The Plural of FungusThe plural of fungus is fungi or funguses.
- The world depends on fungi because they are major players in the cycling of materials and energy around the world. (E O Wilson)
- The discipline of biology devoted to the study of funguses is known as mycology.
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|| lamp
|add s|| lamps
|Noun Ending s, sh, ch, x or z|| fungus
|add es|| funguses
|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|| fungus
|some nouns adopt foreign rulings|| fungi
Why Is There Confusion over the Plural of Fungus?Confusion arises over the plural of fungus because its original plural form (fungi) derives from Latin and native English speakers are drawn to funguses, which adheres to the standard ruling for forming plurals.
Both funguses and fungi are acceptable, but fungi is by far the more common plural and the safest option. (See the evidence in Google's Ngram Viewer.)