Spelling Plurals with -s or -es

If a word ends in ‑s, ‑sh, ‑ch, ‑x, or ‑z, you add ‑es. For almost all other nouns, add -s to pluralize.

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How to Spell Plural Nouns: With -es or -s?

When do you add ‑s and when do you add ‑es to make a plural noun? It’s not quite as arbitrary as it may seem.

If a word ends in ‑s, ‑sh, ‑ch, ‑x, or ‑z, you add ‑es. Consider the examples below:

I had to take only one bus; you had to take two buses. I had to do only one wash; you had to do two washes. I have a splotch on my shirt; you have two splotches. I’m carrying one box; you’re carrying two boxes. I heard one buzz; you heard two buzzes.

Some single nouns ending in -s or -z require more than the -es to form their plural versions. To pluralize these nouns, you must double the -s or -z before adding the -es. Some examples include:

Do you smell the gasses coming from the chemistry lab? How many fezzes can the boy possibly have?

All other regular nouns can be pluralized by simply adding an -s. These are just a few examples:

I have one cat; you have two cats. I have one cup; you have two cups. I have one shoe; you have two shoes. I have one ski; you have two skis. I have one toque; you have two toques.

Adding -s or -es to a noun to make it plural is the most common form of pluralization, but there are many other plural noun rules that apply to words with certain endings.

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