The Plurals of Material Nouns - 18

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The Plurals of Material Nouns.


Some material nouns have second meaning in the plural.

Singular.
Plural & Plural with second meaning.

Cloth
Clothes (garments)

Glass
Glasses (glass vessels or spectacles)

Hand
Hands (workers in a factory)

Letter
Letters (literature)

Rag
Rags (torn clothes)

Sand
Sands (stretches of sand or beach)

Shroud
Shrouds (ropes on a ship)

Tin
Tins (tin vessels)

Wood
Woods (small forests)

# Some nouns have two meanings in the singular but only one in the plural.

# Proper nouns are sometimes are used in the plural. We can say: I am going to have a cup of tea with the Andersons on Friday.

If there are two or more sisters in a family named Anderson, we can say either the Misses Anderson or the Miss Andersons. But the latter is more often used, probably because the word Misses is pronounced the same way as Mrs. And confusion might arise.

We can also say: there are quite a number of Londons. Which do you mean?

In this case “Londons” means places called London.

Examples: There are two Berlins, three Romes and several Parises in the Eastern State of America.
Who wrote an account of the four Georges?
How many Johns are there in the class?

# Sometimes we give concrete meanings to the plurals of Abstract nouns.
For example:

Abstract noun
Plural
Concrete meaning

Charm
Charms
Charming things

Depth
Depths
Deep places

Height
Heights
Mountain tops

Good
Goods
Property

Resource
Resources
Money

["LAND/OIL/COAL ETC: [countable usually plural] something such as useful land, or minerals such as oil or coal, that exists in a country and can be used to increase its wealth:
Canada's vast mineral resources.
A country rich in natural resources. 
MONEY/PROPERTY ETC.: Resources [plural]: all the money, property, skills etc. that you have available to use when you need them:
She had no financial resources.
Only limited resources are available to the police.
Pool your resources (= put together all the resources that each of you can provide).
Human resources.
PERSONAL QUALITIES: resources [plural] personal qualities, such as courage and determination, that you need to deal with a difficult situation:
He proved that he has considerable inner resources.
EDUCATIONAL: [countable] something such as a book, film, or picture used by teachers or students to provide information
Resources for learning"]

Environment and accommodation should not be used in plural.

# Some collective nouns take a plural form.
When we use people in plural, it means almost the same as races of people.

+ Armies mean distinct bodies of soldiers.

+ Corns are hard spots on the feet.

# The plural letters of the Alphabet and Figures are sometimes indicated by ’s (apostrophe and “s”).
There are two e’s and two i’s in “expedition”.

The staff includes two Ph.D.’s, three M.A.’s and seven B.A.’s.

There are two 1’s and two 6’s in the date of Shakespeare’s death.

But, we generally write ones and sixes.

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