ENGLISHMiscellaneous English Grammar

HOW WORDS OF FOREIGN LANGUAGES FORM THEIR PLURAL

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1. Words ending in IN ‘is’

Words ending in ‘is’ form their plurals by changing ‘is’ into ‘es’.

1. analysis analyses 6. ellipsis ellipses
2. axis axes 7. hypothesis hypotheses
3. basis bases 8. hypnosis hypnoses
4. crisis crises  9. metamorphosis  metamorphoses
5. diagnosis diagnoses 10. narcosis  narcoses
11. oasis oases 12. parenthesis parentheses
13. synthesis syntheses 14. synopsis synopses
15. thesis theses

HYPOTHESIS = an idea or explanation for something that is based on known facts but has not yet been proved (परिकल्पना). HYPNOSIS = a mental state like sleep, in which a person’s thoughts can be easily influenced by someone else; e.g. Under deep hypnosis she remembered the traumatic events of that night. (सम्मोहन(METAMORPHOSIS = a complete change; e.g. Under the new editor, the magazine has undergone a metamorphosis. NARCOSIS = a state of stupor, drowsiness, or unconsciousness produced by drugs (अचेतनता). OASIS = a fertile spot in a desert, where water is found ( मरुस्थल के बीच हरित भूमि). PARENTHESIS = Either or both of the upright curved lines, used to mark off explanatory or qualifying remarks in writing or printing (ब्रैकेट). SYNOPSIS = a short description of the contents of something such as a film or book (रूप-रेखा)

2. Words ending in ‘um’

A) Words that form their plurals by adding ‘s’ at the end.

1. album albums 8. petroleum petroleums
2. asylum asylums 9. podium podiums
3. auditorium auditoriums 10. premium premiums
4. decorum decorums 11. forum forums
5. euphonium euphoniums 12. gymnasium gymnasiums
6. nostrum nostrums 13. harmonium harmoniums
7. pendulum pendulums 14. mausoleum mausoleums
15. museum museums 16. quorum quorums
17. rostrum rostrums 18. stadium stadiums
19. ultimatum ultimatums

ASYLUM = an institution for the care of people who are mentally ill; e.g. He’d been committed to an asylum. (पागलखाना). EUPHONIUM = a large musical instrument made from brass that you play by blowing into it. MAUSOLEUM = a building in which the bodies of dead people are buried (मकबरा). NOSTRUM = an idea for solving a problem, especially one that is not very good PODIUM = a small platform on which a person may stand to be seen by an audience, as when making a speech or conducting an orchestra (मंच). ROSTRUM = a raised surface on which a person making a speech or a music conductor (= leader) stands) (मंच)

B) Words that form their plurals by changing ‘um’ into ‘a’.

1. addendum addenda 6. curriculum curricula
2. agendum agenda 7. datum data
3. bacterium bacteria 8. dictum  dicta
4. corrigendum corrigenda 9. erratum  errata
5. crematorium crematoria 10. maximum  maxima
11. minimum minima 12. memorandum memoranda
13. momentum momenta 14. stratum strata

CREMATORIUM = a place where a dead person’s body is cremated (श्मशान). DICTUM = a short statement, especially one expressing advice or a general truth; e.g. He followed the famous American dictum ‘Don’t get mad, get even’. (कहावत). ERRATUM = a mistake in a printed or written document. STRATUM = one of the parts or layers into which something is separated; e.g. The report shows that drugs have penetrated every stratum of American society.

C) Words that form their plurals in two ways; you can either change ‘um’ into ‘a’ or add ‘s’ at the end.

1. aquarium aquariums or aquaria 4. millennium millenniums or millennia
2. emporium emporiums or emporia 5. symposium symposiums or symposia
3. medium mediums or media

AQUARIUM = a transparent tank of water in which live fish and other water creatures and plants are kept (मछलीघर). SYMPOSIUM = an occasion at which people who have great knowledge of a particular subject meet in order to discuss a matter of interest

3. Words ending in ‘on’

A) Words that form their plurals by changing ‘on’ into ‘a’.

1. criterion criteria 2. phenomenon phenomena

B) Words that form their plurals by changing ‘on’ into ‘s’.

1. demon demons 3. neutron neutrons
2. electron electrons 4. proton protons

DEMON = an evil spirit

C) Words that form their plurals by changing ‘on’ into ‘s’ or ‘a’.

automaton automatons or automata

AUTOMATON = a machine that operates on its own without the need for human control, or a person who acts like a machine, without thinking or feeling; e.g. I take the same route to work every day, like some sort of automaton.

4. Words with no fixed pattern

1. bandit banditti (or bandits) 7. metropolis  metropolises
2. Cherub cherubim (or cherubs) 8. monsieur  messieurs
3. dogma dogmas 9. radius  radii
4. formula Formulas/Formulae 10. seraph  seraphim (or seraphs)
5. libretto libretti or librettos 11. tempo  tempi or tempos
6. madame (madam) mesdames 12. terminus  termini (or terminuses)

BANDIT = a thief with a weapon, especially one belonging to a group that attacks people travelling through the countryside (डाकू(CHERUB = an angel that is represented in art as a beautiful, fat, naked child with small wings. DOGMA = a fixed, especially religious, belief or set of beliefs that people are expected to accept without any doubts. FORMULA = as plural form formulae is used by scientists. LIBRETTO = the words that are sung or spoken in a musical work for the theatre. MONSIEUR = a title or form of address used of or to a French-speaking man, corresponding to Mr or Sir. SERAPH = an angel of the highest rank. TEMPO = the speed at which an event happens; e.g. We’re going to have to up the tempo (= work faster) if we want to finish on time.

NOTE-I: AGENDUM is not used in English. AGENDA, though a Latin plural, is treated as singular in English. Plural for AGENDA is both AGENDA and AGENDAS; e.g.

i) What is the agenda today?
ii) The agenda has not been drawn up yet.

NOTE-II: DATA is plural, therefore, we prefer a plural verb for this word generally, but in a certain context it is treated as a collective noun denoting a single body of facts rather than a number of individual points, and therefore use a singular verb in that meaning; e.g.

i) Is that all data we have in all?
ii) What are the data Sir? (used not as collective noun)

NOTE-III: The plural of METROPOLIS is METROPOLISES. There is a big difference in the usage of METROPOLIS and METROPOLITAN. METROPOLIS is a noun whereas METROPOLITAN is an adjective mainly; e.g.

1. i) Mumbai is a metropolis.
ii) There are seven metropolises in India.
iii) The temperature of all the metropolises has been here.

2. i) metropolitan police
ii) metropolitan life
iii) metropolitan culture

[But you can’t say metropolitan city as the term METROPOLITAN itself means relating to a city (very big city). Therefore the following sentences are incorrect.]

INCORRECT: He lives in a metropolitan city.
CORRECT: He lives in metropolis.

INCORRECT: Delhi is a metropolitan city.
CORRECT: Delhi is a metropolis.

We use the word METROPOLITAN as a noun also. METROPOLITAN here means an inhabitant of a metropolis. ; e.g.

I) He is a metropolitan.
II) They are metropolitans.

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Maha Gupta

Maha Gupta

Founder of www.examscomp.com and guiding aspirants on SSC exam affairs since 2010 when objective pattern of exams was introduced first in SSC. Also the author of the following books:

1. Maha English Grammar (for Competitive Exams)
2. Maha English Practice Sets (for Competitive Exams)

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