The English language is funny. It has all of these rules and then for each rule, it has its exceptions aka irregulars. In the English language when a noun becomes plural you simply add an -s or -es, however, there are irregular plurals that do not follow that simple rule.

Some of the most common English nouns have an irregular plural form. For example, the plural form of fireman is firemen not firemans or child is children not childs.

Sadly there are many irregular plural nouns in the English language and you simply just have to memorize them. But luckily there are some common patterns that irregular plurals follow.

Irregular Plural Noun List
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The Most Common Irregular Plurals

Example: Nouns ending in -f or -fe

In order to make a word ending in -f, or -fe plural simply change the f to a v and add -es. So the end should be -ves.

For example, the plural form of wife would-be wives. See the chart below for more examples

Singular (-f, -fe)Plural (-ves)
knifeknives
lifelives
wifewives
calfcalves
leafleaves

Nouns That Change Their Vowels

In addition, there are some English words that change their vowels when the noun becomes plural.

For example, oo becomes ee or an becomes en.

SingularPlural (vowel change)
footfeet
toothteeth
goosegeese
manmen
womanwomen

Irregular Nouns That Change Spelling

Furthermore, there are some irregular plurals that change their spelling.

For example, the plural form of child is children. See the chart below for more examples.

SingularPlural
mousemice
diedice
oxoxen
childchildren
personpeople

Irregular Nouns That Stay the Same when Plural

There are a few irregular plurals in the English language that stay the same when they are singular or plural.

For example, one fish or two fish. There are 10 fish swimming in the aquarium.

Singular/ Plural (no change)
sheep
fish
deer
moose
buffalo

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    33 Irregular Plural Nouns List

    Here is a list of the 33 most common irregular plurals.

    SingularPlural
    1fishfish
    2firemanfiremen
    3halfhalves
    4diedice
    5wifewives
    6calfcalves
    7footfeet
    8wolfwolves
    9octopusoctopi
    10goosegeese
    11thiefthieves
    12elfelves
    13deerdeer
    14womanwomen
    15policemanpolicemen
    16cactuscacti
    17scarfscarves
    18knifeknives
    19childchildren
    20shelfshelves
    21loafloaves
    22manmen
    23moosemoose
    24personpeople
    25sheepsheep
    26hoofhooves
    27leafleaves
    28toothteeth
    29mousemice
    30oxoxen
    31fungusfungi
    32bisonbison
    33lifelives

    Practice Irregular Plurals

    Print the 33 irregular plurals flashcards. Then cut and laminate the cards for durability.

    Once you’ve laminated the cards you can use a dry erase marker to have your students write the answer on the card.

    Play a Game to Get More Practice

    • Go Fish: Print two copies and play go fish.
    • Memory: Print two copies and play memory.

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