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Irregular Plural Foreign Nouns

Unlike the plural forms of nouns of English origin, the plurals of nouns borrowed as loanwords from foreign
languages often conserve the plural form from the original language. If the noun is of Latin origin and ends
in a, change the a to an ae. For example, the following chart identifies the singular and plural forms of Latin
loanwords ending in a:
Singular Plural
alumna alumnae
formula formula
If the noun is of Latin origin and ends in ex or ix, change the ex or ix to ices. For example, the following chart
identifies the singular and plural forms of Latin loanwords ending in ex and ix:
Singular Plural
index indices
matrix matrices
vertex vertices
If the noun is of Latin origin and ends in is, change the is to an es. For example, the following chart identifies
the singular and plural forms of Latin loanwords ending in es:
analysis analyses
axis axes
crisis crises
testis testes
thesis theses
If the noun is of Latin origin and ends in on, change the on to an a. For example, the following chart
identifies the singular and plural forms of Latin loanwords ending in on:
automaton automata
criterion criteria
phenomenon phenomena
If the noun is of Latin origin and ends in um, change the um to an a. For example, the following chart
identifies the singular and plural forms of Latin loanwords ending in um:
addendum addenda
datum data
medium media
memorandum memoranda
millennium millennia
If the noun is of Latin origin and ends in us, change the us to an i, era, ora, or es. For example, the following
chart identifies the singular and plural forms of Latin loanwords ending in us:
alumnus alumni
cactus - cacti
corpus corpora
census censuses
focus foci
fungus fungi
genus genera
radius radii
syllabus syllabi
uterus uteri
viscus viscera
If the noun is of Greek origin and ends in ma, add the suffix -ta to the end of the word. For example, the
following chart identifies the singular and plural forms of Greek loanwords ending in ma:
dogma dogmata
schema schemata
stigma stigmata
stoma stomata
If the noun is of French origin and ends in eau, add a silent -x suffix to the end of the word. For example, the
following chart identifies the singular and plural forms of French loanwords ending in eau:
beau beaux
bureau bureaux
chteau chteaux
If the noun is of Hebrew origin, add the suffix -im or -ot to the end of the word. For example, the following
chart identifies the singular and plural forms of Hebrew loanwords:
cherub cherubim
matzah matzot
seraph seraphim
Like with regular English nouns ending in o, the current trend for spelling the pronouncing the plurals of
loanwords from foreign languages seems to be moving in the direction of adding only the morphological
suffix -s, particularly in the case of uncommon or infrequent nouns.