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Nouns Shortcut Rules

In this post, we shall discuss some important Shortcut Rules about Nouns which comes in handy for your upcoming competitive exams.

Shortcut Rule 1 : The following words are uncountable and are normally used in the singular form only. The indefinite article “A or An” Should not be used with them. They have no plural forms. ‘A/An’ not used before them.

Ex : Luggage / Baggage / Breakage / Advice / Furniture / Information / Scenery / Poetry / Work / Soap / Food / Bread / Fish / Paper / Machinery etc.

  • The Sceneries of Kashmir is very beautiful.
  • The Scenery of Kashmir is very beautiful.  ✔
  • I know that he has many informations.
  • I know that he has much information / a lot of information.  ✔Anchor
  • They gave me a good advice.
  • The gave me a piece of good advice. ✔
  • I want a Soap/Bread.
  • I want a piece of Soap/Bread. ✔

Shortcut Rule 2 : The words such as “News / Maths / Ethics / Politics / Phonetics / Economics / Statistics / Measles / Mumps / Rickets / Billiards / Innings” look like plural nouns but give singular meaning. So, they take singular form of verbs.

  • Mathematics is a difficult subject.  ✔
  • But say “His Mathematics are very weak”.  ✔
  • Rule : When Preceded by a possessive adjective, the noun takes a plural verb
  • Billiards are an interesting game. 
  • Billiards is an interesting game. ✔
  • The news are not reliable.
  • The news is not reliable.  ✔

Shortcut Rule 3 : Some Nouns have the same form whether singular or plural.

Ex : Sheep / Deer / Service / Series / Series / Species /Fish / Apparatus

  • He saw two sheeps in the zoo.
  • He saw two sheep in the zoo  ✔
  • A series of lectures are to be delivered tomorrow.
  • A series of lectures is to be delivered tomorrow.  ✔

Shortcut Rule 4 : The following nouns are always used in the plural form only

Cattle / People / Police / Electorate / Poultry / Trousers / Scissors / Spectacles / Binoculars / Crackers / Swine / Gentry / Clergy. All these are used with plural form of verbs.

  • The police is coming towards us now.
  • The police are coming towards us now.  ✔
  • The scissor is very sharp.
  • The scissors are very sharp.  ✔

Shortcut Rule 5 : Add ‘S’ to the main word in compound noun to make it plural.

  • Sister-in-Law, the plural form is Sisters-in-Law, not Sister-in-Laws
  • Brother-in- Law, the plural form is Brothers-in-law, not Brothers-in- Laws

Shortcut Rule 6 : The possessive case of a compound noun is formed by adding ‘S’ to the last word.

  • Father-in-Law, Father-in-Law’s property.
  • Sister-in-Law, Sister-in-Law’s property.

Shortcut Rule 7 : After the phrases One of / Some of/ Each of / Either of /Neither of / Any of / None of, a plural form of a noun is used.

  • One of my best friends (not One of my best friend)
  • One of the biggest cities (not One of the biggest city)
  • Each of the boys is (not Each of the boys are)
  • Either of the teachers is (not Either of the teachers are)

Shortcut Rule 8 : Nouns indicating numerals should be used in singular form “A Dozen eggs / Two Dozen Oranges”. But say Hundreds of eggs / Houses / A hundred rupees / Two hundred rupees.

Shortcut Rule 9 : After collective nouns either a singular or plural form of verb is used.

  • The team is strong (here, we are treating the TEAM as an UNIT)  ✔
  • The team are fighting among themselves (Here, we are saying about the players of the team)  ✔

Shortcut Rule 10 : An “Apostrophe” and ‘S’ should be used with living beings only to show possesion.

  • The table’s legs were broken.  (This is wrong, because the table is a non living thing)
  • We can say “The legs of the table were broken”  ✔

Shortcut Rule 11 : Say, “A five rupee note”, ” A two mile walk”

Shortcut Rule 12 : Don’t say “family members / cousin brother or cousin sister” but say “The members of the family / he or she is my cousin”.

Shortcut Rule 13 : When two nouns are connected by “and”, and are closely related, add an apostrophe and S to the last noun.

  • Kareena’s and Saif’s house ☓  (if you think they are wife and husband then this sentence is wrong)
  • Kareena and Saif’s house (as they live in a SINGLE house)  ✔
  • But you can say “India’s and Pakistan’s population”  ✔

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