Speaking English - Irregular Plural Nouns
English Lessons - Fish Plural
Learn English Grammar: 12 Irregular Plural Nouns
Hello folks! Juliano here!
Today I have a question for you. Do you know what is the plural of fish? Well, every language has some or several words that have irregular plural forms. Right? And English is no exception.
I have here with me today one fish. His name is Nemo. I borrowed it from my daughters. I hope they don’t mind. Well, Nemo is world famous. He is one fish. But, what if I had more than one? What if I had two or three or many? How could I say it? What is the plural of fish?
I’m gonna tell you right now. The plural of fish is fish. The same word. The same pronunciation. Nothing changes. For example: one fish, two fish, three fish, many fish.
That’s it, the same word for singular or plural. That’s how it is. Very simple, isn’t it?
Some people could think that the plural of fish would be fishes. And, in fact, this word exists in English. But it relates to another thing, in another context. “Fishes” refers to different kinds of fish or different species of fish.
For example, in the computer-animated film “Finding Nemo”, we can see many fishes. And some examples are: clownfish, blue tang and shark.
And now let’s do a little exercise to see if you understood the difference between fish in plural and fishes. Take a look at the following image.
How many fish are there in this image?
One, two, three. We have here three fish. Right?
And now I ask you another question.
How many fishes are there in this image?
One and two.
We have two different species of fish: clownfish and blue tang.
You see? In the same image we have 3 fish but only 2 fishes. But this word “fishes” is very technical and I think none of us would use it in our daily lives. So don’t worry about the word fishes. You just have to remember the word fish for singular or plural, the same word.
And I have just one more question for you.
What is the collective of fish? How do we call a group of fish swimming together in the ocean? How do we call it? It’s very interesting! We call it a school. Yes, school. The same word as the place where children go to have classes. But in this case it means a group of fish. We can talk about a school of sharks, for example. I’m gonna show you some pictures.
This is a school of sharks, a group of sharks. And this other picture is also a school of sharks, many sharks together.
And now I’m gonna show you a big school of fish.
In this video, you can see a school of tuna. The name of the video is “Tuna Tornado”, because this is a very big, an enormous school of tuna, and they are swimming together in the form of a tornado. It’s really incredible!
I already knew this word “school” referring to a group of fish, but very recently I heard it again in a film called “Manchester by the Sea”. This film received six nominations for the Oscars now in 2017, and it won two Oscars, for Best Actor and Best Original Screenplay. It’s really a very good film. I really recommend it to you.
And there’s one scene in this movie where they are on a boat, and one of the characters says the following: “You know, I've seen a school of sharks tear a boat to pieces like it was made of cardboard, because some kid threw a band-aid in the water.” It’s a man who says it, and he is with his son, and it’s some kind of joke. And then they keep talking about sharks and even discuss if sharks swim in schools or not.
That’s what I wanted to share with you today: the plural of fish, which is fish; also the word “fishes”, which means different kinds or different species of fish; and the collective of fish: school, which can be used for several kinds of groups of fish swimming together. Right?
There are many other examples in the English language. For example, the word “sheep” also has its plural as the same word “sheep”. I don’t know if you remember, but the sheep was the first mammal to ever be cloned. It happened in 1996. The name of the sheep was Dolly. And so, they had one sheep, they cloned it, and then they got two sheep.
And I’m going to put here in the description of the video links to other videos with more examples of irregular plural nouns in English. And I hope you’ll have fun discovering what other words have irregular plural forms.
That’s it for today, folks! See you in the next video! Goodbye!