Words That End in -o and -y Can Be Plural Too!

Contributor: Jennifer Blanchard. Lesson ID: 13787

Usually, you can add an -s to the end of a word to make it plural (or show more than one). Do you still do that when the word ends in -o or -y? Come along to see!


Grammar, Phonics

English / Language Arts
learning style
Auditory, Visual
personality style
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!

  • What would the world be like if there were only one boy in it?
  • What if there were only one bakery?
  • What if there were only one zoo?

Luckily, our world has more than just one bakery or zoo. However, that means we need to learn how to make those words plural!


Because we live in a world with plurals, we need to know how to show that in our writing.

We show plurals through changes in our spelling. Some words, like those that end in -o and -y, follow special rules.

Before we get into those rules, you should remember that:

  • singular means there is one item
  • plural means there is more than one item
  • nouns (people, places, things) can be singular or plural

You will also need to identify vowels and consonants in words in order to follow these plural rules. Refresh your memory with this quick quiz!

Now, let's look at the way we can change a word from singular to plural if the word ends in -o.

When there is a vowel before the last -o, just add an -s.

When there is a consonant before the last -o, add -es.

Here are some examples:

  Singular Plural
  zoo zoos
  potato potatoes
  radio radios
  hero heroes
  echo echoes


There are some exceptions to this rule, however, such as:

  Singular Plural
  piano pianos
  zero zeros
  avocado avocados
  photo photos


Next, let's see how we can change a word from singular to plural if the word ends in -y.

For nouns that end in a consonant and then -y, change the -y to -ies.

For nouns that end in a vowel and then -y, keep the -y and add an -s after.

Here are some examples:

  Singular Plural
  enemy enemies
  library libraries
  monkey monkeys
  joy joys
  supply supplies


You just learned a lot of different rules! If you want to review them, you may watch the videos below:

When you are ready, keep going with the Got It? section.

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