Stage 2: Personal relationships :

Unit 22: Plurals of Nouns

Pictured Words

New Words

1. net
2. trees

3. library
4. pen
5. key
6. teeth
7. mouth
8. tongue
9. lip
10. chin






What books will I get for you from this library?

Libraries are made use of by women and children but not by babies.

In our mouth there are many teeth.

Which tooth among the many teeth in your head is bad?

The tree has many branches even though a few have been broken.

The bird got two strong wings when it had the experience of leaving the tree.

It got its neck in a net under the tree.

The keepers of cows put chains on their feet.

Women are always in agreement that men should not be cooks.

Keys are needed to a private house.

Plurals of Nouns

In the story : "Taken out of Prison", we have several examples of plural nouns : "chains", "keepers" and "watchmen".

The noun “men” in this story is often met, but differs from the usual practice of the addition of "s" to the noun when making the plural.

Of course, you will be understood if you always just add "s" when you have more than one.

But it would be clear that you had been given good training if you were able to make the other sorts of plural that are common to English.

The most usual is the change from "man" to "men" and from "woman" to "women".

a) The plural of "man" is "men"

take your brother and go back to the man.

take these men into my house.

the man put a number of questions to us.

now the men were full of fear.

b) The plural of "woman" is "women"

his servant-girl to be her waiting-woman.

He had great flocks and woman servants.

Were we to let him, make use of our sister, as if she was a loose woman?

I am in the common condition of women.

c) The plural of "child" is "children"

These women are my daughters and these children my children. In this sentence we also see that the plural of "child" is "children"

He took a little child, and put him in the middle.

Let the little children come to me.

d) In the same way, the plural of ox is oxen

let loose his ox and his ass.

he saw men trading in oxen and sheep and doves.

will the ox of the mountains be your servant?

take seven oxen and seven sheep and give a burned offering.

These forms of plural are old English ways of saying things.

But, they have gone on in general use.

e) The plural of ass is asses

"Two thousand oxen", and "a thousand she-asses".

This is an example of a fairly general rule in which words which end in the letters "o", "s", "x" and "ch" add an "e" before the usual "s" of the plural form:

go and say to that fox the foxes have holes, and the birds of heaven have a resting-place who has let the ass of the fields go free?

a thousand she-asses.

when the earth becomes hard as metal and is joined together in masses?

every branch which has fruit he makes clean.

I am the vine, you are the branches.

These ways of saying the plural form are examples to be used by experienced English talkers.

There are some less usual forms of plurals, too:

f) The plural of "mouse" is "mice"

five gold images of the growth caused by your disease and five gold mice. The mice which are damaging your land.

g) The plural of "tooth" is "teeth"

eye for eye, tooth for tooth. The teeth of the evil doers have been broken.

h) The plural of sky is skies:

Flowing down from the sky. Let your eyes be turned to the heavens and lifted up to see the skies.

i) The plural of "baby" is "babies"

out of the mouths of babies at the breast. desire for the true milk of the word, as babies at their mother's breasts.

The interest in these forms of plural is that they are the marks of someone who is expert

It is best to group them together here so that you will be able to take note of them when you need to.

Do not try to learn them.

They are the sort of knowledge that comes by experience.

But such ability will not come unless these forms can be seen together in one place whenever it seems wise to you.

A Love Match

Now Laban had two daughters: the name of the older was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel.

And Leah's eyes were clouded, but Rachel was fair in face and form.

And Jacob was in love with Rachel;

and he said, I will be your servant seven years for Rachel, your younger daughter.

And Laban said, It is better for you to have her than another man: go on living here with me.

And Jacob did seven years' work for Rachel; and because of his love for her it seemed to him only a very little time.

Then Jacob said to Laban, Give me my wife so that I may have her, for the days are ended.

Additional Reading

When Jacob first saw Rachel coming with the sheep and goats he came to the water hole and rolling away the stone from its mouth he got water for the flock.

We are told that crying for joy at seeing her he gave Rachel a kiss.

She went running to give her father the news.

And Laban said to him, "Truly, you are my bone and my flesh".

This is a bit different to earlier days, when the servant of Abraham had come to get a wife for his master.

At that time, he met Rebekah, the mother of Jacob.

She went to the water hole then.

Now Jacob went.

The servant came as a man of substance whereas Jacob was just the opposite, he was running away from home.

There must have been differences in society in those days too.

However, this did not put a stop to love.

Although Jacob saw Rachel for only the first time she put the sudden impulse of love for her into his heart.

He kept that feeling for her as long as he was living.

This is one of the greatest love stories of all time.

It was because he had such deep love for Rachel that Jacob worked so hard for seven long years to get her as his wife.

But Laban had a bad design.

He first married Jacob to Rachel's sister, who was not the one he loved, nor ever did.

Although she gave him more sons than Rachel, it seems that was of little value to him.

This one fact caused a lot of ill feeling within the family later on.

The sons of the older sister, Leah, even went so far as to send the son of Rachel into servitude in Egypt.

Jacob was a man who took no chances and straight away turned a very sticky position into one of profit.

He made an agreement with Laban to keep back the part of the goats which were of a certain colour.

Then he took steps to make those goats increase in number.

He was very effective in this and he had much property.

When he became conscious of competition with Laban's sons he went away from Laban to return to his own country with his wives.

They went with him happily.

Rachel does not seem to have had the same dependence upon God as Jacob.

She took the household gods from her father's place.

It may be that she felt dependent upon these household gods for her future safety in the new direction she was taking.

Jacob made no discovery of her action and his approval of her was in no degree changed.

Rachel had two sons of her very own.

It was when she was giving birth to her second son that she came to a sad end.

The place where this came about was given full respect by a large altar of stones and she was put to rest under a holy tree.

The place was known for a very long time.

Helpful Notes

not clear, not pleasant.
fair in face and form
beautiful and good looking .
water hole
a hole in the ground for storing water.
a group of animals.
contact on the lips.
man of substance
person with much property.
sudden impulse
a quick response.
took no chances
making sure things would end well.
sticky position
a phrase showing uncertainty.
conscious of competition
having the opposition of others in mind.
household gods
the sticks showing religious respect. sad end

Interesting Facts And Records

Journeys In Early Times

When Jacob took away the blessing of his father from his brother, Esau, he had to go in flight to his relations in Haran.

Now, Haran is in Turkey so he made a long journey.

He probably had to walk several hundred miles.

Life in those days was centered in fertile land that was good for agriculture.

These lands were in a part circle with mountains to the north and great rivers to the east.

The rivers had the names of Tigris and Euphrates.

There were some warlike nations living along these rivers.

To the south was the land of Egypt with its history of power and learning.

To the west was the Great Sea, as it was named.

We now give it the name Mediterranean.

Between these places was the land of Israel.

Much of the history of the Jews has as its background their relations with these other nations.

If the times were quiet and peaceful the Jews were able to be themselves.

They could do their trading and grow their food.

But when there was war, their country was in great danger.

The nations to the east sent their armies through Palestine to Egypt and they made their way through Israel.

There was then great trouble and hard times.

When Moses was in flight from Egypt he had first to cross the desert on foot.

His throat was dry and his skin cracking with the great heat in the desert.

But he got to safety and a well where he could have a drink.

When armies made their way through these parts they had to be supported for food and water.

They generally took such things from the lands they went through.

That was hard for them.

At all times the persons there could be taken as prisoner to the lands from which the armies came.

The little girl who said to the Assyrian chief, Naaman, to go and see the prophet in Israel was just such a prisoner.

The effect of these journeys by both these armies and the men of high station that came with them was to give education to the people of Israel in addition to the troubles they brought upon them.

We have to keep in mind when reading about the Israelis that their land was between these great nations.

They were at a meeting point for the ideas, the language and the learning of these nations.

Many of the statements in the Book of Isaiah will seem much clearer if we do have that knowledge in mind.

It is probably for that very reason that the Jewish nation had a clearer view of the nature of God than did the nations around them.

They were a land bridge by which these nations made their journeys and so they became highly developed and had a clearer knowledge of the one true God.