Monday, May 13

不規則複數 (irregular plurals)

小朋友都知道名詞複數大多是在字尾加 s 或 es;不規則複數只好用背的。這是一首不規則複數的打趣詩(作者不詳)。

We'll begin with box, the plural is boxes.
But the plural of ox should be oxen, not oxes.
One fowl is a goose, but two are called geese,
Yet the plural of mouse is never meese.

You may find a lone mouse, or a whole nest of mice,
But the plural of house is houses, not hice.
If the plural of man is always men,
Why shoulnd't the plural of pan be called pen?

If I speak of a foot and you show me two feet,
And I give you a boot, would a pair be called beet?
If one is a tooth and a whole set are teeth,
Why shouldn't the plural of booth be called beeth?

If the singular is this, and the plural is these,
Why shouldn’t the plural of kiss be kese?
Then one may be that, and three would be those,
Yet the plural of hat would never be hose.

So plurals in English, I think you’ll agree,
Are indeed very tricky, singularly.

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