People often say English is a challenging language. Besides homophones and idioms, singular plurals also seem complicated to many people. It’s common to wonder if the plural of pen is men, then why do some other words not follow the same rule? The same confusion persists between women and women. As the plural does not have an -s at the end, it’s easy to think, “Is woman plural or singular?”
This article answers your question and explains the concept in detail for better understanding. But first, let’s answer the question.
Is Woman Plural?
Woman is a singular word that describes one adult female. It is pronounced ‘woo-man.’
The word ‘woman’ is an irregular noun; you cannot convert it into a plural by adding an -s or -es. In this case, you change the vowel to make a plural.
Definition of Woman
Dictionary.com defines the word ‘woman’ as a noun, verb, and adjective. The various definitions of the word according to the word form are:
- An adult female person
- A female employee or representative
- Of women; womanly
- To put into the company of a woman
- To equip or staff with women
Now that you know the answer to “Is woman plural?” is no, what is the plural of woman then?
What is Woman Plural?
The plural of woman is ‘women.’ It is pronounced as ‘whim-en.’ However, people from New Zealand pronounce it the same way as woman, ‘woo-man.’
Changing the vowels in words like men and women are a result of the I-mutation or the I-umlaut from the Proto-Indo-European languages. It translates to “raising and fronting of a root vowel in anticipation of “i” or “y” sound in a suffix.”
History of Woman and Women
Previously, in old English, man’s female counterpart was ‘wifmann’, and the plural was ‘wifmenn’ because the plural of mann was menn.
So, when English adapted ‘woman’ in place of wifmann, the plural followed the same rule as the word ended with ‘men.’ Thus, the plural of woman is women.
Using Woman in Sentences
Woman is used in a sentence when you are talking about one woman. Some examples of using woman in a sentence are:
- Anna is a middle-aged woman in our neighborhood.
- As a woman, I feel unsafe around aggressive men.
- The woman in my building screams at her children loudly.
Using Women in Sentences
Woman refers to a group of women or more than one woman. The use of women in sentences is as follows:
- Women are making a name in the marketing industry globally.
- The women in my building go for a walk together daily.
- Women should not be judged on what they wear.
Words Similar to Woman
The word woman describes a female. But there are many other alternatives you can use. Some of the common synonyms are:
- The female sex
When people think of “Is woman plural,” they also wonder why some words have different ways of making plurals. Here are the rules for forming noun plurals with examples.
Rules for Forming Plurals with Examples
|Most nouns||Add –s||Book/Books, Hat/Hats, Monkey/Monkeys|
|Nouns ending with -s, -sh, -ch, -x, or -z||Add -es||Bush/Bushes, Dress/Dresses, Match/Matches|
|Nouns ending vowel ‘o’||Add -s||Avacado/Avacados, Patio/Patios, Solo/Solos|
|Nouns ending consonant ‘o’||Add –s or -es||Hero/ Heroes, Potato/Potatoes, Echo/Echoes|
|Nouns ending vowel ‘y’||Add -s||Donkey/Donkeys, Ray/Rays|
|Nouns ending consonant ‘y’||Replace the ‘y’ with ‘ies’||Berry/Berries, Story/Stories, Daisy/Daisies|
|Exceptions||Vowel change||Woman/Women, Goose/Geese, Mouse/Mice|
The Bottom Line
With so many confusing words, woman and women are among the most common ones. Due to similar spellings, people often wonder, “Is woman plural?” Woman is a singular noun referring to one adult female. The word is pronounced ‘woo-man’ and is also used as an adjective and verb. The plural of woman is women. It follows the same rule of forming the plural ‘men’ from ‘man.’ Changing the vowels in words like men and women are a result of the I-mutation or the I-umlaut from the Proto-Indo-European languages.
What is woman plural?
The plural of woman is women, formed by changing a vowel in the singular word. Many words like goose and mouse follow the same rule. In this case, the ‘a’ in woman is changed to ‘e’ to form women.
Is female a plural?
The word female as a noun is commonly used as a singular but can also be used as a plural. The common plural form of female is females.
Is woman grammatically correct?
Yes, the word ‘woman’ is grammatically correct. It is typically used as a noun but also has applications as an adjective and verb.
Do we say women’s?
Yes, the word ‘women’s’ shows possession because of the apostrophe before the ‘s.’ It shows that we are talking about many women having something. For example, The women’s cricket team has a male coach.
Why the plural of human is not humen?
While the plural of woman ending with –man is women like men, it is not the same with human also ending with –man. Human is a Roman-origin word, and Roman-origin words form plurals by adding an –s. So, the plural of human is humans, and not humen.