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I was wondering, if there are any or -ы ending is always a definite indicator of plural form...

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  • There are many foreign names rendered with -ы in Russian, are they in the scope of your question? – J-mster Apr 7 '18 at 7:45
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    Well yes, as long as they are written with russian letters. – ACKA Apr 7 '18 at 7:57
  • Yes (unless it's some toponym borrowed from other language, but that's another big story. E.g. "Алматы" is not plural, "Карловы Вары" (as well as most of other names from Slavic languages) is plural). – seven-phases-max Apr 7 '18 at 9:13
  • The river Янцзы and the Russian letter рцы – V.V. Apr 7 '18 at 14:28
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    Related to your question: Make sure you know there are nouns like ножницы, весы, часы ending with ы which are treated as plural, but can mean a single item. – alexsms Apr 9 '18 at 11:52
5

A grammatical search in ruscorpora.ru for nouns in Nom,sg ending on -ы gives a number of occurrences, among them

  • common abbreviations, like Минобороны, Москомприроды, замглавы;
  • foreign surnames, like Чжуан-цзы, Сеид-оглы, Новотны,
  • foreign geographical names: река Иты, Янцзы.
2

The old name of the letter Ы itself is еры which grammatically is neuter gender.

Also the same is with the old name of the letter Р - рцы.

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  • 4
    Technically, the modern name of the letter, «Ы», also ends on ы and is grammatically singular neuter (or sometimes feminine) – J-mster Apr 7 '18 at 17:03
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No, this occurs quite frequently, but is not the rule. Very often this is a sign of the genitive. For example: это коровы (plural); молоко коровы ("milk of this cow" or "milk of a cow" depending on the context). The previously mentioned example Москомприроды (abbreviation, "московский комитет охраны природы":)) is the genitive, but in sentence "природы этих явлений различны" (colloquial, better say "природа этих явлений различна") "природы" has a plural form. And the gender of the noun does not matter.

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