Singular definition: The singular form is a type of noun that refers to just one person or thing.
What is the Singular Form?
What does singular mean? The singular form is the non-plural form of nouns and pronouns. Singular form refers to just one (a single) noun (versus plural, more than one, noun).
Examples of Singular Nouns
There are literally thousands of singular nouns, so we can’t exactly put an exhaustive list together, but here are a few examples of singular nouns in English.
List of Singular Nouns:
- a dog
- the cat
- a house
- the tree
- an apple
- a baby
- the city
- the song
- a computer
- a phone
Singular, Plural Forms of Nouns
What is the singular form? Most nouns have singular and plural forms. The singular form of the noun refers to just a single item. For instance, “an apple” refers to just one apple.
The plural form of the noun (apples) refers to more than one apple.
For most nouns, “-s” is added to the end of the sentence to create the plural form. When the word ends in “-y,” the “-y” is dropped and “-ies” is added to the end of the word to create the plural form (see below).
Examples of Singular/Plural Nouns
Count Nouns vs. Non-count Nouns
A count noun is a person, place, or thing that can have a singular or plural form. Most nouns have both singular and plural forms. Typically, by adding “s” to a noun, the plural form is made. A count noun can be counted.
A non-count noun is a person, place, or thing that does not have a plural form. In a sense, a non-count noun cannot be counted, and since it cannot be counted exactly, there is no plural form of count nouns.
Consider the last example, courage. The word courage cannot be made plural into “courages.”
Singular Agreement in Number
It is critical that a singular noun has the appropriate agreement with all of its corresponding parts of speech.
Singular nouns require singular verbs. Using plural verbs with singular nouns (or vice versa) is unacceptable.
Examples with “to write:”
- I write. (singular)
- You write. (singular and plural)
- He/She/it writes. (singular)
- We write. (plural)
- They write. (plural)
It is grammatically incorrect to state: I writes.
Singular nouns require singular demonstrative adjectives. Using plural demonstrative adjectives with singular nouns (or vice versa) is unacceptable.
- this cat (singular)
- that cat (singular)
- those cats (plural)
- these cats (plural)
It is grammatically incorrect to state: Those cat.
Possessive adjectives work with both singular and plural nouns.
- my house/my house
- your house/your houses (singular)
- his/her/its house AND his/her/its houses
- our house/our houses
- your house/your houses (plural)
- their house/their
Exercises with Singular, Plural Forms
Fill in the blank with the appropriate verb or demonstrative adjective.
- I want to buy this/those shoes.
- Where is/are your new shoes?
- Take that/these garbage out.
- He walk/walks to school every day.
- We take/takes the train on Mondays.
See answers below.
Summary: What is a Singular Noun?
Define singular noun: the definition of singular noun is the form of a word that refers to just one person or thing.
- Singular nouns refer to just one noun.
- Plural nouns refer to more than one of a given noun.
- Singular nouns require singular agreement with their verbs and adjectives.
- 1 What is the Singular Form?
- 2 Examples of Singular Nouns
- 3 Singular, Plural Forms of Nouns
- 4 Examples of Singular/Plural Nouns
- 5 Count Nouns vs. Non-count Nouns
- 6 Singular Agreement in Number
- 7 Verb Agreement
- 8 Demonstrative Adjectives
- 9 Possessive Adjectives
- 10 Exercises with Singular, Plural Forms
- 11 Summary: What is a Singular Noun?