Plural Forms - Common Nouns



NonStandard Plural Forms of Common Nouns


Another tricky aspect of the English language is forming the plural form of certain common nouns. The standard way to pluralize a word in English is to add an "s" at the end of the word. However, there are many exceptions to this.

Many of these non-standard or irregular plurals are non-intuitive, and the only way to know them is to memorize them, or failing that, look them up in a dictionary. Below is a list showing the non-standard plural form of some of the more common nouns.

Singular form

addendum
alumna
alumnus
analysis
antenna
appendix
bacterium
basis
bureau
bus
census
crisis
criterion
ellipsis
erratum
focus
formula
forum
gas
hypothesis
index
matrix
medium
memorandum
nucleus
parenthesis
phenomenon
plateau
surplus
symposium


Plural form

addenda
alumnae
alumni
analyses
attennae (feelers); or antennas (areials)
appendixes or appendices
bacteria
bases
bureaus
buses
censuses
crises
criteria
ellipses
errata
focuses
formulas or formulae
forums (NOT fora)
gases
hypotheses
indexes (book); or indices (math, statistics)
matrices
mediums or media (see dictionary for context)
memorandums or memoranda
nuclei
parentheses
phenomena
plateaus
surpluses
symposiums or symposia



The above are the best examples I could come up with when I researched and wrote this page. If you think of other non-standard plural forms, go ahead and add them to your own list. If you think of a good one that I missed, please e-mail it to me via the "Contact" link at the bottom of this page.



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