http://www.engvid.com/ Do you say “the news is” or “the news are”? “Politics is” or “politics are”? “The fish is” or “the fish are”? In this lesson, you will learn an easy way to avoid subject-verb errors. You will also learn three categories of nouns: irregular, single, and plural. Watch this lesson to improve your English dramatically in just a few minutes. Then test yourself with the quiz: http://www.engvid.com/common-english-grammar-errors-with-plurals/
Hi. I’m Rebecca from engVid. We’re going to start and end this lesson with a short quiz to see where you are before, and where you are after. All right? Let’s get started.
So, which of these verbs is correct to use in these sentence? In these sentences? Do we say: “Economics is very important.” or do we say: “Economics are very important.”? Okay? Well, we say: “Economics is very important.” You’ll understand why in a few minutes.
The next one: “The children is asleep.” or: “The children are asleep?” Which one is correct? It should be: “The children are asleep.” Okay? Again, you’ll understand why.
Last one: “The fish is very beautiful.” or: “The fish are very beautiful.”? Which is correct? Well, that’s a good question, because actually, both are correct. It depends if you’re talking about one fish or whether you’re talking about many fish. And you’ll understand that also, as soon as we go on. So, we could say: “The fish is very beautiful.” We could say: “The fish are very beautiful.” I’ll explain.
So, in this lesson today, we’re going to be talking about irregular plural nouns, which is an area which is… Which causes a lot of confusion for many students. Many grammar errors are because of this issue, so it’s really good that you’re watching so you won’t make this kind of mistake.
So let’s look at what the problem areas are. The problem is that normally, when we have a singular word… Right? So if we say: “the chair”, then we use a singular verb. Right? “The chair is”, so that… When that happens, when we use the right noun with the right verb, then that’s called subject-verb agreement. “That chair is in the room.” But we say, if it’s plural: “The chairs are in the room.” Correct? So this was singular, singular; plural, plural. That’s the normal way. And most of the time, that’s absolutely fine. However, the reason why students get confused is because, unfortunately in English, we also have irregular nouns, which don’t follow those rules and they follow separate rules. But you can understand it because we can group them in certain categories to help you understand them.
So, first of all, we have irregular singular nouns. So these are confusing a little bit because they end with “s”, but they are singular. They should be singular. So, for example, we say: “Politics is”, “The news is good.”, “Mathematics is difficult for some students.”, “Ethics is very important in life.” Okay? So don’t get fooled by the fact that there is an “s” there as part of the noun. Okay? It’s still singular. So there’s one category of irregular singular nouns.
Next one: irregular plural nouns. Here, there is no “s”, but it’s plural. “Children are”, “The mice are”, “My feet are hurting.”, “The men are”, “The women are”, “My teeth are”, “The geese are”. Okay? So here, what was confusing is that there’s no “s”, and yet, the answer is that the correct verb to use is that it’s… Is “are”. Right? Is the plural verb. So that’s the irregular plural nouns.
And then last, we have a category which can be even more confusing, but luckily there’s not too many examples in this category, and these are the irregular unchanging nouns. What does that mean? That means that whether you have one fish or two fish, you still say: “Fish”. Okay? Generally speaking, that’s what you can keep in mind. The same with “deer”, and “sheep”, and “moose”. “One moose, two moose”. You’re probably not very likely to talk so much about moose, but that’s how it is.
So if you’re, say… If you’re talking about one fish, or one deer, or one sheep, or one moose, you can say: “The deer is very beautiful.” But if you’re talking about many deer, you can still say: “The deer are very beautiful.” Okay? Depends if you’re talking about one or more than one. So in this case, the noun is unchanging, so that’s what causes a little bit of confusion in this category, because you could use either one, but you still have to use the right one. Because if you’re talking about more than one, you have to make sure you use the plural verb; if you’re talking about one, you use one… You use the singular one. In a second, we’ll do a really short quiz to see how well you’ve learned this.