Singular & Plural – By adding -es to nouns ending in -ch, -s, -sh, -ss, -x, and -z (List)

In English, while many nouns adopt a simple “-s” to indicate their plural form, there are specific instances where this pattern doesn’t suffice due to phonetic challenges. In such scenarios, “-es” comes to the rescue to ensure that the word remains easy to pronounce and sounds harmonious to the ear. The “-es” suffix serves as a phonetic bridge, enabling smoother transitions between sounds that might otherwise clash or become muddled.

Here’s a comprehensive list of nouns that form plural by adding “es” –

Nouns ending in -ch

SingularPluralShort Meaning
ChurchChurchesReligious building
PeachPeachesType of fruit
WitchWitchesMagical person
TorchTorchesLight source
ArchArchesCurved structure
BranchBranchesTree limb; division
PatchPatchesSmall piece of cloth
MatchMatchesGame; or tool for fire
PouchPouchesSmall bag
LurchLurchesSudden movement
FetchFetchesRetrieve something
ClutchClutchesGroup; to grasp
HunchHunchesIntuition; bent posture
NotchNotchesV-shaped cut
PunchPunchesStrike; drink
StitchStitchesLoop of thread
FinchFinchesType of bird
PorchPorchesCovered entrance to a building
RoachRoachesType of fish; cockroach
BeachBeachesSandy shore
BirchBirchesType of tree
PerchPerchesSitting position; type of fish
BroachBroachesRaise a subject for discussion
CrunchCrunchesChewing noise; core exercise
HatchHatchesOpening; to emerge from an egg
WinchWinchesLifting device
BelchBelchesExpel air from stomach
QuenchQuenchesSatisfy thirst; extinguish
BotchBotchesMess up; bungle
WretchWretchesMiserable person
MunchMunchesEat noisily
SmoochSmoochesAffectionate kiss
SnitchSnitchesInformer; to inform on someone
ScreechScreechesLoud, high-pitched noise
ConchConchesMarine mollusk
ClenchClenchesClose tightly
FlinchFlinchesSudden movement in response
PinchPinchesSqueeze between fingers
CinchCinchesSecure; a sure thing
BlanchBlanchesWhiten; boil briefly
SlouchSlouchesStooped posture
Words like “church” or “branch” would sound awkward as “churchs” or “branchs”. Hence, “churches” and “branches” are more phonetically coherent.

Nouns ending in -s

SingularPluralShort Meaning
BusBusesVehicle for mass transport
LensLensesOptical piece
AtlasAtlasesCollection of maps
OasisOasesDesert water source
CanvasCanvasesDurable fabric; artwork surface
VirusVirusesInfectious agent
CircusCircusesEntertainment venue
CampusCampusesUniversity grounds
BassBassesType of fish; low sound
ThesisThesesStatement or theory
PassPassesTo move; ticket
DressDressesGarment for women
ClassClassesGroup of students; category
GlossGlossesShine; brief explanation
CrisisCrisesCritical event or time
AxisAxesImaginary line in geometry
FussFussesUnnecessary excitement
MassMassesLarge body; religious service
PressPressesPush; media institution
ProcessProcessesSeries of actions
BonusBonusesExtra reward or payment
FocusFocusesCentral point
CactusCactusesSpiky desert plant – traditional plural is “cacti” following Latin pluralization, but “cactuses” is also accepted in modern usage
BypassBypassesAlternative route
EllipsisEllipsesOmission of words “…”
HypnosisHypnosesState of deep relaxation
ImpetusImpetusesDriving force
WalrusWalrusesLarge marine mammal
CensusCensusesOfficial population count
ConsensusConsensusesGeneral agreement
LotusLotusesType of flower
CaucusCaucusesPolitical meeting
ExcessExcessesAmount beyond necessary
EgressEgressesWay out; exit
RecessRecessesBreak; alcove
AbacusAbacusesCounting device
SuccessSuccessesAchievement of an aim
CrossCrossesIntersection; religious symbol
TrespassTrespassesUnlawful entry
WitnessWitnessesPerson who sees an event
For nouns such as “bus” or “lens”, adding just an “-s” would create a hissing sound, making it unclear if we’re discussing one or multiple items. “Buses” and “lenses” are much clearer.

Nouns ending in -sh

SingularPluralShort Meaning
BushBushesShrubby plant
DishDishesPlate; food container
RadishRadishesEdible root vegetable
WishWishesDesire or hope
BrushBrushesTool with bristles
FishFishesAquatic animals. “Fishes” is used for multiple species.
PolishPolishesSubstance to shine or smooth
ThrashThrashesBeat or flail about
FlashFlashesSudden burst of light
CrashCrashesCollision or failure
SplashSplashesLiquid scatter
SlushSlushesMelted snow
PlushPlushesRich fabric
BlushBlushesFace reddening; makeup
MarshMarshesWetland area
LashLashesEyelash or whip
DashDashesQuick movement; punctuation
AshAshesResidue of fire
FurnishFurnishesSupply with furniture
RelinquishRelinquishesVoluntarily give up
LeashLeashesCord for holding animals
BanishBanishesExile or dismiss
WhiplashWhiplashesInjury; backlash of whip
MeshMeshesMaterial with spaces
SquashSquashesCrush; type of vegetable
GarnishGarnishesDecorate or accessorize
TarnishTarnishesLose luster or reputation
BrushBrushesImplement with bristles
CushionCushionsSoft pillow or pad
FlushFlushesReddening of the skin; flow
SwishSwishesSwooshing sound or movement
ParishParishesChurch territory
StandishStandishesInkstand or pen holder
AmbushAmbushesSurprise attack
ThrushThrushesBird species; mouth infection
FetishFetishesObject of obsession
VanquishVanquishesDefeat thoroughly
RavishRavishesSeize with delight or force
BrandishBrandishesWave or flourish
FinishFinishesComplete the end
GarnishGarnishesDecoration or trim
DemolishDemolishesDestroy completely
RefurbishRefurbishesRenovate or redecorate
DiminishDiminishesMake or become less
Words like “bush” become “bushes” instead of “bushs” to prevent a jumbled sound.

Nouns ending in -ss

SingularPluralShort Meaning
GlassGlassesTransparent material; drinking vessel
ClassClassesGroup of students; category
GrassGrassesGreen plants in lawns
DressDressesGarment for women
PressPressesPrinting device; media institution
StressStressesPressure; emphasis
CompassCompassesNavigation tool
MessMessesDisorder; portion of food
PassPassesTicket; to go by
MossMossesSmall green plants
AddressAddressesLocation; speech
WitnessWitnessesObserver of an event
ProcessProcessesSeries of actions
RecessRecessesBreak; alcove
FortressFortressesStronghold; large fort
MistressMistressesWoman in a position of authority; lover
GlossGlossesShine; brief explanation
BypassBypassesAlternative route
BassBassesType of fish; low sound
ChessChessesBoard game
SuccessSuccessesAchievement of an aim
AccessAccessesMeans of entering
RecessRecessesBreak; alcove
DistressDistressesExtreme anxiety or pain
ExcessExcessesAmount beyond necessary
HarnessHarnessesEquipment for controlling horses
PassPassesRoutes; tickets
MattressMattressesBed cushion
TressTressesLock of hair
WitnessWitnessesPerson who sees an event
AbyssAbyssesDeep chasm or void
CressCressesEdible water plant
PressPressesDevice for pressing
MassMassesBulk; religious service
GlossGlossesLuster; explanatory note
EmpressEmpressesFemale ruler
HostessHostessesFemale host
MistressMistressesWoman in control
ChessChessesStrategy board game
BypassBypassesAlternative route
FortressFortressesStrong military building
RecessRecessesAlcove; break period
DistressDistressesPain; suffering
Doubling the “s” sound as in “dress” to “dresses” ensures clarity.

Nouns ending in -x

SingularPluralShort Meaning
FoxFoxesWild mammal
MatrixMatricesRectangular array of numbers
IndexIndicesList; indicator
VertexVerticesHighest point; corner point
ComplexComplexesBuilding group; intricate system
AppendixAppendicesSupplementary material; organ
HelixHelicesSpiral structure
TaxTaxesMandatory financial charge
ReflexReflexesAutomatic response to stimulus
SyntaxSyntaxesArrangement of words
PrefixPrefixesWord starter
VortexVorticesWhirling mass
LarynxLaryngesVoice box
ParadoxParadoxesContradictory statement
ToolboxToolboxesContainer for tools
ContextContextsSurrounding circumstances
FluxFluxesFlow; change
AnnexAnnexesAdd-on building; addition
MultiplexMultiplexesMultiple movie theater
SuffixSuffixesWord ending
HoaxHoaxesDeception; false report
PlexusPlexusesNetwork of nerves or vessels
ApexApicesTop or highest part
ConvexConvexesCurved outward
MinxMinxesMischievous woman or girl
FixFixesSolution; attachment
HexHexesSpell or curse
BeauxBeauxesBoyfriends; suitors
LuxLuxesUnit of illumination
DetoxDetoxesProcess of removing toxins
SimplexSimplexesSingle; uncomplicated
AffixAffixesAttachment; to attach
OutboxOutboxesOutgoing mail container
ReduxReduxesBrought back
SphinxSphinxesMythical creature; statue
LynxLynxesWildcat with tufted ears
EquinoxEquinoxesTime when day and night are equal
CoaxCoaxesTo persuade gently
RelaxRelaxesTo rest; ease
The word “box” would be difficult to pronounce as “boxs”, so “boxes” is more natural.

Nouns ending in -z

SingularPluralShort Meaning
BuzzBuzzesSound of bees
FizzFizzesSound of effervescence
WhizzWhizzesSound or movement of speed
QuizQuizzesTest of knowledge
WizWizesExpert; wizard
FuzzFuzzesSoft, light particles or fibers
JazzJazzesMusic genre
RazzRazzesTo tease or mock
FrizzFrizzesCurly or fuzzy hair
PizzazzPizzazzesAttractive style or energy
TzitzTzitzesJewish ritual fringe
ChezChezesAt the home of (French origin)
SchnozSchnozzesNose (slang)
SpazzSpazzesSudden movement (slang)
BlitzBlitzesFast attack
GlitzGlitzesGlamour or ostentation
LutzLutzesType of jump in figure skating
PutzPutzesFoolish person (slang)
HertzHertzesFrequency unit
RitzRitzesLuxury, high-class
SchnitzSchnitzesSlices or bits
RazzmatazzRazzmatazzesFlashy display or action
Though rarer, words like “quiz” adopt “quizzes” for clarity and ease of pronunciation.

The adaptation of “-es” in these cases showcases the flexibility of the English language, pivoting phonetically to accommodate clearer communication. It’s a testament to the language’s evolving nature, always adapting to ensure comprehensibility and ease of use.