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How to show Plurality in Count Nouns

In English, “-s” is often added to the end of a noun or verb. This page will demonstrate five different situations that require an “S.”

You need to show plurality when talking about more than one or speaking in general terms about all of the items in one category.

Adding “S” to Show Plurality (more than one)

This person is reading more than one book. Therefore, it is necessary to add “s” to the end of the word “books.”

Adding “S” to Show Generality

If you are referring to a general rule, or are speaking about ALL of the items in one category (all trees, all computers, all schools), then you must add “S.” Also, remember not to use “the” in front of the plural noun when you are referring to a general category.

For present tense subject/verb agreement

Add “S” on the end of a verb in present tense to agree with the singular “he,” “she,” or “it” subject.

Adding “S” for Subject/Verb Agreement

This sentence is in the present tense. John is a “he” subject, so the verb, “sit” must add “s” to agree with “he.”

This sentence also expresses repeated action. We know that John always sits in the front row, and he always hates sitting there.

Adding “S” for Subject/Verb Agreement

Mary is a “she” subject. Therefore you need to add “s” to the verbs “love” and “eat” so the subject and verb agree.

This sentence is in present tense and is expressing something that is always true.

Adding “S” for Subject/Verb Agreement

“My computer” is an “it” subject, so the verbs “break” and “frustrate” need to add “s” to agree.

This sentence is in the present tense and is expressing a repeated action.

How to Show Singular Possession

Add Apostrophe-S to Show Possession

This sentence is referring to something that someone owns. The ‘s means the computer belongs to John.

Add Apostrophe-S to Show Possession

This sentence describes whose house burned down. The ‘s shows us that it was the house that belonged to Mary.

Add Apostrophe-S to Show Possession

This sentence compares the rooms occupied by two different people. The ‘s indicates that one room is owned by my brother, while the other is owned by my sister.

How to Show Plural Possession

Using S-Apostrophe to Show Possession

This sentence is comparing the two rooms used by the boys and the girls. Since the words boys and girls are already plural, the apostrophe is added after the “s” to show possession.

Using S-Apostrophe to Show Possession

Once again, notice the plural noun, students, uses “s” followed by an apostrophe to show possession.

Using S-Apostrophe to Show Possession

The name, Myles, always ends in “s” even though it is singular. This means that when you want to show possession with the name Myles, you need to add the apostrophe after the “s.”

For all proper nouns ending in “s,” it is accepted to add ‘s (Myles’s homework).

Using S-Apostrophe to Show Possession

Again, the proper noun, Les, always ends in “s.” Notice the apostrophe is added after the “s”.

How to Indicate a Contraction

Using Apostrophe-S for IT’S

“It’s” is simply a shorter way of saying “it is.” Several other words are commonly used with ‘s to show a contraction. For example, who’s, what’s, where’s, there’s, he’s, she’s, etc.

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