plurals & verbs spelling rules

spelling rules at how to spell

boys, countries, radios , heroes, boxes, rulers, women, children, dogs, washes , lorries

Do you know why and when we add -ies, -ves, -s and -es to plural nouns and verbs?

Most people don’t know spelling rules but they know if a word looks ‘right’ or ‘strange’ because they’ve developed their visual memory for what looks right and understand the patterns.

In this series of lessons we’re looking at some rules that apply to both plurals and verbs.

It’s always a great strategy to know rules and why spelling is the way it it.
*But the trouble with rules there are always exceptions, which you need to learn.


1. Add -s to regular plurals. Adding an s is all you need to do to form a regular plural: file/files, centre/centres, girl/girls, book/books, pen/pens, computer/computers.
We also add -s to third person present simple verbs – She walks / He runs / It works / She speaks Arabic / Also: He/She/It has/goes/is.  

2. Adding -es to words ending in -s, -ss, -ch, -z, -x  click here to go to this rule and video 

3. Changing some words ending in -f or -fe to -ves or -fs click here to go to the rule & video.

4. Change some words ending in -y to -ies or -s  click here to go to the rule & video

5. Adding -s or -es to words ending in O – click here to go the rule & video.

6. Irregular plurals – click here to go to the patterns