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Plural of Donkey

The Quick Answer
The plural of donkey is donkeys.

The Plural of Donkey

The plural of donkey is donkeys. For example:
  • It's hard for the donkeys to win the race if they're going to carry the elephants on their backs. (Jim Hightower)
  • I spent my childhood playing in the woods, falling in ponds, getting chased by wasps, and riding donkeys that I shouldn't have been riding. (Jo Brand)
The noun donkey adheres to the standard rules for forming the plurals of nouns in English (shown in the table below).

Type Example of Type Forming the Plural Plural
Most Nouns lamp
scythe
add s lamps
scythes
Noun Ending s, sh, ch, x or z bus
dress
add es buses
dresses
Nouns ending [consonant] o hero
zero
tomato
add either s or es
(There are no rules for this - you have to know.)
heroes
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 donkey
chimney
add s donkeys
chimneys
Nouns ending f or fe dwarf
hoof
ves and/or s
(There are no rules - you have to know.)
dwarfs
hooves or hoofs
Exceptions man
louse
some nouns undergo a vowel or letters change men
lice
More exceptions salmon
sheep
some nouns do not change at all salmon
sheep

Why Is There Confusion over the Plural of Donkey?

Donkeys is the only way to make the noun donkey plural.

Confusion arises because some people mistakenly believe that all nouns ending in "y" should form a plural ending in "ies". When a noun ends with [vowel] + y, you only need to add an "s" to form the plural.