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One says 10 Dollars or 10 Euros, but 10 Yen or 10 Yuan.
Why?

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    I don't know about Japanese but in Chinese there are no plural forms for most nouns so Yuan is both singular and plural, like 'sheep' in English. These currencies aren't alone, though. Officially the plural of Euro is Euro in most languages and was, until recently, in English as well; though the recommendation in English has been changed recently. See en.wiktionary.org/wiki/euro – BoldBen Sep 5 '16 at 11:43
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    @RegDwigHt I have never heard 10 Euro (and it sounds wrong). Also, it always seems to be capitalized. And the plural of franc (currently Swiss, although this also applies to the former French currency) is francs in both English and French; and of course, in English, the plural of the former German currency is marks (Deutschmarks), not mark. Among former European currencies, it is difficult to come up with one whose English plural is the same as its singular (sometimes the English plural is the same as that in the local language, e.g., *lira, lire*—also current Turkish currency) – David Handelman Sep 5 '16 at 14:21
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    @AndrewLeach - In my family we don't say 10 euros, we say 10 euro. (I live in the U.S. currently.) Is that because my spouse is German? What do people say in the UK? – aparente001 Sep 5 '16 at 16:36
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    Also note that quid and knicker don't have an s in the plural. – Brian Hooper Sep 5 '16 at 20:22
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    @aparente001 In German units (including currency units) are normally not pluralized (with a few exceptions like the units of time). 1 Euro, 10 Euro, 1 Meter, 10 Meter, 1 Sekunde, 10 Sekunden.. English generally pluralizes unit names. – Chieron Sep 27 '16 at 9:35
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As noted in multiple comments, the premise of your question is faulty. Officially, the plural of Euro is Euro:

In Community legislative acts the plural forms of euro and cent are spelled without the s, notwithstanding normal English usage.

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    Good luck making laws about how people use their own language: what are we, French? No cents to be had here. – tchrist Jan 19 '17 at 1:59
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Because Japanese deviated from the paths of English, Spanish, etc. a very long time ago, and thus evolved in a completely different direction, one that apparently does not include the suffix -s.

  • I don't think it depends on the evolution of Japanese. Whether English applies the s seems independent of what the native language does. – Ross Millikan Jan 19 '17 at 0:02
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The official currency of The Peoples Republic of China is the Renminbi. Yuan is used as a synonym for Renminbi internationally and referred to by the abbreviation CNY. In China they use Yuan to describe currency in general somewhat like the British could refer to pounds as Sterling. This is a hold over from when Chinese currency was not Fiat and a Yuan was a silver coin that could be broken down into smaller amounts by a decimal system where they would say for instance .5 Yaun leaving no need changing Yuan to Yuans. I own some modern Chinese silver panda coins that have a face value of 10 Yuan which if i were to sell for spot silver price while in China I would receive Some amount of Renminbis. The Chinese currently refer to yen as Japanese Yuan, The Dollar the American Yuan, the Euro the European Yuan and so on. Hopefully what I said helps. I'm not sure about the yen part of the question sorry.

  • This may be so but it doesn't address the question. – Chenmunka Sep 27 '16 at 9:50
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    I thought the difference between the English and Chinese languages was made apparent in a previous post. I'm new to this so I didn't focus on that in my post. Lesson learned. – Mr. Durden Sep 27 '16 at 11:11
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Since we are borrowing the proper name of the currency, we also borrow the native plural form. Compare krone -> kroner and mark -> mark.

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This is because they are invariant nouns. Examples of invariant currencies in plural form:

  • Yen (Japan)
  • Sen (fraction of a yen, Japan)
  • Yuan (China)
  • Jiao (fraction of a yuan, China)
  • Fen (fraction of a jiao, China)
  • Baht (Thailand)
  • Satang (fraction of a baht, Thailand)
  • Rand (South Africa)
  • Quid (British slang)

And, here are some irregular plurals of some other currencies:

  • Penny / pence (fraction of a pound, United Kindom only)
  • Paisa / paise (fraction of a rupee in India and Pakistan)
  • Drachma / drachmae or drachmas (Greece, formerly)
  • Krona / kronor (Sweden)
  • Krone / kroner (Norway and Denmark)
  • Markka / Markkaa (Finland, formerly)
  • Lira / lire (Italy, formerly)
  • Real / reais (Brazil)
  • Saying that yen and yuan don't add an s in the plural "because they are invariant nouns" seems to me to be an explanation like the one given by a physician in one of Molière's plays, who says that opium induces sleep becuase it contains a "dormitive principle". – herisson Jan 19 '17 at 5:12

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