The Plurals of Words Ending in "o"

People often ask me to explain the rule for making plurals from words
that end in "o".
I have to answer that there isn't one. However, most of these words
follow the usual pattern of just adding the letter "s".
Singular
a solo
one radio
a kimono

becomes
becomes
becomes
Plural
two solos
three radios
many kimonos

However, there are a few words where you have to add "-es" to make the plural. But there's no easy rule
to tell you which are the words that need "-es"
The best advice I can give is for you to memorize the most common words that always use "-es". These are:
Singular
potato
tomato
echo
hero
domino
torpedo

becomes
becomes
becomes
becomes
becomes
becomes
Plural
potatoes
tomatoes
echoes
heroes
dominoes
torpedoes

Finally there is a group of words that can be spelled either way but the "-oes" version usually seems to be preferred.
Singular
mosquito
cargo
tornado
volcano
flamingo
memento

becomes
becomes
becomes
becomes
becomes
becomes
Plural
mosquitoes
cargoes
tornadoes
volcanoes
flamingoes
mementoes

or
or
or
or
or
or
Also correct
mosquitos
cargos
tornados
volcanos
flamingos
mementos

One exception to all of the above is that "buffalo" can be singular or plural. So you can have a herd of buffalo,
a herd of buffaloes, or a herd of buffalos. All of these would be correct!

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Roger Smith


Spelling it Right

Roger Smith
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