Plural of Key

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The plural of key is keys.

The Plural of Key

The plural of key is keys.
  • Instead of giving a politician the keys to the city, it might be better to change the locks. (Doug Larson)
  • One of the keys to happiness is a bad memory. (Rita Mae Brown)
The noun key 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 key
chimney
add s keys
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 Key?

Keys is the only way to make the noun key 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.



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