mail tip Sign up for daily tips
Chat about grammar Ask a grammar question
grammar checker Try a grammar checker
Follow Us on Twitter Like us on Facebook by Craig Shrives

Plural of Beef

The Quick Answer
Beef is a mass noun. It has no plural form.

The Plural of Beef

Beef is a mass noun. It has no plural form.
  • Beef is the third most widely consumed meat in the world.
  • Beef can be cooked to various degrees, from very rare to well done.
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 cat
scythe
add s cats
scythes
Noun Ending s, sh, ch, x or z bus
dress
add es buses
dresses
Nouns ending [consonant] o mango
zero
tomato
add either s or es
(There are no rules for this - you have to know.)
mangoes or mangos
zeros
tomatoes
Nouns ending [vowel] o patio
ratio
add s patios
ratios
Nouns ending [consonant] y story
penny
change the y to an i and add es stories
pennies
Nouns ending [vowel] y storey ()
donkey
add s storeys
donkeys
Mass nouns beef
rice
some nouns do not have a plural form
beef
rice
Nouns ending f or fe dwarf
knife
ves and/or s
(There are no rules - you have to know.)
dwarfs
knives
Exceptions goose
louse
some nouns undergo a vowel or letters change geese
lice
More exceptions salmon
sheep
some nouns do not change at all salmon
sheep

Why Is There Confusion over the Plural of Beef?

Confusion arises because beef is a mass noun. A mass noun is a noun without a plural form. They refer to items that can't be counted (e.g., music, milk, chalk).