F, FE Endings

If we recall our first rule, remember that most regular nouns just add -s to make them plural.


by Brendan Bense

April 10, 2019


Welcome to our third episode on English plurals! There is just one rule contained in this episode, and it’s all about nouns that end in -f or -fe! Though the rule is a simple one, it comes with a few exceptions that we’d like to explore for a bit. If we recall our first rule, remember that most regular nouns just add -s to make them plural. That seems like it would be the case for words that end in -f or -fe. However, while this is the case for some words, most nouns that end in -f or -fe must be changed. In rule four, we learned that -y has to be changed to -ies when the ending is preceded by a consonant. -f and -fe endings are very similar. Let’s talk about our first and only F, FE rule!

For nouns ending in -f or -fe, change them to “v” before adding -es to make them plural.


As we saw in rule four, the endings have to be changed! Instead of -ies, however, we’re going to change the -f or -fe to a -v! And then, we’re going to add an -es. Consider the word “knife”. Notice that this word ends in -fe. So, if we want to make this noun plural, we change the -fe to -v, and add -es right on the end. What does that turn the word “knife” into? Knives! Here are a couple more examples: loaf becomes loaves, while leaf becomes leaves.

There are a few exceptions for this rule, so let’s go over them now. There is, unfortunately, no way to spot them. So the best way to learn them is through repetition. The more you see them in real world examples, the more likely you are to retain that information. Just remember, practice is a key component of learning any language!

For instance, the plural of chef is not cheves despite the rule above! Instead, you keep the base word the same, while adding -s. For all the exceptions, you just need to add -s. If someone holds more than one belief, they don’t have many believes. They have beliefs. If you go boating near more than one reef on vacation, you are visiting many reefs (not reeves)! The same goes for roofs, and locking away money in safes! These aren’t the only examples, but they are some of the more common ones. Keep a lookout for others!


What’d you think of the F, FE episode? We bet you got the hang of them, but if not, you can always go back to reread and study the examples in detail. Why not test your skills with our deck on F, FE Endings? FactSumo’s deck is designed with the student in mind: hone your skills, practice your weaknesses, and feel confident in plural endings! FactSumo is here to help with all your studying needs.

Feeling really confident? Good! That means the fourth episode, the ominous No Change Endings, is just a click away! Why don’t you head there now to see what’s in store for you? If you don’t think you’re ready to continue, no pressure! We want you to learn at your own pace. Either way, see you soon on FactSumo!