Don’t let these plural forms trip you up

Some rules in English defy explanation. Here are some common thorny spellings for plural forms that you should always double-check.

Ragan Insider Premium Content
Ragan Insider Content

The rules of English spelling can bewilder even the most seasoned communicator.

Writers and editors see it daily. I recently had to check the spelling of “subterfuge” because the word was dancing before my eyes. Could that really be the spelling? (It was.)

One of the particularly challenging parts of English spelling and grammar is finding correct plural forms. These can trip writers up, because they’re difficult to spell and difficult to pronounce.

Below are 29 tricky plurals:

1. antennae

2. asterisks

3. attorneys general

4. axes (plural of axis)

5. bases (plural of basis)

6. courts-martial

7. culs-de-sac

8. diagnoses

9. dos and don’ts

10. emphases

11. hippopotami

12. jacks-in-the-box

13. jack-o-lanterns

To read the full story, log in.
Become a Ragan Insider member to read this article and all other archived content.
Sign up today

Already a member? Log in here.
Learn more about Ragan Insider.