Plural of Syllabus
The Quick AnswerThe plural of syllabus is syllabi or syllabuses.
The Plural of syllabusThe plural of syllabus is syllabi or syllabuses.
- Syllabuses for examinations can change on almost a yearly basis.
- College syllabi are handed out at the beginning of a course for students.
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|| syllabus
|add es|| syllabuses
|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|| syllabus
|some nouns adopt foreign rulings|| syllabi
Why Is There Confusion over the Plural of Syllabus?Confusion arises over the plural of syllabus because its original plural form (syllabi) derives from Latin and native English speakers are drawn to syllabuses, which adheres to the standard ruling for forming plurals.
Both syllabuses and syllabi are acceptable. Of note, syllabi is becoming the more common plural. (See the evidence in Google's Ngram Viewer.)