Plural of Tomato

What Is the Plural of Tomato?

homesitemapA-Z plurals tomato

The Quick Answer

The plural of "tomato" is "tomatoes."
The plural of "tomato" is "tomatoes."
  • Tomatoes were not grown in England until the 1590s. correct tick
  • Tomatoes are often grown in greenhouses in cooler climates. correct tick
The noun "tomato" 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
add s lamps
Noun Ending s, sh, ch, x or z bus
add es buses
Nouns ending [consonant] o tomato
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 storey (small British flag)
add s storeys
Nouns ending f or fe dwarf
ves and/or s
(There are no rules - you have to know.)
Exceptions man
some nouns undergo a vowel or letters change men
More exceptions salmon
some nouns do not change at all salmon
Read more about English spelling rules.

Why Is There Confusion over the Plural of Tomato?

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."
Some add es. For example:
  • "Echo" becomes "echoes."
  • "Potato" becomes "potatoes."
With some words, both versions are accepted. For example:
  • "Volcano" becomes "volcanoes" or "volcanos."
  • "Halo" becomes "haloes" or "halos."
The plural of "tomato" is always "tomatoes." Unfortunately, there is no clever way of knowing which nouns ending "o" follow which rules. You have to know. (For example, you have to know that "tomato" becomes "tomatoes," but "solo" becomes "solos.")


Don't Use an Apostrophe to Form a Plural

Adding '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:
  • Sweet potatoe's are a good source of magnesium. wrong cross
  • Sweet potatoes are a good source of magnesium. correct tick
Read more about apostrophes and plurals.
Read more about using apostrophes.
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This page was written by Craig Shrives.

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