In the altai language we prefer using noun in the singular when referring to:

– a pair of items, for example, меелей – mittens,чана – skis;
– one item that are plural in some languages, for instance, кайчы – scissors;
– when we specify the quantity: беш айу – five bears, эки тура – two houses, он уул – ten boys;
– in case the words like many, lots of, few go before a noun: кӧп бичик – lots of books, ас карындаш – few pensils; (but in case these words go after a noun we use plural of the noun: туралар ас – few houses, уулдар кӧп – lots of boys boys);
– when asking how many? how much? Канча бичик – how many books, канча ай – how many months, канча кыс – how many girls;
– in case the noun doesn’t have plural form, for example, кулур – flour, буудай – wheat, арба – barley;
– when telling the time we use both noun and numeral adjectives in singular: сегис час – it is eight o’clock, эки минут – two minutes, беш час он минут – it’s ten past five;
– when speaking about vegetables and fruits: картошка экел – bring some potatoes, беш арбуз – five water melons, эки груша – two pears, эки кайырчак яблоко садып ал – buy two boxes of apples(the verb is always at the end of a sentence);
– pair members of the body, but in spoken language we can use also the plural of them: эки колым(sng) – two my arms, колдорым (pl) – my arms, эки будым(sng) – two my legs, буттарым(pl) – my legs (as you know, here the nouns have the possessive ending –ым that means my);
– we can also say about fingers, eyebrows, teeth using singular form: эки сабарым – two my fingers, беш тиш – five teeth;
– about the hair of one person we say in singular чач, and about some people we say in plural чачтар: кара чач (sng) – black hair, чачымmy hair, олордыҥ чачтары – their hair. For the body hair we use a word тӱк (wool);
– the noun улус – people is used only in singular;
– the noun кузук – nut is also singular, but talking about different kinds of nut we use its plural кузуктар – nuts;
– the noun sweets is used in mainly singular: он конфет – ten sweets;
– the nouns such as chess, holidays(vacation)are also in singular: шахмат ойнор – to play chess, каникул башталган – holidays began.

Here are some examples: библиотекада кӧп бичик бар – there are lots of books in the library. Јаанам мелей садып јат – my granny sells mittens.