KS3 English Quiz - Spelling (Plurals for nouns ending in f or fe) 01 (Questions)

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Some nouns ending in -f or -fe have plural forms ending in -ves. And some don't! As ever, there are always exceptions in English to keep you on your toes.

What happens to words like "knife", "wife", "half", "elf" and "life" when they become plural? If you say the words aloud, you notice that the f begins to soften and becomes a v sound instead. In spelling, these plural words look like this: "knives", "wives", "halves", "elves" and "lives". In every case, the v is followed by an -es, rather than only an -s ("knivs" just wouldn't look right somehow, at least in English).

Knowing how to make words ending in -f or -fe plural is one of those useful spelling rules to learn. If in doubt, try saying the plural form aloud, listening for a v sound. If you can hear the v, the word is not likely to be an exception to the rule. These exceptions include "chief" (chiefs), "roof" (roofs) and words ending in a double f, such as "cliff" (cliffs, not clives....).

Spelling is such an important skill, so why not play all of our spelling quizzes to really sharpen your mind!

1. Select the correct spelling(s) for the missing word(s).
The footballers' ....... cheered as their husbands played.
[ ] wife
[ ] wifes
[ ] wive
[ ] wives
2. Select the correct spelling(s) for the missing word(s).
In autumn the ....... turn golden.
[ ] leaf
[ ] leafs
[ ] leave
[ ] leaves
3. Select the correct spelling(s) for the missing word(s).
The cow gave birth to twin .......
[ ] calf
[ ] calfs
[ ] calve
[ ] calves
4. Select the correct spelling(s) for the missing word(s).
In the bakery there were still some ....... on the .......
[ ] loaf, shelf
[ ] loafs, shelfs
[ ] loaves, shelfs
[ ] loaves, shelves
5. Select the correct spelling(s) for the missing word(s).
The ....... howled in the snowy forest.
[ ] wolf
[ ] wolfs
[ ] wolve
[ ] wolves
6. Select the correct spelling(s) for the missing word(s).
The students purchased red, blue and green .......
[ ] scarf
[ ] scarfs
[ ] scarves
[ ] scarvs
7. Select the correct spelling(s) for the missing word(s).
Put these ten ....... and forks on the table please!
[ ] knife
[ ] knifes
[ ] knive
[ ] knives
8. Select the correct spelling(s) for the missing word(s).
The book is about the ....... of great composers.
[ ] life
[ ] lifes
[ ] live
[ ] lives
9. Select the correct spelling(s) for the missing word(s).
The newborn ....... were just beginning their .......
[ ] calf, lives
[ ] calfs, lifes
[ ] calves, life
[ ] calves, lives
10. Select the correct spelling(s) for the missing word(s).
The ....... of each band of warriors held a meeting.
[ ] chief
[ ] chiefs
[ ] chieve
[ ] chieves

 

KS3 English Quiz - Spelling (Plurals for nouns ending in f or fe) 01 (Answers)
1. Select the correct spelling(s) for the missing word(s).
The footballers' ....... cheered as their husbands played.
[ ] wife
[ ] wifes
[ ] wive
[x] wives
"Wife" loses the -fe and adds -ves to form its plural
2. Select the correct spelling(s) for the missing word(s).
In autumn the ....... turn golden.
[ ] leaf
[ ] leafs
[ ] leave
[x] leaves
One "leaf", but more than one "leaves"
3. Select the correct spelling(s) for the missing word(s).
The cow gave birth to twin .......
[ ] calf
[ ] calfs
[ ] calve
[x] calves
More than one "calf" is "calves" (this is also true of the leg muscle)
4. Select the correct spelling(s) for the missing word(s).
In the bakery there were still some ....... on the .......
[ ] loaf, shelf
[ ] loafs, shelfs
[ ] loaves, shelfs
[x] loaves, shelves
One "loaf" on a "shelf", but many "loaves" on the "shelves"
5. Select the correct spelling(s) for the missing word(s).
The ....... howled in the snowy forest.
[ ] wolf
[ ] wolfs
[ ] wolve
[x] wolves
One "wolf", many "wolves"
6. Select the correct spelling(s) for the missing word(s).
The students purchased red, blue and green .......
[ ] scarf
[ ] scarfs
[x] scarves
[ ] scarvs
How many nouns can you think of which end in -f or -fe? Do they all lose the -f/-fe for a -ves when plural?
7. Select the correct spelling(s) for the missing word(s).
Put these ten ....... and forks on the table please!
[ ] knife
[ ] knifes
[ ] knive
[x] knives
One "knife" but two "knives"
8. Select the correct spelling(s) for the missing word(s).
The book is about the ....... of great composers.
[ ] life
[ ] lifes
[ ] live
[x] lives
"Life": lose the -fe and add -ves to form the plural
9. Select the correct spelling(s) for the missing word(s).
The newborn ....... were just beginning their .......
[ ] calf, lives
[ ] calfs, lifes
[ ] calves, life
[x] calves, lives
Are you getting the hang of it yet?
10. Select the correct spelling(s) for the missing word(s).
The ....... of each band of warriors held a meeting.
[ ] chief
[x] chiefs
[ ] chieve
[ ] chieves
"Chief" is an exception to the rule and just adds an s for its plural