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   Chapter 11 s, the ending -es is added—

An English Grammar By William Malone Baskervill Characters: 1289

Updated: 2017-11-30 00:04

(1) If a word ends in a letter which cannot add -s and be pronounced. Such are box, cross, ditch, glass, lens, quartz, etc.

-Es added in certain cases.

If the word ends in a sound which cannot add -s, a new syllable is made; as, niche-niches, race-races, house-houses, prize-prizes, chaise-chaises, etc.

-Es is also added to a few words ending in -o, though this sound combines readily with -s, and does not make an extra syllable: cargo-cargoes, negro-negroes, hero-heroes, volcano-volcanoes, etc.

Usage differs somewhat in other words of this class, some adding -s, and some -es.

(2) If a word ends in -y preceded by a consonan

t (the y being then changed to i); e.g., fancies, allies, daisies, fairies.

Words in -ies.

Formerly, however, these words ended in -ie, and the real ending is therefore -s. Notice these from Chaucer (fourteenth century):-

Their old form.

The lilie on hir stalke grene.

Of maladie the which he hadde endured.

And these from Spenser (sixteenth century):-

Be well aware, quoth then that ladie milde.

At last fair Hesperus in highest skie

Had spent his lampe.

(3) In the case of some words ending in -f or -fe, which have the plural in -ves: calf-calves, half-halves, knife-knives, shelf-shelves, etc.

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