Spelling:  Plurals
One deer. Two deer.

Spelling: Plurals

Most words that are plurals require a letter 's' to be added...but not all do! This quiz will give you some practice in writing the plurals of nouns. By the way, adjectives don't have plurals: 'A blue pen'; 'Two blue pens'. Also, some nouns don't have a separate plural form.

It's easy to be sloppy with spelling ~ especially as most people will understand what you are trying to write. However, firstly it's bad English and secondly, it's not really fair on your readers to make them have to 'work out' what you are saying. Much better to write clear, standard English with no room for misinterpretation. Not only does good spelling make a difference; using the correct word (i.e. its meaning) is vital. Many misunderstandings can be avoided by learning how to use the English language properly.

See how you fare in this enjoyable 11-plus spelling quiz.

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  1. Which plural has been written incorrectly?
    It should be 'potatoes'. The former American vice-president, Dan Quail, didn't know how to spell the plural of potato. Nouns ending in '-o' add '-es' or '-s' to form the plural. For example, discos, pianos BUT sometimes you have a choice: buffalo - buffalos/buffaloes; motto - mottos/mottoes; tornado - tornados/tornadoes; volcano - volcanos/volcanoes; zero - zeros/zeroes
  2. Which plural has been written incorrectly?
    It should be 'churches'. Nouns ending in '-ch', '-sh', '-x', '-s/-ss' and '-sh' need to have '-es' added to form their plurals
  3. Which plural has been written incorrectly?
    It should be 'babies'. Nouns ending in a 'consonant + y' drop the '-y' and add '-ies' to form their plurals. For example, lady, city (see above). Note: if the noun ends in a 'vowel (a, e, i, o, u) + y', you just add '-s' to form the plural: toy - toys
  4. Which plural has been written incorrectly?
    It should be 'phenomena'. The word 'curricula' is the plural of 'curriculum': the subjects taught at a school or other educational institution. Incidentally, the plural of 'syllabus' is 'syllabi' or 'syllabuses'
  5. Which plural has been written incorrectly?
    It should be 'oxen'. 'Ox', like the other nouns in this question, has an irregular plural form. Learn the irregular plurals by heart!
  6. Which plural has been written incorrectly?
    It should be 'knives'. Nouns ending in '-f/fe' drop the ending and add '-ves' to form their plurals BUT some just add '-s' to the ending: roof-roofs; cliff-cliffs; sheriff-sheriffs. If the noun ends in '-ff' just add '-s'. Sometimes you have a choice: scarf - scarfs/scarves; hoof - hoofs/hooves
  7. Which plural has been written incorrectly?
    It should be 'mice'. 'Mouse', like the other nouns in this question, has an irregular plural form. Learn the irregular plurals by heart!
  8. Which plural has been written incorrectly?
    It should be 'people/persons': 'person-people/persons'. 'Persons' is more formal
  9. Which plural has been written incorrectly?
    It should be 'lice'. 'Louse' is an irregular plural. Learn the irregular plurals by heart. By the way, 'data' is the plural of 'datum': a single piece of information
  10. Which plural has been written incorrectly?
    It should be 'information'. 'Information', like the other nouns in this question, uses the same word in the singular and the plural. For example, aircraft, cattle

Author: Frank Evans

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