Special Plurals

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Special plurals

Welcome to this week’s online writing class. This week, we look at some special plurals in English that you might not even be aware of!

1. Latinate plurals: originally Latin words, these nouns end with ‘us’ or ‘um’ in the singular and are changed to ‘I’ or ‘ia’ or ‘a’ in the plural.

Eg. Alumnus- Alumni

Stadium – Stadia

Agendum – Agenda

Medium – Media

Bacterium – Bacteria

Syllabus – Syllabi

Curriculum – curricula

Datum – data

Ovum – ova

Since he is an alumnus of Achimota School, he is going for their alumni meeting.

2. IS to ES

This group is confusing for many because the pronunciation for both singular and plural are alike.

Eg. Thesis- theses

Analysis – Analyses

Crisis –  Crises

Axis- Axes

Basis – bases

Synopsis- synopses

Ellipsis – ellipses

I have only one thesis to my credit but have proofread several theses.

3. ON- A

Eg. Criterion- criteria

Phenomenon – phenomena

Eg. I asked for the criteria for becoming a leader but I was given only one criterion : loyalty.


Appendix – appendices

Apex – apices


Louse – lice

Mouse – mice

6. OO- EE

goose –  geese

Foot – feet

7. No particular rule

Child –  children

(wo)man –  (wo)men

Die – dice

Ox – oxen

Larva –  larvae

8. No change

Deer – deer

Sheep – sheep

Moose –  moose

Series – series

Species – species

Hope you learnt something this week. We’re back next week with another interesting lesson.

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