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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, x, 2, sh, 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 : to the singular to form the plural.
Nouns ending in silent e, preceded by the sound of 8, X, 2, j, sh, 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 wedges fancies buggies gulfs classes shelves pulleys lassos violets pansies studios gifts scarfs boxes negroes images hearses. calves valleys flies lilies tassels gnues axes phrases daisies markets matches dominoes mottoes lives turkeys chaises elves cuckoos cuffs duties dwarfs flashes horses lasses echoes adieus zeros foxes breezes stories women
galleys griefs bamboos latches folios calicoes pebbles squashes thieves sopranos hoofs haunches proofs pianos chimneys tomatoes knives buffaloes sheaves heroes colleges roses ratios libraries loaves breeches berries sponges races mustaches octavos vetoes damages radishes beeves potatoes chiefs glasses ledges altos strifes porticoes purses wives guesses volcanoes halves thrushes poppies reefs mosquitoes twos monkeys wolves trios taxes kangaroos safes waifs leaves torpedoes coaches wretches selves cages tornadoes fifes spices bushes pennies gases children oxen weaknesses staffs (meaning officers)
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, l, 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 8 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 g 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.