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Jinn or djinn is a word we middle east people use for demons. I found this word in an English dictionary too, but it seems that this word is never used in plural form. For example, when you want to say "I was attacked by three demons" it works, and Microsoft Word did not underline it, but when using "Jinns" it seems not correct. What do you think about it? What is the right way to say "three jinns"?

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    English speakers may use either "jinn" or "jinns" as a plural. See the usage note in the American Heritage Dictionary entry.
    – herisson
    Commented Apr 17, 2018 at 21:13
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    There has been the usual mixup between jinn and jinni, plus the much more common English spelling as genie (pl. genies) to contend with, so using anything approximating Arabic spelling is tricky, and depends on the intentions of the writer as perceived by the reader. There is of course no problem in speech, only spelling. Commented Apr 17, 2018 at 22:12
  • The French want a say about this, too. There are works titled Les Djinns by Cesar Franck, Gabriel Fauré, Louis Vierne, and Victor Hugo.
    – DjinTonic
    Commented Apr 23, 2022 at 14:14
  • I know this isn't French StackExchange, but the French seem to primarily spell it djinn and use djinn as singular and djinns as plural (TLFi). The spelling is based on French pronunciation principles, but I guess the singular/plural is just habit.
    – Stuart F
    Commented Apr 23, 2022 at 19:35

3 Answers 3

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In various places I've read the word Jinn as plural itself and Jinni as the singular.

see http://www.dictionary.com/browse/jinn

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    The plural of fish is (annoyingly) both fish and fishes. However, there are some subtle distinctions between their uses. Like fish, several words (sheep also comes to mind—and at least it has no sheeps alternative . . .) have a plural that is still spelled the same way as the singular. Commented Apr 18, 2018 at 2:58
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In basic terms, it does not much matter if you use Djinn as the singular or plural. The singular/plural distinction has been lost in translation.

OED:

jinn, n.

Etymology: < Arabic jinn, collective plural, demons, spirits, angels; singular jinnī (see jinni n.).

In Muslim demonology, an order of spirits lower than the angels, said to have the power of appearing in human and animal forms, and to exercise supernatural influence over men. More commonly used as a singular to denote one of this class.

a. (as singular).

1838 Torrens Arab. Nts. I. 16 Tale of the Merchant and the Jin

[1841 Lane I. 44 Story of the Merchant and the Jinnee].

b. (as plural).

1838 E. W. Lane in tr. Thousand & One Nights (1839) I. i. Notes 30 The species of Jinn is said to have been created some thousands of years before Adam.

1884 J. Payne tr. Tales from Arabic I. 272 Arise, let us depart this place, for it is full of Jinn and Marids.

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The correct way to say it would be 3 Djinn. Djinn is plural, and the correct singular form would be djinni or jinni. Saying djinns is ridiculous. Although it has been incorrectly anglicised into djinns and used by many, unfortunately.

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  • Do you have an authoritative source for your claim? And did you perchance read the other answer? It basically says the same thing. Please take the Tour to familiarize yourself with our platform.
    – Joachim
    Commented Apr 23, 2022 at 12:57

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