Two Forms of Plural

Two Forms of Plural :

There are some Nouns which have two forms in the Plural - each form with a separate meaning of its own.

Brothers - sons of the same mother
Brethren - members of the same society

Cloths - kinds or pieces of cloth
Clothes - articles of dress

Dies - stamps for coinage
Dice - small cubes used in games

Geniuses - men of genius or talent
Genii - fabulous spirits of the air

Indexes - tables of contents
Indices - signs used in algebra

Staves - sticks or poles
Staffs - departments in the army or a business or salaried employees taken collectively

Shot - little balls discharged from a gun
Shot - an attempt to hit by shooting such as…He took a shot at him.

Shots – marksmen or photographic recordings (They were both fine shots.)

Nouns which have one meaning in the Singular and another in the Plural

Singular… Plural

Advice - counsel
Advices - information
Beef - flesh of ox
Beeves - cattle, bulls and cows
Compass (1) range or extent (2) instrument for finding directions
Compasses - an instrument for drawing circles
Good - benefit
Goods - movable property
Iron - a metal
Irons - fetters made of iron
Physic - medicine
Physics - natural science
Return - coming back
Returns - the proceeds or profit of an undertaking
Vesper - evening
Vespers - evening prayers
Sand - a kind of matter
Sands - a tract of sandy land
Force - strength or energy
Forces - armed men
Air - atmosphere
Airs - assumed demeanor

But we also speak of natural forces or the forces of nature.

Nouns which have two meanings in the Plural against one in the Singular


Colour - colour
Colours - (1) kinds of colour (2) flag of regiment

Custom - habit
Customs - (1) habits (2) toll or tax

Letter - (1) Of alphabet (2) Epistle
Letters - (1) of alphabet (2) epistle (3) learning

Pain - suffering
Pains - (1) sufferings (2) trouble, care

Effect - result
Effects - (1) results (2) goods and chattels

Manner - mode or way
Manners - (1) modes and ways (2) behaviour

Number - as in counting
Numbers - (1) as in counting (2) metre of poetry

Part - portion
Parts - (1) portions (2) abilities

Spectacle - anything seen
Spectacles - (1) things seen (2) glasses to help the sight

Premise - statement or proposition
Premises - (1) propositions (2) houses and grounds

Quarter - a fourth part
Quarters - (1) fourth parts (2) lodgings


  1. Double Plurals
  2. Foreign Plurals
  3. Singulars and Plurals of Latin Origin
  4. Singulars and Plurals of Greek Origin
  5. Singulars and Plurals of Italian Origin
  6. Singulars and Plurals of French Origin
  7. Singulars and Plurals of Hebrew Origin
  8. Singular but Plural
  9. Singular and Plural with Same Forms
  10. Two Forms of Plural
  11. Plurals with Two Meanings
  12. Plural Nouns

Two Forms of Plural :

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