Irregular plural nouns: the base plural
Some nouns look the same whether they're singular or plural – these nouns are called "base plurals", and we'll demonstrate how they behave the only way I know how... by using sheep!
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- Is the word "potato" also this kind of irregular plural?
because some people say "one potato, two potato" and I can also write "one potato, two potatoes"?(48 votes)
- No, potato is not an irregular plural, I believe the only reason why people say that is to shorten how much they have to say, which isn't much! Potatoes is the plural of it.(12 votes)
- Would it be "there were once two sheep" or "there was once two sheep"?(22 votes)
- It would actually be "There once were two sheep". If you were to say singular, than you would say "There once was a sheep."(7 votes)
- that's a camel and is camel a base plural? And why does david say the exact same Hello grammerians and you can learn anything?(10 votes)
- The plural form of camel is camels. When in doubt, just Google search for the plural form of a word. I remember my English teacher in college telling me that even he still struggles with grammar because language constantly changes, so, in a sense, we are all grammarians. "You can learn anything" is Khan Academy's mantra.(5 votes)
- Are all base plurals animals? Or is he only using examples in the video that are animals? Because the only base plurals I can think of are sheep, moose, bison, fish, deer, etc. and these are all animals. Thanks!(3 votes)
- There are two sheep on the hill.
We have to use "are", since there are two sheep. It's plural.
We would use "is if it were just one sheep. "There is a sheep".(7 votes)
- Yes, you are correct!
- if "there are sheep" then sheep is plural
- if "there is a sheep" then sheep is singular
We can tell whether "sheep" is singular or plural from the context of the sentence - in this case, the verbs (is vs are) and also the article (a, which indicates the noun is singular).(4 votes)
- How can you tell whether a noun is a base plural or not?(0 votes)
- You can tell a noun is a base plural when the singular and plural form of the noun are exactly the same.
There aren't that many words like this in English, so the trick is to just get to know these words. Here's a hint: most of them are animals that people hunt (or fish) for food.
These are some of the most common base plurals:
Hope this helps!(11 votes)
- hold on whats the plural of moose...
- Hey, Courtney! Moose is an example of a base plural. A common mistake is thinking it's 'meese', or just generally changing the word to become plural, but it stays the same plural or singular. You just got to make sure that your grammar makes sense with whether or not you're making it plural or not.
"There was a moose who grazed on some grass."
"There were some moose who grazed on some grass."
Hope this helped! :)
- what are some exaples of irregalar plurarl nouns(3 votes)
- You will find several examples of those in this and the following half-dozen lessons. I encourage you to stick with the program.(4 votes)
- How did we come up with names for all the different types of nouns? Also, there are 8 typed of nouns, (Proper Noun, Collective Noun, Common Noun, Material Noun, Abstract Noun, Countable Noun, Uncountable Noun, and Concrete Noun,) but why do we need so many?(4 votes)
- So we can be aware of what we say or write because some times you can make a mistake in spelling or saying words.(2 votes)
- Is the word "potato" also this kind of irregular plural?
because some people say "one potato, two potato".(3 votes)
- That's a counting song for little children. It would work just as well with "tomato" or "inferno".(3 votes)
- [Voiceover] Hello grammarians. I wanted to talk today about a different kind of irregular plural. So we've been talking about regular plurals where you take a word and you add an S. So for example, the word dog becomes dogs. You add an S. And this is the regular plural here. But I've been talking about the irregular plural, the plural, the multiple form of a verb that is not regular, irregular. But today I figured we'd talk about something called the base plural. Which I will illustrate for you using our friend the sheep. Now, sheep is a very strange word in that it doesn't matter whether not there's more than one of them. The form of the word always looks the same whether it's one sheep or two sheep. It's an irregular plural you don't add an S to. This is called a base plural 'cause the base sheep, the thing that you would normally add this particle S to doesn't change whether it's singular sheep or plural sheep. So that's you know. There was one sheep... on the hill. There's a sentence. What if we put another little baby sheep on that hill? A little lamb. Well now the sentence looks like this. Two sheep... on the hill. Now the only difference between these two sentences is that there's one sheep and two sheep and therefore that means that the verb changes to a plural conjugation. So there was one sheep. There were two sheep on the hill. But everything else stays exactly the same. One sheep, two sheep. This is very strange, it's a base plural. So in standard English, the form is two sheep... and not two sheeps. You see. Now, there are more words that do behave this way. So let's go investigate. So there are a small number of words that also behave this way, the way sheep does, these weird sheep plurals, these base plurals. One of them is fish. So you could say the fish are plentiful this season, but you could also say, you know, the fish... is delicious. You could say the bison migrate west or you could also say the bison migrates west indicating a single bison, you see. Bison can be singular or plural. Fish can be singular or plural. As is so frequently the case, there is a special exception regarding the word fishes, which you may have heard before, and fishes is a word that we would use when we're talking about individual species of fish. And fish is the word that we would use to refer to individual fish. So let's say your uncle Marty is a prodigious fisherman and he catches, he goes fly fishing one weekend, he comes back, he has 30 fish. Marty caught... 30 fish. But let's say on the other hand your aunt Marta is a prodigious marine biologist and she studies 30 different types of fish. You would say Marta studies... 30 fishes. And that doesn't mean that she studies 30 individual fish. That means she studies 30 types of fish. That's the difference. Fishes is referring to species. Fish refers to individuals. That's how you'd use them in the plural. So to review, there's this entire class of words called base plurals where the word itself, the base, doesn't take an S for the plural, it's just the same. The singular is the same as the plural. So that gives us words like sheep, fish, and bison. There aren't a ton of English words that behave this way where the plural is the same as the singular. I just wanted to make you aware of some of the most common ones. There are also more examples in the exercises. So I just wanted you to be aware of them. You can learn anything. David out.