First things first! What is the main pillar of English language? Is there something like that? I have been thinking and thinking about that and recently I have reached a conclusion – yes, there are pillars upon which English language is built – Singular and Plural!

Do you really know all the singulars and plurals?

Nouns ending in f / fe

  • Knife > Knives
  • Life > Lives
  • Wife > Wives
  • Calf > Calves
  • Leaf > Leaves

Nouns Ending in -o

Exceptions: roofs and proofs (among others).
Plurals of words ending in -o are usually made by adding -es.

  • Potato > Potatoes
  • Tomato > Tomatoes
  • Hero > Heroes
  • Torpedo > Torpedoes
  • Veto > Vetoes

But of course, there are exceptions. Some words ending in -othat are borrowed from other languages take only an s to make a plural, such as pianos, cantos, photos, and zerosCello, which is an abbreviation of the Italian word violoncello, can be written the traditional way, celli, or the commonly accepted anglicized way, cellos.

Nouns That Change Vowels

Many English words become plural by changing their vowels, such as oo to ee or an to en.

  • Foot > Feet
  • Tooth > Teeth
  • Goose > Geese
  • Man > Men
  • Woman > Women

Irregular Nouns That Change Substantially

For a variety of historical reasons, some words change in spelling substantially when made plural.

  • Louse > Lice
  • Mouse > Mice
  • Ox > Oxen
  • Child > Children
  • Person > People
  • Penny > Pence

Irregular Nouns That Do Not Change At All When Made Plural

Some English nouns are identical in both the singular and the plural forms. Many of these are names for animals.

  • Sheep > Sheep
  • Fish > Fish / Fishes
  • Deer > Deer
  • Moose > Moose
  • Swine > Swine
  • Buffalo > Buffalo
  • Shrimp > Shrimp
  • Trout > Trout

Aircraft, watercraft, hovercraft, and spacecraft are all the same whether singular or plural.

  • NASA has made several different types of spacecraft in their fifty-nine-year history.

Plurals of Latin and Greek Words

There are certain words we use on a regular basis, especially in mathematical and scientific contexts, that are borrowed from Latin or Greek. Many of these words retain their Latin or Greek plurals in math and science settings. Some of them also have anglicized plural forms that have come into common use.

Nouns Ending in -us

To make a word ending in -us plural, change -us to -i. Many plurals of words ending in -us have anglicized versions, formed by simply adding -es. The latter method sounds more natural in informal settings. If there is an anglicized version that is well accepted, this will be noted in the dictionary entry for the word you are using.

  • Focus > Foci > Focuses
  • Radius > Radii > Radiuses
  • Fungus > Fungi
  • Nucleus > Nuclei
  • Cactus > Cacti
  • Alumnus > Alumni
  • Octopus > Octopi > Octopuses
  • Hippopotamus > Hippopotami > Hippopotamuses

Irregular Formation of Nouns Ending in -is

Nouns with an -is ending can be made plural by changing -is to -es. Some people have a hard time remembering that the plural of crisis is crises and the plural of axisis axes, but crisises and axises are incorrect.

Singular (-is) Plural (-es)
axis axes
analysis analyses
crisis crises
thesis theses

Irregular Formation of Nouns Ending in -on

These Greek words change their -on ending to -a.

Singular (-on) Plural (-a)
phenomenon phenomena
criterion criteria

Irregular Formation of Nouns Ending in -um

Words ending in -um shed their -um and replace it with -a to form a plural. The plurals of some of these words are far better known than their singular counterparts.

Singular (-um) Plural (-a)
datum data
memorandum memoranda
bacterium bacteria
stratum strata
curriculum curricula (also curriculums)

Irregular Formation of Nouns Ending in -ix

Nouns ending in -ix are changed to -ices in formal settings, but sometimes -xes is perfectly acceptable.

Singular (-ix) Plural (-ces, -xes)
index indices (or indexes)
appendix appendices (or appendixes, in a medical context)
vortex vortices (or vortexes)

Words that appear to be Singular but in fact plural

  • Children
  • Men
  • Women

Words that appear to be Plural but in fact Singular

Collective nouns usually confuse many of us. Is “crowd” singular or plural? Is “team” singular or plural? They are both singular although they are made up of many singular nouns.

  • Committee, Choir, People, Board, Choir, Class, Committee, Family, Group,  Jury,  Panel,  Staff.
  • Flock, Herd, Pod, Swarm.
  • Bunch, Collection, Fleet, Flotilla, Pack, Set.
  • Each
  • Every

That is the end of Singular and Plural Nouns. Now we need to understand other sections where singular and plural play important roles. They include pronouns and verbs. We need to learn them to understand the whole story.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]


Singular Pronouns Plural Pronouns
He, His, Him They, their, them
She, Her, Her They, their, them
It, Its, It They, their, them
We, Our, Us
You, Your, You

You may wonder why the pronoun “I” is omitted. Well, I is a pronoun but I is a confusing pronoun. I is singular but it is mostly governed by the rules of plural pronouns. Now let’s see how pronouns and verbs agree.


I Am, Was, Have, Do, Go,
We Are, Were, Have, Do, Go,
You Are, Were, Have, Do, Go,
They Are, Were, Have, Do, Go,
He Is, Was, Has, Does, Goes
She Is, Was, Has, Does, Goes
It Is, Was, Has, Does, Goes

Did you notice, all the verbs with He, She and It have S in them! Is, was, has, does, goes, comes, eats… With this, you have learnt about the two pillars of English. Now let’s move to Tenses in English.

Present Tense Examples
Simple Present. I prepare food for customers. (Not now but that what I do)
Present Continuous. I am preparing food. (At present I am doing that)
Present Perfect. I have prepared food. (But I have not eaten it or served it | Action is not complete + time is not mentioned)
Present Perfect Continuous. I have been preparing food since 2010. (I still do that)
Past Tense Examples
Simple Past I prepared food yesterday. (Action is complete + time is given)
Past Continuous I was preparing food when it suddenly rained. (But now it is prepared
Past Perfect When I started preparing food, the dough had been eaten by my cat.
Past Perfect Continuous I had been preparing food until 2015.

V1 of the first form of the verb or present form of the verb comes after the following words and group of words.

  1. To + V1
    1. “I like to go abroad.” “She likes to go abroad.” “They liked to go abroad.” “She will go abroad.”
  2. D + V1
    1. Do
      • “Do you live here?”
      • “The patient’s relatives do not have any communication with her.”
    2. Does
      • “Does he live here?”
      • “The patient does not tolerate heavy meals.”
    3. Did
      • “Did he live here?”
      • “Ms Alnet did not have any problem till Monday.”
  3. M + V1
    • Can “I can do it.” “Many youngsters can get educated.”
    • Could “The patient could not stand upright.”
    • May “The patient may get discharged today.”
    • Might “It was feared that the patient might die.”
    • Should .
    • Would
    • Must
  4. With future
    • It will help
    • She will eat
    • When our body feels tired, our mind also will feels tired.

Vs comes after:

  • He, she, it + Present Simple
    • “Ms Alnet lives in a rented house.”
    • “Mr Kapil works as a radiologist.”
    • “The patient needs to receive a packet of RBC immediately.

V2 or Simple Past (Completed actions)

  • With all actions that are completed on a time.
    • “Ms Emily drank three ounces of poison yesterday.”
    • Last year, the patient suffered from serious burning sensation in the throat.

V3 or Perfect tense:

  • Present Perfect – Have / has + V3 (Incomplete actions)
      • “She has requested to send a nurse to her home.”
  • Past Perfect – Had + V3

Ving – Continuous Tense

  • After:
    • For “She has come for treating her angina.”
    • By “We have managed to stop her bleeding by medicating.”
    • Before “The patient needs to undergo MRI before doing surgery.
    • Without


  1. Telecast – telecast – telecast
  2. Bend – bent – bent
  3. Bet – betted – betted
  4. Catch – caught – caught
  5. Cost – cost – cost
  6. Creep – crept – crept
  7. Dig – dug – dug
  8. Cast – cast – cast
  9. Burn – burnt – burnt
  10. Fight – fought – fought
  11. Hang – hung – hung
  12. Hang – hanged – hanged
  13. Lead – led – led
  14. Read – read – read
  15. Lie – lay – lain
  16. Lay – laid – laid
  17. Light – lit – lit
  18. Lose – lost – lost
  19. Spread – spread – spread
  20. Cut – cut – Cut
  21. Set – set – set
  22. Shoot – shot – shot
  23. Split – split – split
  24. Spit – spat – spat
  25. Stick – stuck – stuck
  26. Weep – wept – wept

Tense Explained

  • Past tense and present perfect tense are very much similar.
    • The patient requested a wheelchair to be sent to his home. Simple Past
    • The patient has requested a wheelchair to be sent to his home. Present perfect.
  • Simple Past means “done and completed at a time.”
    • She went home in the evening. (Look at the time!)
    • He consumed poison on 31st April. (look at the time!)
  • Present Perfect means “action started but not yet completed.”
    • Remember, in present perfect there are 2 parts.
      • We have invited her to the party.
        • Part 1 – Inviting part
        • Part 2 – Her arrival at the party
      • The patient has commenced on aspirin.
        • Part 1 – Commencing, or, taking the first course of aspirin.
        • Part 2 – Completing the course.
  • Use simple present for habitual actions:
    • Ms Alnet lives with her husband and two children.
    • Mr Joy is a social worker.
  • Use will for future actions
    • Ms Patient will have a review appointment with Dr Stenson


Passive voice is very important for IELTS ACADEMIC TASK 1 . Let’s see the rules here:

Active Voice Passive Voice
Draw a straight line between the two points. A straight line is drawn between the two points.
Stop the flow of liquid through the pipes. The flow of liquid through the pipes is stopped.
Advise all the youngsters not to involve in violence. All the youngsters are advised not to involve in violence.
The school conducted several awareness programs. Several awareness programs were conducted by the school.
They have constructed another pillar. Another pillar was constructed by them.


  1. Do not begin any sentence with:
    1. But > However
    2. And > Besides
    3. Because – Because of
    4. Hence – As a result
  2. Better not to end any sentence with:
    1. Also
    2. Only
  3. Do not use the before:
    1. A group as a whole.
      1. “The Women are very careful in making plans.”
      2. “The Old people are always talkative.”
  4. Use “the” with:
    1. The poor
    2. The rich
    3. The public
    4. The Nile, the Thames, the Amazon
    5. The Indian Ocean, the Atlantic
    6. The Bible, the Quaran
    7. Same
    8. First, second, third…
    9. Last
    10. Fastest, sharpest, cutest, most important, most
  5. Every and Each are singular.
    1. Every planet is not like the Earth.
    2. Every mobile company has to sign this deal.
  6. No need of prepositions before:
    1. Today
    2. Yesterday
    3. Earlier
    4. Before
    5. Tomorrow
    6. Once, Twice a month
    7. Later
    8. After
    9. Worldwide
    10. Abroad
    11. Out of state
  7. Connectors that begin a sentence:
    1. Besides,
    2. However,
    3. Although
    4. Thus,
    5. So, (with comma)
    6. Also (with comma)
  8. Connectors that come in the middle
    1. hence (without comma)
    2. So (without comma)
  9. The following words are followed by a comma when they are used for starting a sentence:
    1. So,
    2. Also
    3. However,
    4. Besides,
    5. Overall,
    6. In addition to that,
  10. And the following words are GENERALLY not followed or preceded by comma:
    1. Who “This is the patient who has requested home visit.”
    2. Whose
    3. Whom
    4. That
    5. Which
    6. While
  • All ages of people – People of all age groups
  • A man who eats a lot of vegetables
  • A man who is eating a lot of vegetables
  • A man eating a lot of vegetables


A elephant An elephant
A intelligent man An intelligent man
A orange An orange
A upper class berth An upper class berth
An boy A Boy
An woman A woman
An child A child
An European A European
An useful book A useful book
An university student A university student
Incorrect Correct
I and he. He and I.
Alan and his mother has done it. Alan and his mother have done it.
Incorrect Correct
Most of the people is dissatisfied. Most of the people are dissatisfied.
Most, majority and many are plural adjectives.
He wasted his all wealth. He wasted all his wealth.

“All his” sounds correct. Doesn’t it?

I have less worries than you. I have fewer worries than you.
Though “less worries” it sounds okay, it is not correct. “Fewer worries” makes sense.
Tell me the last news. Tell me the latest news.
Latest means ‘the most recent’. Last means ‘the previous one’.
I can’t afford that a big car. I can’t afford that big a car.
Note the pattern: that + adjective + a/an + noun
Let’s go quiet somewhere. Let’s go somewhere quiet.
The adjective usually goes after expressions like somewhere.
She is growing strong and strong everyday. She is growing stronger and stronger everyday.
The comparative form of the adjective is used in structures like these.
She is more stronger than her sister. She is stronger than her sister.
Avoid double comparatives. Adjectives of one syllable usually form their comparatives by adding –er to the positive. Longer adjectives take more.
More Errors
  1. She is …………………………….. than her sister. (Stronger / more stronger)
  2. Dallas is …………………………………. from Virginia than Washington. (Further / farther)
  3. You have …………………………………… books. (Much / many)
  4. I have ………………………………… work to do. (Many / much)
  5. She is growing ………………………………….. everyday. (More and more strong / stronger and stronger)
  6. Let’s go …………………………………… (somewhere quiet / quiet somewhere)
  7. Tell me the ……………………………….. news. (Last / latest)
  8. I have …………………………………… worries than you. (Fewer / less / lesser)
  9. He wasted ……………………………………… his all wealth (all his wealth)
Incorrect Correct
A lots of /Lots of A lot of
Seperate Separate
Career – A profession Carrier – A vehicles that carries someone/something; A device that is attached to a vehicle to carry luggage.
Socity Society
Theif Thief
Beleive Believe
Recieve Receive
Acheive Achieve
More and more. More
Allover. All over.
Over all Overall

Sentence Errors

Sentence Errors

Other languages would be disappear. Other languages would disappear.
They are the one who has spend. They are the ones who have spent
The given diagram illustrates. The given diagram illustrate.
He can’t able to walk / He is not able to walk. He can’t walk.
Globalization is a more better choice than. Globalization is a better choice than.
More faster than. Faster than.
More intelligent than. Intelligenter than.
To consult the doctor. For consult the doctor.
To winning, to gaining, to eating, to supporting… For winning, for gaining, for eating, for supporting…
Fastly we were moved to Mims Hospital. We moved to Mims Hospital in great hurry / We hurried to Mims Hospital.
Their will be less barriers. There will be less barriers > There
It’s own. Its own
Their’s, our’s, he’s, her’s. Theirs, ours, his, hers.
Reaching to that age. Reaching that age.
A person who have. A person who has.
In abroad / to Overseas. Overseas / Abroad.
Another people. Other people.
An other crisis. Another crisis.
Double than. Twice more than.
Every day. In everyday.
More better. Better.
One day morning. One morning.

Written by Biju John

Love for English begins with understanding its unknown rules. Biju John lives on the internet, teaching OET, IELTS and PTE. More than a million students have thanked him from their heart.

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PTE Academic – Summarizing Written Text

Correct Usage 1 – Commence