Monday, February 14, 2011

Common Error: Incorrect Plurals

Happy Valentine's Day, but more importantly, Happy Mistake Monday! We're back tonight with a common error that happens more times than you might imagine. It involves nouns with irregular plurals. Let's take a look:

Common Error: Incorrect Plurals (man, woman, child, person)
DON’T say this:Many beautiful womans live in Costa Rica.
This taxi can only carry four persons.
My wife and I want to have two childs.
WHY?-Some nouns in English have irregular plurals. Most plurals in English are formed by adding an "-s" or "-es" to the end of a word, but with irregular plurals, you need to change the word in a different way. For example, in plural:
-man becomes men
-woman becomes women
-child becomes children
-and person generally becomes people
*(The words "persons" and "people" do exist, but they're generally used in a legal or administrative context)
INSTEAD, SAY THIS:-"Many beautiful women live in Costa Rica."
-"This taxi can only carry four people."
-"My wife and I want to have two children."
-"There are many differences between women and men."
-"People are strange." (Remember that "people" is plural in English!)

What other irregular plurals have you come across while learning English? Which ones cause you the most trouble? Be sure to join in the conversation in the comments section!

So, that's it for today. If you have questions or comments, please leave a comment or contact us. Thanks for reading!

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Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment! If you have a specific comment about this post, please tell me. If you have a general question about the site or a common error suggestion, you can also use the "Contact" link at the top of the page.
-Ryan