Hi,

There are quite a number of nouns which might carry a different meaning when they are changed into plural forms, for example, arm=>arms; force=>forces. Would you like to add more? Thank you in advance!

Ahava
Full Member337
Sorry, Ahava: nothing much comes to mind. Many don't change significantly; for instance, I don't see any real change between 'force' and 'forces'. But I will bump this thread back up for you: .

Quarter - quarters?
Veteran Member92,237
SystemAdministrator: A system administrator takes care of the inner workings of the entire system. These users have the ability to promote, ban and modify other users.Teachers: Users in this role are certified teachers. This may include DELTA, CELTA, TESOL, TEFL qualified professionals. Email a scan of your qualification to an admin, if you wish to be considered.
Some pairs I came across with are:

[cloth - clothes]
(1) Please buy two yards of cloth at the store.
(2) Take off your clothes.
[custom - customs]
(1) It's a Japanese custom to celebrate girls on March 3.
(2) You have to pay customs at the airport.
[glass - glasses]
(1) Every morning I drink two glasses of milk.
(2) Look at that woman in weir glasses.
[good - goods]
(1) The book is no good any more to me.
(2) They sell various goods at the store.
[look - looks]
(1) A sad look came to her face.
(2) She is losing her looks.
[manner - manners]
(1) I don't like her cold manner to her child.
(2) It's bad manners to eat from a knife.
[pain - pains]
(1) She felt a dull pain in her lower back.
(2) She takes pains with her appearance.

paco
Senior Member4,095
Retired Moderator: A moderator who has retired.
See what I mean, Mr. M? Never trust a native informant! The non-natives have been through this from such a different point of view that they know some of the pitfalls - and clever examples - even better than we! Good examples, Paco!
Veteran Member53,387
Moderator: A super-user who takes care of the forums. You have the ability to message a moderator privately should you wish. These users have a range of elevated privileges including the deletion, editing and movement of posts when needed.Proficient Speaker: Users in this role are known to maintain an excellent grasp of the English language. You can only be promoted to this role by the Englishforums team.
I'm still not sure it is a valid pursuit, Jim.

- The plural of 'cloth' is now 'cloths', not 'clothes', which has no singular form. The etymological history of cloth, cloths, clothes (in extreme brevity) is O.E. claðas "clothes," originally pl. of clað "cloth," which acquired a new pl., "cloths", 19c. to distinguish it from this word.'

- 'Good' is singular for 'goods' in the sense of 'something with economic utility'.

- 'She has the look of a deceived woman'.

- 'Bad manners' is just a concatenation of each bad manner possessed.

- 'It is a pain to have to research all these singulars and plurals.'

Differences evolve, but all in all, I don't see it as a worthwhile exercise; many differences are too vague. T me, it is much more meaningful to discover the associations, Ahava.
SystemAdministrator: A system administrator takes care of the inner workings of the entire system. These users have the ability to promote, ban and modify other users.Teachers: Users in this role are certified teachers. This may include DELTA, CELTA, TESOL, TEFL qualified professionals. Email a scan of your qualification to an admin, if you wish to be considered.
Mr M

I agree that 'cloth' and 'clothes' are now regarded as different words, though 'clothes' was once (before 19 century) regarded as the plural of 'cloth'.

I think the way to catch the sense(s) of an English word may differ from person to person. As I am a native Japanese learning English as the second language, I'm learning the senses of English words in the way I'm learning now. But I don't think the way can be applied to all ESL students. It will depend on the proximity between English and the native language of the learner.

paco.
Retired Moderator: A moderator who has retired.
Anonymous:
Brain. Brains

Thomas Jefferson was top notch in the
brains department.

- So You Want To Be President ( a children's book)
AnonymousBrain. Brains Thomas Jefferson was top notch in the brains department. - So You Want To Be President ( a children's book)
While the singular refers to the human organ, the plural refers more to 'intelligence'.
Veteran Member19,568
Moderator: A super-user who takes care of the forums. You have the ability to message a moderator privately should you wish. These users have a range of elevated privileges including the deletion, editing and movement of posts when needed.Proficient Speaker: Users in this role are known to maintain an excellent grasp of the English language. You can only be promoted to this role by the Englishforums team.
Live chat
Registered users can join here