Plural of Cliff

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The Quick Answer
The plural of cliff is cliffs.

The Plural of Cliff

The plural of cliff is cliffs.
  • Cliffs are common on coasts, in mountainous areas, in escarpments, and along rivers.
  • Some of the largest cliffs on Earth are found underwater.
The noun cliff adheres to the standard rules for forming the plurals of nouns in English (shown in the table below).

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The Standard Rules for Forming the Plurals

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
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 storey ()
donkey
add s storeys
donkeys
Nouns ending f or fe leaf
safe
ves and/or s
(There are no rules - you have to know.)
leaves
safes
Nouns ending ff or ffe giraffe
cliff
add s
giraffes
cliffs
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 Cliff?

All nouns ending ff or ffe (e.g., cliff, giraffe) just add an s. Some writers confuse these nouns with nouns ending f or fe (e.g., wolf, knife), whose rules for forming the plurals are not straightforward.
Another Interactive Exercise
Here are three randomly selected questions from another exercise on plurals, which can be edited, printed to create an exercise worksheet, or sent via email to friends or students.

See Also

Unusual pluralsPlural forming table Quirks with forming plurals Forming the plurals of abbreviations Forming the plurals of compound nouns