ENGLISHMiscellaneous English Grammar

Nouns that are always plural and take plural verbs

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1. Certain Collective Nouns, though singular in form, are always used as plurals. They cannot be made plural ever by adding ‘s’ or ‘ies’; as

1. cattle

4. electorate

7. gentry

10. peasantry

13. vermin

2. cavalry

5. excreta

8. insignia

11. police

3. clergy

6. folk

9. people

12. poultry

CAVALRY = troops trained to fight on horseback. CLERGY = people, such as priests, who are the leaders of a religion and who perform religious services. EXCRETA = the waste material produced by a body, especially solid waste. INSIGNIA = a distinguishing badge or emblem of military rank, office, or membership of an organization. ODDS = the probability that a particular thing will or will not happen: If you drive a car all your life, the odds are that you’ll have an accident at some point. PEASANTRY = The social class constituted by  agricultural labourers. RICHES = a large amount of money or valuable possessions: She donated a sizeable portion of her riches to children’s charities. VERMIN = small animals and insects that can be harmful and are difficult to control when they appear in large numbers

i) These poultry are not hers.
ii) Whose are these cattle?
iii) Because Kamini knows vermin are destroying her garden, she is going to place a wire fence around her crops.
iv) Who are those people always quarreling?
v) The local gentry own all of these mountains, they are so wealthy they even own the air we’re breathing.
vi) Our state police are handling crimes beautifully.

NOTE-I: When PEOPLE means ‘a number of persons’ it’s plural and takes a plural verb, but when PEOPLE means ‘nation/race/tribe’ it’s then a singular countable noun and we form its plural by adding ‘s’; as,

i) The old people in the village still observe the local traditions. (Here PEOPLE = persons)
ii) The Japanese are a hard-working people. (Here PEOPLE = nation)
iii) There are many different peoples in Asia. (Here PEOPLES = races)

NOTE-II: When noun POULTRY refers to food, we use singular verb with this; e.g.

Poultry is very expensive this Christmas.

2. Garments consisting of two parts

Nouns referring to garments consisting of two parts are always used in the plural form and they take plural verbs. To make them singular say A PAIR OF with them, don’t remove S, e.g.

1. breeches 4. jeans 7. patloons 10. tights 13. underpants
2. briefs 5. panties 8. pyjamas 11. trappings
3. drawers 6. pants 9. shorts 12. trousers

BREECHES = short trousers fastened just below the knee, now chiefly worn for riding or as part of ceremonial dress (घुड़सवारी की पोशाक(TRAPPINGS = a horse’s ornamental harness (साज-सामान).

INCORRECT: Here is your pant.
CORRECT: Here are your pants.

INCORRECT: Bring me a trouser, dad.
CORRECT: Bring me a pair of trousers, dad.

3. Tools and instruments consisting of two parts

Nouns referring to tools and instruments consisting of two parts are always used in the plural form and they take plural verbs. To make them singular we usually say A PAIR OF with them, don’t remove S, e.g.

1. tongs 4. clippers 7. forceps 10. tongs 13. scissors
2. binoculars 5. dividers 8. glasses 11. pincers 14. sunglasses
3. bellows 6. shears 9. goggles 12. pliers 15. spectacles
16. scales

BELLOWS = a device with an air bag that emits a stream of air when squeezed together with two handles, used for blowing air into a fire (धौंकनी(CLIPPERS = an instrument for cutting or trimming small pieces off things (कतरनी(TONGS = an instrument with two movable arms that are joined at one end, used for picking up and holding things (चिमटा(PINCERS = a tool for holding or pulling something, made of two curved metal bars that move against each other so that when the handles are pushed together the other ends close tightly (चिमटी(PLIERS = a small tool with two handles for holding or pulling small things like nails, or for cutting wire (संडसी(SCALES = a device for weighing things or people (तराजू(SHEARS = a cutting instrument in which two blades move past each other, like scissors but typically larger (बड़ी क़ैंची(

NOTE: We form there singular forms by using A PAIR OF and plural forms by adding PAIRS OF; e.g.

i) a pair of briefs/scissors – two pairs of briefs/scissors
ii) Pass me that pair of pliers, please.
iii) He used a pair of pliers to pull the nail out; where are my pliers?

4. Certain other words that are always plural and take plural verbs

 1. alms  14. chattels  27. entrails  40. nuptials
 2. amends  15. confines  28. environs  41. obsequies
 3. annals  16. congratulations  29. fetters  42. odds
 4. archives  17. curd or curds  30. goods/wares  43. outskirts
 5. arms  18. damages  31. greens  44. pains
 6. arrears  19. disagreeables  32. grounds  45. particulars
 7. assets  20. doings  33. handcuffs  46. the pictures
 8. auspices  21. dues  34. immovables  47. premises/quarters
 9. belongings  22. earnings  35. intestines  48. proceeds (of a sale)
 10. bitters  23. eatables  36. manes  49. riches
 11. bowels  24. edibles  37. movables  50. remains
 12. breakables  25. eaves  38. the movies  51. savings
 13. bygones  26. embers  39. muniments  52. spirits
53. sundries 54. stairs 55. surroundings 56. sweets
57. thanks 58. thews 59. tidings 60. toils
61. valuables 62. vegetables 63. winnings

ALMS = money or food given to poor people (भिक्षा, भीख, ख़ैरात(AMENDS = to do something good to show that you are sorry about something you have done. ANNALS = historical records. ARCHIVES = a collection of historical documents or records providing information about a place, institution, or group of people. ARMS = weapons. AUSPICES = with the protection or support of someone or something, especially an organization. BITTERS = a strong, bitter alcoholic drink made from spices and plant products that is mixed with other alcoholic drinks. BOWELS = the part of the alimentary canal below the stomach; the intestine (आँत). BYGONES = belonging to or happening in a past time (पुराने बात(CHATTELS = An item of property other than freehold land, including tangible goods (chattels personal) and leasehold interests (chattels real). CURD = A soft, white substance formed when milk coagulates, used as the basis for cheese (दही(DAMAGES = compensation. DISAGREEABLES = the disagreeable aspects of a situation, course of action, etc; e.g. The pleasant features of the arrangement far outweigh the disagreeables. DOINGS = deeds, actions or events. EAVES = the part of a roof that meets or overhangs the walls of a building. EMBERS = the smoldering coal or ash of a dying fire (अंगारे(ENTRAILS = a person’s or animal’s intestines or internal organs, especially when removed or exposed. ENVIRONS = the surrounding area or district. FETTERS = A device, usually one of a pair of rings connected to a chain, that is attached to the ankles or feet to restrict movement (बेड़ी(GREENS = vegetables. GROUNDS = the gardens and land that surround a building and often have a wall or fence around them; e.g. We went for a walk around the hospital grounds. MANES =  the spirits of the dead, regarded as minor supernatural powers in ancient Roman religion. THE MOVIES = the cinema: a cinema or group of cinemas; e.g. What’s on/showing at the movies this week? Do you want to go to the movies tonight? MUNIMENTS = title deeds or other documents proving a person’s title to land. NUPITALS = a person’s marriage and marriage celebrations; e.g. Sadly we weren’t able to attend the nuptials. OBSEQUIES = things that are formally said and done at a funeral; e.g. A vast congregation filled the cathedral for the final obsequies. ODDS = the probability (= how likely it is) that a particular thing will or will not happen; e.g. If you drive a car all your life, the odds are that you’ll have an accident at some point. There are heavy odds against people succeeding in such a bad economic climate. OUTSKIRTS = the outer parts of a town or city. PAINS = trouble/effort. RICHES = 1. a large amount of money or valuable possessions; e.g. She donated a sizeable portion of her riches to children’s charities. 2. a large quantity of a valuable natural substance; e.g. The country has great oil/mineral riches. They plundered the rainforest for its natural riches. SPIRITS = alcohol. SWEETS = Foods such as candy, pastries, puddings, or preserves, that are high in sugar content. THEWS = rare muscular strength; e.g. She touched his magnificent thews. TIDINGS = news; information. TOILS = used in reference to a situation regarded as a trap. WINNINGS = an amount of money that has been won; e.g. What are you going to spend your winnings on?

i) All his assets have been auctioned.
ii) He tried to make amends by inviting her out to dinner.
iii) The proceeds are kept in the drawer.

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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:

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