English For Competitive Exams : Memorable Nouns

English For Competitive Exams
English For Competitive Exams

Candidates preparing English for competitive exams take undue tension. English appears to be problematic for them. So some of them neglect English Grammar. Here they fail to get into the rank. By studying basic but unique grammar and vocabulary, the candidates can overcome this fear of English. The 5 groups of nouns, singular plural nouns and verb forms going with them will boost your confident. Students studying in high school and Jr. colleges also should study grammar not for the school exams but for the competitive exams.

English For Competitive Exams

English is made compulsory in almost all competitive Exams. Exams like Banking, NDA, BITS, MPSC, UPSC, Staff Selection Commissions and SBI Probationary, Police Recruitment, Teacher Recruitment have English paper. English in Competitive exams is tricky. Questions based on subject verb agreement and singular plural nouns confuse the students.

Nouns always in Plural Forms

The following nouns are always used in plural forms. Use of these nouns as singular by removing ‘s’ or ‘es’ is incorrect. While using the verbs with them, one should consider this fact. These nouns follow the verbs like are, were, have, do and base form of verbs in Simple Present Tense.

1. Riches – Riches have wings

2. Premises – Our school premises are clean and green.

3. Spectacles – My spectacles have been broken.

4.Socks – We wear a pair of socks.

5. Fetters

6. Bowels

7. Shorts

8. Valuables

9. Pantaloons

10. Proceeds

11. Tidings

12. Alms

 13.  Mumps 

14. Eatables

15. Billiards 

16. Movables

17. Scissors – Kindly give me a pair of scissors.

18. Wages 

19. Thanks

20. Stockings 

21. Surroundings

22. Annals

23. Breeches

24. Measles 

25. Trousers

26. Arms

27. Tongs

28. Goods


(a) Riches have wings.

Riches in the above sentence means “wealth’ and not

‘many rich men’. In other words “Riches’ is not the plural of “Rich’. The word has its independent existence and is always used in plural. So, we have used a plural verb (have) with it. 

(b) Kindly give me a scissor.(Incorrect)

Kindly give me a pair of scissors.(Correct)

Nouns Plural in Forms But Used in Singular

The following nouns seems to be plural as they end with ‘s’ but they are singular in form. We should consider this fact while using these nouns in sentences. These nouns follow the verbs like is, was, has, does.

1. Mathematics

2. Innings

3. Athletics

4. Statistics

5. Economics

6. Politics

7. Gymnastics

8. Gallows

9. Summons

10. Mechanics

11. Classics

12. Physics

13. News


(a) Mathematics are a difficult subject. (Incorrect)

Mathematics is a difficult subject.(Correct)

Note: Mathematics looks like plural but, in fact, it is singular. So, we cannot use plural verb with it.

(b)Politics are a game of compromise.(Incorrect) 

Politics is a game of compromise.(Correct)

(c) These news were broadcast from All India Radio only yesterday.(Incorrect)

This news was broadcast from All India Radio only yesterday.(Correct)

Nouns singular in form but used as plural.

1. Police

2. Clergy

3. People

4. Gentry

5. Folk 

6. Mankind

7. Vermin

8. Public

9. Cattle

10 Poultry

11 Peasantry


(a) The police is looking into the matter. The police are looking into the matter

(b) The cattle is grazing in the field. The cattle are grazing in the field.(Incorrect) 

(c) Peoples should be loyal to their nation. People should be loyal to their nation.

Nouns Generally used in the singular form.  

  1. Gram 
  2. Infantry
  3. Poetry
  4. Scenery
  5. Offspring  
  6. Abuse
  7. Stationery 
  8. Furniture
  9. Advice
  10. Information
  11. Luggage
  12. Issue
  13. Machinery 
  14. Cavalry
  15. Physics
  16. Rice
  17. Fuel
  18. Mischief
  19. Alphabet
  20. Bunting
  21.  Hair
  22. Bedding 


(a) I do not like poetries of Keats.

 I do not like the poetry of Keats.

(b) The old furnitures were disposed of.

The old furnitures was disposed of.

(c) The sceneries of the Himalayas are excellent

The sceneries of the Himalayas is excellent

Unchanged Singular Plural Nouns

  1. Sheep 
  2. Deer
  3. Fish
  4. Rice
  5. Apparatus 
  6. Corps
  7. Means 
  8. Heathen
  9. Cod
  10. yoke
  11. species
  12. Pan
  13. Series
  14. Amends 
  15. Cannon
  16. Swine


(a) A series of lectures were delivered on the subject. (Incorrect)

A series of lectures was delivered on the subject. (Correct)

(b) The fishes cannot live without water. (Incorrect)

The fish cannot live without water. (Correct)

Nouns preceded by numeral

There are some nouns that express length, measure, money, weight, number or counting. These nouns when preceded by a numeral remain unchanged in form. Such nouns are listed below:


  1. Hundred – Six Hundred miles  is a long distance
  2. Foot – The boys caught a six-foot cobra
  3. Thousand
  4. Million
  5. Metre
  6. Year – It was a five-year project.
  7. Head 
  8. Dozen
  9. Pair
  10. Score

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