The Plural of AmoebaThe plural of amoeba is amoebae or amoebas.
- Some amoebae are predatory and live by consuming bacteria.
- Amoebas are so tiny that you need a microscope to see them.
The table below shows the standard rules for forming the plurals of nouns in English.
|Type||Example of Type||Forming the Plural||Plural|
|Most Nouns|| amoeba
|add s|| amoebas
|Noun Ending s, sh, ch, x or z|| box
|add es|| boxes
|Nouns ending [consonant] o|| hero
|add either s or es
(There are no rules for this - you have to know.)
|Nouns ending [vowel] o|| patio
|add s|| patios
|Nouns ending [consonant] y|| story
|change the y to an i and add es|| stories
|Nouns ending [vowel] y|| donkey
|add s|| donkey
|Nouns ending f or fe|| dwarf
|ves and/or s
(There are no rules - you have to know.)
hooves or hoofs
|some nouns undergo a vowel or letters change|| men
|More exceptions|| salmon
|some nouns do not change at all|| salmon
|Foreign rulings|| amoeba
|some nouns adopt foreign rulings|| amoebae
Why Is There Confusion over the Plural of Amoeba?Confusion arises over the plural of amoeba because its original plural form (amoebae) derives from Latin and native English speakers are drawn to amoebas, which adheres to the standard ruling for forming plurals.
Both amoebae and amoebas are acceptable, but amoebae is the more common plural and the safest option. (See the evidence in Google's Ngram Viewer.)