Yes… many ESL students don’t know this and find it difficult to believe, but some words in English have no plural form.
These words are called “mass nouns,” that is, nouns that don’t have a plural form in English and can’t be used in plural or with plural verbs. Mass nouns are singular in form.
Mass nouns cannot be counted; thus, they are also called uncountable nouns or non-count nouns, which are common nouns that cannot can’t combine with an indefinite article-a or an- and cannot be modified by a numeral without specifying a unit of measurement.
The words “moose,” “sheep” and “shrimp” do not have a plural form, but they can be used in singular or plural form as they are. For example:
– The moose is/are migrating.
– The sheep is/are ready to be fed.
– The shrimp is/are very well cooked.
Because they can be used with a plural verb, these three are not mass nouns.
Here is a list of words that are “mass nouns.” Share it with your ESL class and start a very interesting game to discover more of these words:
Try to use these words in the plural form and you will discover it is not possible.
There are many other words that belong to this list… remember in essence, mass nouns DO NOT have a plural form.
Ask your ESL teacher to explain “mass nouns” in detail and you will find an interesting learning challenge!