looks like this little plus symbol. So, whenever you think, whenever you see plural, just think more; just think plus. There is more than one. Singular is one thing. Plural, more than one thing; there is more. Let's go through it. Let's do some examples. I'll show you how you make the plural in English, how you indicate using your language that there is more than one thing. So let's just throw out a couple of words. Dog, cat, dinosaur, and whale. All you need to do to make it plural is very simply just take an s and you add it onto the end like so. Dogs, cats, dinosaurs, whales. If you want to make something plural, think about plus, more. All you have to do is add an s like that: add an s. This is what we call the regular plural. This is the regular plural. What that means is it obeys this one rule. All you have to do to say that there's more than one dog is throw on an s, and we're lucky because most English nouns behave that way. Most nouns are regular. However, here's the bad news. There are some irregular plurals. They are not regular, thus irregular, not. Now we have words like leaf, child, and fungus, which is like a mushroom, mouse, and sheep. How would you, you know you can't just add an s to these? That's unfortunately not how these nouns work in English. You can't say leafs, childs, and funguses, and mouses, and sheeps. This is how you do it. Each one of these words corresponds to a class of words that has its own unique pluralization standards. So, leaf becomes leaves. Child becomes children. Fungus becomes fungi. Mouse becomes mice. And sheep stays sheep, believe it or not. These are the irregular plurals, and we'll be covering each of these in turn in later videos, but for now I just want you to focus on the regular plural, which again we can sum up in this way. All you have to do is add an s. Here's a good example, right? We have one elephant here. Down here we have two elephants. The only difference between this word and this word is that this one has an s on the end of it. So if we wanted to say that this elephant here was not, in fact, one elephant, and was two elephants, all we have to do is add an s, changing it from singular to plural. Remember, plural comes from plus. Add an s. So one elephant becomes two elephants. (humming) World's fastest elephant drawing, go! (humming) It's kind of an elephant monkey, but you get the vague idea. If you're ever in need of more than one thing, for the regular plural, just add an s. You can learn anything. David, out!