Plural of Buffalo
The Quick AnswerThe plural of buffalo is buffaloes or buffalos..
The Plural of BuffaloThe plural of buffalo is buffaloes or buffalos..
- Buffaloes will engage in mobbing behavior when fighting off predators.
- In some areas, buffalos are still hunted for meat.
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|| buffalo
|add either s or es
(There are no rules for this - you have to know.)
| buffaloes or buffalos
|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|| dwarf
|ves and/or s
(There are no rules - you have to know.)
|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 Buffalo?There is confusion because the rule for forming plurals with nouns ending in o isn't straightforward. Most nouns will just add an s. For example:
- Kangaroo becomes kangaroos.
- Piano becomes pianos.
- Embargo becomes embargoes.
- Torpedo becomes torpedoes.
- Halo becomes haloes or halos.
- Echo becomes echoes or echos.
Though buffaloes and buffalos are both accepted plurals, buffaloes is the more common of the two. (See the difference in Google's Ngram Viewer.)
Don't Use an Apostrophe to Form a PluralAdding 's is never an option when forming the plural of a noun. Despite this simple rule, inexperienced writers often feel compelled to add an apostrophe, especially when the noun ends with a vowel (e.g., piano, tomato, emu). For example:
- Animals that use echo's are cetaceans.
- Animals that use echoes are cetaceans.
Read more about using apostrophes.