Perfect Your Plurals

This grammar lesson might be something you know well or something you don’t know at all. Or, if you’re like me, it’s a lesson you need to revisit from time to time. I’m not talking about how to make all compound nouns plural, just the tricky ones. “Toothpicks” as the plural of “toothpick” is pretty obvious.

On the other end of the obvious spectrum is “sister-in-law.” It doesn’t become “sister-in-laws” in its plural form, it becomes “sisters-in-law.” That goes for the following plural nouns too:

  • Mothers-in-law
  • Fathers-in-law
  • Heirs apparent
  • Misses Abbott
  • Sergeants at arms
  • Secretaries of state
  • Passersby
  • The brothers Grimm

Of course you should keep in mind that terms such as “fathers of the bride” and “father of the brides”can both make sense depending on the context.

Got it? If you can think of any compound noun plurals you’d like to add, there’s a comment section below.


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