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Common Errors in the Use of Nouns Number

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1.Nouns having the same form in singular as well as the plural: Nouns expressing number, names of some animals, some other nouns like corps, species, and series.

2.Nouns used as singular: The following nouns are generally used in the singular; alphabet, bedding, clothing, furniture,, information, luggage, machinery, offspring, poetry, scenery, physic.

3.Nouns plural in form but use as singular: Branches of learning, diseases, games and sports, news, summons, innings, gallows, wages.

4.Nouns always used as plurals: Articles of dress, names of instruments and few other nouns as follows; alms, annals, ashes, assets, intestines, thanks, proceeds, spirits, tidings, savings, belongings, riches, contents, credentials, nuptials.

5.Nouns singular in form but used as plural: Cattle, gentry, peasantry, poultry, clergy.

6.Nouns with two plural forms which differ in meaning.

7.Nouns with one meaning in singular and two in the plural.

8.Nouns with two meanings in the singular and only one in the plural.

9.Nouns with one meaning in the singular and another one in the plural.

10.Plurals of compound norm forms.

11.Plurals of proper nouns with titles.

Sample Usage


(a) Two hundred people, three dozen eggs, three pair of socks.
(b) A ten-rupee not, a five-year old boy.
(c) Fish, sheep, deer, swine.
(d) He could catch only five fish.
(e) The fish cannot live without water.

(a) The old furniture was disposed of.
(b) The scenery of Kullu is fascinating.
(c) The poetry of Shelley is very inspiring.

(a) Mathematics, Physics, Mechanics.
(b) Mumps, measles.
(c) Billiards, draughts, gymnastics.
(d) Measles has broken out in the city.
(e) Summon was served on him.

(a) Leather shoes are very costly in India.
(b) A pair of shoes is all I need.
(c) These scissors are very sharp.
(d) Riches have wings.

(a) The cattle are grazing in the field.
(b) The gentry were found unco-operative.

(a) Genius (Singular): Geniuses (Plural)-persons of great talent. Genii (Plural)- spirits.
(b) Staff (Singular): Staffs (Plural)-bodies of clerks or officers. Staves (Plural) – sticks.

(a) Arm (Singular) – Upper limb. Arms (Plural) – Upper limbs or weapons.

(a) Abuse (Singular) – An evil or reproach. Abuses (Plural) – Evils.

(a) Advice (Singular) – Counsel. Advices (Plural) – Information.

(a) Brother-in-law (Singular), Brothers-in-law (Plural)

(a) Miss Smith (Singular), The Miss Smiths or The Misses Smith (Plural)

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