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We all know that nouns have singular and plural forms. But does this rule stand for all nouns? Here are some exceptions.

There are three groups of nouns that we use only in the plural. We use them with plural verbs and plural pronouns:

  • Your glasses are dirty. Take a tissue to wipe them.
  • Please, receive my condolences for your loss.
  • There are more and more people in the world every day.

Nouns which are only plural

These groups of nouns are:

1) Nouns related to items consisting of two parts (glasses, scissors, jeans, trousers…)

  • My new trousers are so comfortable.
  • These scissors aren’t sharp enough.

You can talk about them in singular if you use ‘a pair of’:

  • This pair of trousers is so comfortable.
  • This pair of scissors is very sharp.

2) Nouns ending in –S (clothes, stairs, belongings, thanks, congratulations…)

  • These clothes are dirty.
  • The stairs in their house are too narrow.
  • Many thanks for taking care of my cat.

Remember that these nouns are countable because they answer the question how many, not how much.

  • How many belongings have you got?
  • How many clothes have you bought?

Nouns Which are Only Plural

3) Nouns which express groups of people or animals (police, cattle, folk, people, poultry…)

  • The police are in front of the building.
  • They use growth hormones to make cattle grow faster.
  • There weren’t many people in the streets last night.

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