Plural of Hoof
The Quick AnswerThe plural of hoof is hoofs or hooves.
The Plural of HoofThe plural of hoof is hoofs or hooves.
- 'Horse thunder' is what I call the sound of galloping hoofs. (John Fusco)
- Hooves have also been used in the manufacture of high-end glues.
Are You Good at Plurals?Here's a quick test.
The Standard Rules for Forming the PluralsThe 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|| bus
|add es|| buses
|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|| storey ()
|add s|| storeys
|Nouns ending f or fe|| loaf
|ves and/or s
(There are no rules - you have to know.)
hoofs or hooves
|some nouns undergo a vowel or letters change||
|More exceptions|| salmon
|some nouns do not change at all|| salmon
Why Is There Confusion over the Plural of Hoof?There is confusion because the rule for forming plurals with nouns ending in f or fe isn't straightforward. Most nouns will drop the f or fe and gain a ves. For example:
- Knife becomes knives.
- Wolf becomes wolves.
- Safe becomes safes.
- Cliff becomes cliffs.
- Scarf becomes scarfs or scarves.
- Dwarf becomes dwarfs or dwarves.
Though hoofs and hooves are both accepted plurals, hooves has become more popular. (See the evidence in Google's Ngram Viewer.)