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RULES FOR SPELLING

PLURALS OF NOUNS

The plurals of nouns are generally made by adding 8 to the singular.

Nouns ending in 8, 2, 2, 8h, or soft ch, and nouns that end in i, o, u, or y, preceded each by a consonant, are made plural by adding es to the singular. (Y is changed to i when adding es.)

In our language, as written in England, the plural of story, or storey, meaning floor, is storeys. We write stories. We notice these interesting differences when reading books printed in England.

A few nouns in o are exceptions to the above rule, and add s only. See opposite page.

Nouns ending in o or y, preceded by a vowel, add 8 to the singular to form the plural.

Nouns ending in silent e, preceded by the sound of 8, 2, 2, , 8h, or soft ch, add s to the singular.

Some nouns ending in f and fe change f to v and add es, and others add only 8 to form the plural.

The plurals of letters, figures, and other characters are formed by adding the apostrophe () and 8, that is ( ’8), to the singular.

EXCEPTION. - Wharf has both forms, wharfs and wharves. Staff becomes staves in the plural, but its compounds are regular; as, flagstaff, flagstaffs.

The plural of many nouns is irregular, as man, men.

Give the singular form of each of the following nouns and the rule, if any, for forming the plural:

cargoes

dresses galleys griefs bamboos
wedges fancies latches folios calicoes
buggies gulfs pebbles squashes thieves
classes shelves
sopranos hoofs

haunches
pulleys lassos

proofs pianos chimneys violets pansies tomatoes knives buffaloes studios gifts sheaves heroes colleges scarfs boxes roses ratios libraries negroes images loaves breeches berries hearses calves

sponges races mustaches valleys

flies octavos vetoes damages lilies tassels radishes beeves potatoes gnues axes chiefs glasses ledges phrases daisies altos

strifes porticoes
markets matches

purses
wives

guesses
dominoes mottoes volcanoes halves thrushes
lives turkeys poppies reefs mosquitoes
chaises elves twos monkeys wolves
cuckoos cuffs trios taxes kangaroos
duties dwarfs safes waifs leaves
flashes horses torpedoes coaches wretches
lasses echoes selves

cages

tornadoes adieus zeros

fifes spices bushes
foxes breezes pennies gases

's
stories
women children

weaknesses
3's

?'s staffs (meaning officers)

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GENERAL RULES FOR SPELLING

1. Words of one syllable ending in f, l, or 8, preceded by a single vowel have the final consonant doubled ; as, mill, pass.

EXCEPTIONS. – Clef, if, of, sol, as, gas, has, was, yes, is, his, this, us, thus, pus, plus.

2. Words ending in any other consonant than f, 1, or 8, do not double the final letter except in the following: abb, add, ebb, odd, egg, inn, err, burr, purr, butt, buzz, fuzz, and some proper nouns.

3. Monosyllables, and words accented on the last syllable, double the final consonant when preceded by a single vowel, or by a vowel after qu, before a suffix beginning with a vowel.

EXCEPTIONS. — X, k, and v are never doubled.

EXCEPTIONS. L and are sometimes doubled when the last syllable is not accented.

4. Words ending in any double letter retain it doubled before a suffix not beginning with the same letter.

EXCEPTIONS. Fled, sold, told, dwelt, spelt, split, shalt, wilt, blest, and past.

5. Primitive words ending in silent e

(a) Generally drop the e when adding a suffix beginning with a vowel. (6) Retain the e when preceded by c or 9

before the suffixes able and ous to preserve the soft sounds

of c and g.

(c) Retain the e in the derivatives of certain words to preserve the identity of the primitive word; as, hoeing, dyeing.

(d) Generally retain the e when adding a suffix beginning with a consonant.

(e) Preceded by dg drop the e in their derivatives, the d preserving the soft sound of g.

(f) Preceded by a vowel, in certain words, drop e before a suffix beginning with a consonant; as, true, truly.

6. Primitive words ending in y, preceded by a consonant, change y into ¿ when adding a suffix beginning with any other letter than i.

EXCEPTIONS. · Pity, piteous; beauty, beauteous; plenty, plenteous; duty, duteous; gassy, gaseous.

EXCEPTIONS. — Most words derived from dry, shy, sly, spry, and wry, retain y. Exception, drier, driest.

EXCEPTIONS. — Before ing, the y is retained to prevent doubling i. Words ending in ie, drop e (Rule 6), change y to i for the same reason.

7. Primitive words ending in y, preceded by a vowel, retain y in their derivatives.

EXCEPTIONS. - Pay, paid ; say, said, saith; gay, , gaily; day, daily; lay, laid; slay, slain; stay, staid.

8. Compounds generally retain the spelling of the simple words composing them; as, horseman.

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