January 04, 2009

Some Curious Nouns

After the end of the Holidays, Share and Smile has again come with a new lesson. Share and smile wishes all its readers a smiling and fruitful Days ahead and wishes all grit courage to face the ongoing Depression and gales in the embryo of the future. Let resplendence of love and care blanket you and your way. Here I am back to business.

In every language there are some curious facts and English is no exception to that. In fact, English has got a lot of curious facts that follow different rules in different context. In this series of Curious let me list some Nouns and there Numbers and their different meanings according to context.

There are some Nouns with two plural forms with two different meanings.

Brothers: Sons of the same mother.
Bretheren: members of the same society or caste.
(Interestingly, word 2007 underlines the world Bretheren.)
Cloths: Kinds or pieces of cloth. Clothes: Articles of dress.
Dies: stamps for coinage. Dice: small cubes used in games. In modern English dice is often used as a singular.
Geniuses: Men of 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, salaried employees taken collectively.

There are some more nouns which have two different meanings in both Singular and Plural form.

Air: Atmosphere. Airs: Assumed demeanor.
Advice: Counsel. Advices: Information.
Beef: Flesh. Beeves: Cattle, bull and cows.
Compass: Range or extent; Instrument for finding directions,
Compasses: An instrument for drawing circles.
Good: benefit, utility. Goods: Movable articles.
Iron: A metal. Irons: Fetters made of Iron.
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.

The following Nouns are always used in the plural:

Alms: Tom always gives alms to needy persons.
Riches: He is proud for the riches of his father.
Odds: despite odds, I hope we will overcome the present crisis.

In case you would like to visit the archive of this blog to explore more facts on this aspect of Grammar. Here I list some related posts.

Related Posts:

Plural Part 1
Plural Part 2

Thanks for going through this Lesson.

1 comment:

  1. Very nice clean and tidy blog, what a nice surprise, interesting and informative too! Aniya


Rest assured your comments will go a long way in improving this blog. Your consistent visit and patronization is highly solicited. Thanks