Stores of Plural Rules

Without even thinking, we turn many singular words plural in our language. I might go to the grocery store, or the first store didn’t have what I needed, so I went to grocery stores. In many cases, like the word store, we just add an s and move on. But what if it’s not that simple? Orton Gillingham makes learning much easier by giving us rules. Luckily, there are the following plural rules to help out.

open signage hanging on glass door of vicinity
Photo by Kaique Rocha on

In dividing plural rules, we have five categories.

CH, SH, S, X, Z Plural Rule

CH, SH, S, X, Z Plural Rule This rule says that a noun ending in ch, sh, s, x, or z spells its plural by adding –es to the singular word.

Examples are watch to watches, bush to bushes, class to classes, tax to taxes, quiz to quizzes.

O Plural Rule

Almost all nouns ending in o will spell the plural word by adding an s to the end, including proper names.

Examples are radio to radios, patio to patios.

Some exceptions to this are a group of nouns that add –es to make the plural. These are the O Plural Rule words to remember.

  • Embargo to embargoes
  • Tomato to tomatoes
  • Potato to potatoes
  • Torpedo to torpedoes
  • Echo to echoes
  • Hero to heroes
  • Veto to vetoes

A sentence to help with these exceptions is: An embargo of tomatoes, potatoes, and torpedoes echoes with heroes with vetoes.

F to V Plural Rule

Most words that end if f or fe become plural by adding an s (for example, cliffs). There are some words ending in f or fe that are made plural by changing the fe to v, and adding –es.

Examples are calf to calves, half to halves, leaf to leaves.

There are also exceptions to this rule – four words that have two plural forms.

  • Scarf can be scarfs or scarves
  • Dwarf can be dwarfs or dwarves
  • Wharf can be wharfs or wharves
  • Hoof can be hoofs or hooves

A sentence to help remember these is: The scarf on the dwarf was on the hoof in the wharf.

Y Plural Rule

Words ending in y, with a consonant before the y become plural by changing the y to i and adding es. Words ending in y with a vowel before the y become plural by adding s.

Examples of a consonant before the y are story to stories, mystery to mysteries, dairy to dairies

Examples of a vowel before the y are delay to delays, chimney to chimneys, valley to valleys.

Irregular Plural Rule

Irregular plurals spell their plurals without adding s or es.

Examples are child to children, foot to feet, mouse to mice, woman to women.

Also known as irregular plurals are words that have the same spelling no matter if they are singular or plural.

Examples are deer is deer plural, moose is moose plural, sheep is sheep plural.

Irregular plurals of letters, figures, signs and words

To form the plural of letters, signs, and words add an ‘s.

With numbers (10s), only use the ‘s if it makes the number clearer to the reader, otherwise, just add s (1970’s or 1970s).

Examples are # to #’s, ABC to ABC’s, and to and’s, 7 to 7s

Want to know more? Want worksheets? Find Plural Rules, and more information, in these resources.

OG for All Workbook Two: Workbook Two – Orton Gillingham for All (

OG for All, Scope & Sequence Workbook 3: Scope and Sequence Book 3 – Orton Gillingham for All (

(2) Comments

  1. I’m not totally clear on the difference between “Workbook One/TwoThree/Four” and “Scope & Sequence Workbook 1/2/3/4”. I am most interested in having printable worksheets for each concept; could you please tell me which of the workbooks has the most? I would likely get the set of all 4 if I just knew which set had more examples to print. Thank you very much!

    1. Hi Tanja, Workbooks One & Two are a linear form of my blog, each concept explained more like a tutor/teacher class. Those do contain worksheets, but they are not as “kid-looking” as the Scope & Sequence Workbooks. The Scope & Sequence Workbooks 1-4 are the entire OG Scope & Sequence, divided into different books because it is so comprehensive. These workbooks are in the order you would teach students, with Scope & Sequence included, and they contain mini-cards, as well as worksheets. I would recommend the Scope & Sequence Workbooks for what you are talking about in your comment. Please feel free to email me as well at with questions.

Leave a Reply