1. For a single syllable word, ending in a single consonant preceded by a single vowel double the consonant:

swim; swimmer; swimming

rob, robber, robbed, robbing

2. For a single syllable word, ending in a single consonant preceded by two vowels do NOT double the consonant:

meet, meeting

pair, paired, pairing

3. For a multiple syllable word, ending in a single consonant preceded by a single vowel, if stress is on last syllable, double the consonant:

prefer, preferred, preferring

4. For most words, add -s to the singular form to make it plural:

cat, cats; bell, bells; rose, roses

5. If a word ends in vowel + o, usually add -s to form the plural:

monkey, monkeys (BUT money, moneys, OR monies). If a word ends in a consonant + o, sometimes add -s:

piano, pianos

OR sometimes add -es:

potato, potatoes

OR sometimes add either:

zero, zeros, zeroes

6. If a word ends in f or fe, sometimes add -s to make it plural:

roof, roofs

OR sometimes change f or fe to -ves:

half, halves; wife, wives

OR sometimes add either:

scarf, scarfs, scarves

7. Add -es to the singular form when it ends in s, ss, ch, sh, x, z, or zz:

bus, buses

kiss, kisses

church, churches

bush, bushes

ax, axes

waltz, waltzes

fizz, fizzes

8. Drop the final -e if a suffix* begins with a vowel:

desire, desiring, desirable

9. Keep the final -e if a suffix begins with a consonant:

care + full = careful

complete + ly = completely

excite + ment = excitement

10. For a word that ends in a consonant + y, change the -y to -i for most suffixes:

pony, ponies

deny, denies


11. If a word ends in -ay, -ey, -oy, form the plural by simply adding -s:

ray, rays

valley, valleys

toy, toys

12. Sometimes you change -ie to -y before -ing:

die, died, dying

lie, lied, lying

13. The sound of "shun" has several different spellings:

solution, occasion, mission, musician, Dalmatian, crucifixion

14. The following prefixes** give negative meaning to the original word:






*A suffix is a word ending. It changes the part of speech of the word, but does not change the meaning of the original ("root") word entirely: see, seeing;

act, actor

beauty, beautiful

equip, equipment

** A prefix is a word beginning. It changes the meaning of the original ("root") word:





Singular, Plural of some words

alumna - alumnae

alumnus - alumni

analysis - analyses

auditorium - auditoriums

bacterium - bacteria

box - boxes

child - children

crisis - crises

crisis - crises

deer - deer/deers

fish - fish/fishes

foot - feet

fungo - fungoes

goose - geese

house - houses

man, men


mother-in-law, mothers-in-law

mouse, mice

ox, oxen

, pants

, people


, scissors


sock, socks/sox

tooth, teeth

woman, women