Plural of Status

by Craig Shrives
The Quick Answer
The plural of status is status or statuses.

Both status and statuses are used in the UK and the US. Statuses is marginally more popular than status. (Status has been losing ground against statuses since the 1960s.)

The Plural of Status

The plural of status can be status or statuses, but statuses is the more common. [evidence]
  • The system has four alert status related to the avalanche risk.
  • (It is acceptable to use status, but statuses is marginally more common in the UK and the US.)
  • It is evident that we are seeing protestors from across various social statuses.

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The Standard Rules for Forming the Plurals

The table below shows where status fits within the standard rules for forming the plurals of nouns in English.
Type Example of Type Forming the Plural Plural
Most Nouns yeti
scythe
add s yetis
scythes
Noun Ending s, sh, ch, x or z status
dress
add es statuses
dresses
Nouns ending [consonant] o mango
zero
tomato
add either s or es
(There are no rules for this - you have to know.)
mangoes or mangos
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 dwarf
knife
ves and/or s
(There are no rules - you have to know.)
dwarfs
knives
Exceptions man
louse
some nouns undergo a vowel or letters change men
lice
More exceptions status
salmon
sheep
some nouns do not change at all status
salmon
sheep

Why Is There Confusion over the Plural of Status?

As status is a Latin word, many expect the plural to be stati. However, stati is not used. Using the standard rules for forming plurals in English, the plural of status is statuses, which is widely used. However, as this sounds awkward, status is also commonly used as the plural.

According to a lively debate on Wikipedia, the plural of status is statūs pronounced with a long u (i.e., statoos).

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See Also

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

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