What Does Plural Mean? (Definition and Examples)

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What Does Plural Mean? (Definition and Examples)

The word plural denotes a quantity greater than one. Plural contrasts with singular, which denotes only one. For example:
  • One dog / two dogs
  • (The word dog is singular, but dogs is plural.)
    (Note: The word dog is a singular noun, but dogs is a plural noun.)
  • He shouts. / They shout.
  • (He is a singular pronoun, and shouts is a singular verb.)
    (They is a plural pronoun, and shout is a plural verb.)
The terms plural and singular are values of the grammatical category of number.

Most Nouns Have Singular and Plural Forms

Most nouns have singular and plural forms. A noun with a singular and plural form (e.g., dog/dogs, man/men) is called a countable noun. A countable noun contrasts with a non-countable noun, which does not have a plural form (e.g., music, bravery).

Below are some countable nouns which are plural in number:
  • Tramps
  • Beers
  • Goggles
  • Models
Most of the time in English, a noun forms its plural by adding -s or -es to its singular version. However, not every noun forms its plural this way. For example:
  • Sheep
  • Men
  • Stadia
  • Octopi