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When should a singular word ending in “y” end in “ies” plurally?

Why is the plural of story, stories? Why not storys?

And also, why is the plural of boy, boys, not boies?

marked as duplicate by tchrist, Barrie England, Kit Z. Fox Feb 4 '13 at 19:29

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It would be difficult to give a complete answer to this question. (I suspect that will result in this question being quickly closed by the English StackExchange Nazis.) English has many rules for how word endings are changed when a suffix is added or words are combined.

In this case, if a word ends in a "y", and that "y" is preceded by a consonant, then when we add an "-s" we change the "y" to "ie", when we add "-ed" we change the "y" to "i". If the "y" is preceded by a vowel, it is left unchanged. Thus "boy" becomes "boys", "key" -> "keys", "play" -> "played", but "story" becomes "stories", "company" -> "companies", "party" -> "partied". Etc.

  • 1
    An exception to the general rule being money -> monies – Armen Ծիրունյան Feb 4 '13 at 19:15
  • I'd intended to add that there were likely to be exceptions though I couldn't think of any at the moment. Yup, that's one. – Jay Feb 5 '13 at 15:30

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