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Investigate Spelling Patterns in Pluralisation 3

In this worksheet, students consider ways of pluralising nouns that have come from other languages.

'Investigate Spelling Patterns in Pluralisation 3' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 2

Curriculum topic:   Writing: Transcription

Curriculum subtopic:   Spelling Awareness (use knowledge of morphology and etymology in spelling)

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

The basic rule for pluralising a noun is to add s, but there are many exceptions to this rule. Some nouns do not change at all (such as sheep), while others change completely (such as person / people).

 

Separate rules often apply to words that we have borrowed from other languages. All the following nouns come from Latin. The first group adds e instead of s to make the plural.

vertebra    vertebrae

antenna    antennae

 

The plurals of these nouns are formed by deleting the us and adding i.

nucleus    nuclei

cactus    cacti

 

This group forms the plural by deleting the ix or ex and adding ices.

appendix    appendices

index    indices

 

Sometimes you can work out the plural of a new word by comparing it with other words that you already know, but be careful, as there are always exceptions!

Write down the plural of the following noun. You can work it out by comparing it with the nouns in the introduction page.

 

fungus

Write down the plural of the following noun. You can work it out by comparing it with the nouns in the introduction page.

 

formula

Write down the plural of the following noun. You can work it out by comparing it with the nouns in the introduction page.

 

matrix

Write down the plural of the following noun. You can work it out by comparing it with the nouns in the introduction page.

 

larva

For the next six questions you need to decide whether the noun follows the rules given in the introduction or is an exception.

You may need a dictionary to help you.

 

What is the plural of crucifix?

Decide whether the noun follows the rules given in the introduction or is an exception.

You may need a dictionary to help you.

 

What is the plural of octopus?

Decide whether the noun follows the rules given in the introduction or is an exception.

You may need a dictionary to help you.

 

What is the plural of genius?

Decide whether the noun follows the rules given in the introduction or is an exception.

You may need a dictionary to help you.

 

What is the plural of bonus?

Decide whether the noun follows the rules given in the introduction or is an exception.

You may need a dictionary to help you.

 

What is the plural of suffix?

Decide whether the noun follows the rules given in the introduction or is an exception.

You may need a dictionary to help you.

 

What is the plural of focus?

  • Question 1

Write down the plural of the following noun. You can work it out by comparing it with the nouns in the introduction page.

 

fungus

CORRECT ANSWER
fungi
EDDIE SAYS
Great effort! When a word ends in 'us' to make it plural we delete the 'us' and replace it with'i'.
  • Question 2

Write down the plural of the following noun. You can work it out by comparing it with the nouns in the introduction page.

 

formula

CORRECT ANSWER
formulae
EDDIE SAYS
You just need to try and remember the rules for making plurals. The more you practise the more you will become familiar. When a noun ends in 'a' we add an 'e' on the end to make it plural. Keep it up!
  • Question 3

Write down the plural of the following noun. You can work it out by comparing it with the nouns in the introduction page.

 

matrix

CORRECT ANSWER
matrices
EDDIE SAYS
Remember the information in the introduction. If is noun ends in 'ix' we delete the 'x' and replace it with 'ices'. You can always use a dictionary to help you.
  • Question 4

Write down the plural of the following noun. You can work it out by comparing it with the nouns in the introduction page.

 

larva

CORRECT ANSWER
larvae
EDDIE SAYS
Did you get it right? Remember when a noun ends in 'a' to make it plural we just add 'e' to the end of the word.
  • Question 5

For the next six questions you need to decide whether the noun follows the rules given in the introduction or is an exception.

You may need a dictionary to help you.

 

What is the plural of crucifix?

CORRECT ANSWER
crucifixes
EDDIE SAYS
This is a tricky one. This is an exception to the rule. Even though 'crucifix' ends in 'ix' we do not drop the 'x' and add 'ices'. To make this word plural you add 'es' to the end of the word. Use a dictionary to help you if you are unsure or want to double check.
  • Question 6

Decide whether the noun follows the rules given in the introduction or is an exception.

You may need a dictionary to help you.

 

What is the plural of octopus?

CORRECT ANSWER
octopuses
EDDIE SAYS
Super effort! Both 'octopuses' and 'octopi' are used, but the correct plural is really 'octopuses' as the word comes from Greek and not Latin.
  • Question 7

Decide whether the noun follows the rules given in the introduction or is an exception.

You may need a dictionary to help you.

 

What is the plural of genius?

CORRECT ANSWER
geniuses
genii
EDDIE SAYS
Again a tricky one! Both 'geniuses' and 'genii' are correct! Most people use the word 'geniuses' these days. Keep it up super star!
  • Question 8

Decide whether the noun follows the rules given in the introduction or is an exception.

You may need a dictionary to help you.

 

What is the plural of bonus?

CORRECT ANSWER
bonuses
EDDIE SAYS
Keep using your dictionary to check! This noun is another exception to the rule.
  • Question 9

Decide whether the noun follows the rules given in the introduction or is an exception.

You may need a dictionary to help you.

 

What is the plural of suffix?

CORRECT ANSWER
suffixes
EDDIE SAYS
High five! Great effort! The word 'suffix' is an exception to the rule. Sometimes the best thing to do is write it out and decide which one you think looks correct. It can be easier to spell when we can visualise the word.
  • Question 10

Decide whether the noun follows the rules given in the introduction or is an exception.

You may need a dictionary to help you.

 

What is the plural of focus?

CORRECT ANSWER
foci
focuses
EDDIE SAYS
Both 'focuses' and 'foci' are correct! As the word comes from Latin the plural can be 'foci', but these days people tend to use the word 'focuses' more often. Excellent effort! Well done!
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