Plural of Nucleus
The Quick AnswerThe plural of nucleus is nuclei.
The Plural of NucleusThe plural of nucleus is nuclei. The alternative plural nucleuses is extremely rare but still acceptable.
- Cell nuclei contain most of the cell's genetic material.
- Some eukaryotic cell types have no nuclei.
- Some cell types have many nucleuses.
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|| nucleus
|add es|| nucleuses
|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|| nucleus
|some nouns adopt foreign rulings|| nuclei
Why Is There Confusion over the Plural of Nucleus?Confusion arises over the plural of nucleus because its original plural form (nuclei) derives from Latin and native English speakers are drawn to nucleuses, which adheres to the standard ruling for forming plurals.
Nuclei is by far the more common plural of the two. (See the difference in Google's Ngram Viewer.)