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Learning Zone
Learning Zone
Grammar

Plural form of foreign origin’s nouns

Level: C1

Plural form of foreign nouns

Simple and quite rules of creating plural get a little complicated when it comes to words of foreign origin especially from classical Greek, Latin, French and Italian. Some words create plural by adding an ending -s, in others stand rules imported from original languages. Sometimes those two forms are correct.


Nouns ending with -us get an ending -i or -s:

cactus – cacti/cactuses
fungus – fungi/funguses
hippopotamus – hippopotami/ hippopotamuses
octopus – octopi/octopuses
radius – radii

Nouns ending with -um get an ending -a or -s:

bacterium – bacteria
curriculum – curricula/curriculums
medium – media

Nouns ending with -on get an ending -a:

criterion – criteria
automaton – automata

Nouns ending with -ex or -vix get an ending -ices or -s:

index – indices/indexes
matrix – matrices/matrixes

Nouns ending with -is get an ending -es:

analysis – analyses
basis – bases
crisis – crises
diagnosis – diagnoses
hypothesis – hypotheses
oasis – oases
thesis – theses

Nouns ending with -a get an ending -ae or -s:

antena – antennae/antennas
formula – formulae/formulas
larva – larvae

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