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Michigan TIPS, Issue # 007 Nouns and Plurals
November 07, 2007

Nouns and Plurals

The following can present tricky situations on your examination so I decided to give you a quick review of nouns and plurals.

Below you will find areas that are often tested and if you're not extra careful, they can cost you some valuable points.

Also, if you're interested in some last minute test advice that I usually give my students before the exam, there is a link down below that will benefit you.

Ready to review NOUNS and PLURALS?

Here we go....


Their furniture is very stylish. [Also singular: advice, baggage, machinery, jewellery]
[NOT: their furnitures are…]
Only three pieces of furniture were damaged in the fire.
The love of money is the root of all evil.
[NOT: Money are…]
Have the police solved the murder yet?
[NOT: Has the police…]
The information you gave me was much appreciated.
[NOT: The informations…… were…]
Your hair looks really nice today.
[NOT: Your hairs look…]
It’s often been said that no news is good news.
[NOT: No news are…]
Fish is good food.
[NOT: Fish are… or fishes are…]
Where are my jeans/slacks/pants?
[NOT: Where is my jeans/slacks/pants?]
That is a nice pair of jeans you’re wearing.
[ALSO: shorts, swimming trunks, tights, trousers]
*[CAREFUL: Those are nice shorts]
Crossroads is an old song by Robert Johnson.
[NOT: Crossroads are…]
*[CAREFUL: The crossroads are on the outskirts of town.]

*Tricky words and combinations.

Why were you delayed at customs ?
Damages were paid to the victim’s family.
Where are the goods I ordered?
The outskirts of town can be dangerous at times.
Spirits (alcoholic beverages) are taxed more than tobacco is.
These are very comfortable surroundings .
These premises are protected by a large guard dog.
Sometimes my earnings don’t seem to cover my expenses.

UNCOUNTABLE: [anarchy, behavior, chaos, damage, evidence, excitement, fun, help, knowledge, luck, equipment, permission, propaganda, progress, seaside, shopping, traffic, weather]

I need some assistance.
[NOT: an assistance]
It’s hard to find work these days.
[NOT: a work…]

Words that look plural but take singular verbs:

Some people think physics is difficult. [gymnastics, billiards, mathematics, etc.]
[NOT: physics are…]

COLLECTIVE NOUNS: [audience, class, crew, crowd, enemy, family, government, public, team, jury, committee, etc.]

The audience is quite large for a Monday evening.
[NOT: The audience are]
My brother-in-law is a teacher.
My brothers-in-law are both short.
*My brother-in-law’s job is very rewarding.
A passer-by was injured in the accident.
Several passers-by witnessed the assault.
Four hundred people attended the seminar.
[NOT: Four hundreds…]
[CAREFUL: Hundreds of fans welcomed the team at the airport.


Well, I hope the above helps you on your exam. It pays to review those areas that are unclear before you take your test.

Remember, every point helps!

Below you will find links to other resources that may interest you including my book, "Writing Proficiently."

For last minute test advice check out the link below


Teaching + Inspiration + Practice = Success

Good learning everyone!

Till next time...



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