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Lives Or Lifes: Which Is The Correct Form?

by subhasree nag

The English language has got some rules that we have to keep in mind while using the correct form of the noun or the verb, depending on the situation. But then it starts to confuse us by creating a few exceptions.

In English, most nouns have plural forms by just adding an ‘s’ at the end of the word. For example, if we consider the word ‘orange,’ the plural form of it is ‘oranges.’ Similarly, if we take the term ‘house,’ the plural form is “houses.”

Depending upon this, the verb you are using should change the sentence accordingly from singular to plural to go with the subject. For example:

  • They parked the car in front of my house.
  • The cars are parked in front of my house.

But in this article, we are going to discuss two terms in particular. Today, it is going to be about “lives or lifes.”

Lives Vs Lifes

Lifes or lives: which one is correct?  

Lives and lifes might sound similar and seem like the alternative spelling for the same word, but that is not true. Lifes is not really a word that belongs to the English dictionary. It is just a common mistake people make and write in place of lives.

If we follow the general rule of adding an ‘s’ at the end of the word, then the plural of life should be lifes. But that is not actually the case. There is no such word called ‘lifes.’ ‘Lives’ is the correct plural form of the word life.

Here comes the other rule. The rule says that if any word has the ‘f’ sound at the end of it, like the word we have taken here, ‘life,’ the plural form of that word will have a ‘v’ at the end of the word and will be followed by ‘s’ or ‘es.’

For example, the plural form of ‘wolf’ is ‘wolves.’ The plural form of ‘leaf’ is ‘leaves.’

So the correct term is lives and not lifes. The plural of life is lives.

When and how to use the word ‘lives’?  

Lives is the actual correct plural form of the word and noun life. But this word can be used as the plural form of the noun life or the third-person singular conjugation for the term ‘live.’ Both places use the word to animate existence.

Example sentences with ‘Lives’ as noun

  • Failure to guard citizens’ lives and property could only discredit the government as a whole.
  • The rapidly increasing use of computer technology is changing the lives of millions of people and the social organizations in which they are embedded.
  • Hundreds of thousands of people lost their lives fighting for our country and for our freedom.
  • The children needed structure and direction in their lives.
  • Some people lived their entire lives without ever being close to anyone.
  • Their lives are spent in toiling for the rich.
  • Her children did not tell her of their problems or involve her in their lives.
  • We’ll return to the mortal world and live normal lives.
  • The neighbors continued to help, but they had their own lives to live and she was encouraging them to get back to their normal activities.

Example Sentences with ‘Lives’ as verb

  • An American originally from New Orleans, Jim Haynes lives in Paris.
  • Is that where he lives?
  • They belong to the rich man who lives in the big white house there among the trees.
  • I believe that at present he lives with his wife and children in very modest conditions.
  • He still lives in the basement of his parents’ house.
  • The book lives up to this claim by taking three different approaches.
  • My cousin Frank lives in Louisville.
  • My sister lives up in Parkside and sometimes I hook a ride up with Jeff so’s I can visit.
  • She’s never lived anywhere except Beverly Hills so she has no idea how the other half lives.

More Examples of ‘lives’ in a sentence  

  • The youngsters do not even value their own lives.
  • The new development project that the company announced changed the lives of many.
  • The cyclone took a minimum of 350 lives.
  • After changing the job, their lives changed immensely.
  • They lived together for a few years but decided to part ways after their nasty fight between their families.
  • Jenny lives in an apartment in central park.
  • All our lives, we had to compromise for him, and now he is turning his back on us.
  • Inspite of all the setbacks, the player lives his life to the fullest.
  • She lives her life with the motto of helping others wherever she goes.
  • She lives with her parents, so she can take care of them.

When and how to use the word ‘lifes’?  

Lifes is not really a word. The plural form of the noun life is lives. But there is a singular possessive form that uses the word ‘life’s.’ the singular possessive forms show ownership. Like, “My life’s goal is to open a hospital for the needy.”

Here are some more examples of sentences with the word ‘Life’s’: 

  • His life’s goal is to become a basketball player.
  • I was so upset when a fire burned down the laboratory and ruined my life’s work.
  • One of life’s simplest pleasure is sipping on a good cup of tea in the morning.

But there is another use of the word ‘life’s’ in casual conversations as a contraction. Like, “My life’s has been pretty cool by now.” But this is not used in any kind of written communication, but only in verbal communication.

There is only one major differentiating factor between ‘lifes’ and ‘life’s’,which is the presence of the possessive apostrophe in the latter. So it is quite common to misspell ‘life’s’ as ‘lifes’.

These are the two forms that can be used, but ‘lifes’ can never be used in any sentence and in any form. It would be incorrect to use this spelling in any sentence. For example:

  • Dozens of lifes were lost at the shootout. (The word lie would be appropriate here, using lifes is incorrect.)
  • As we have heard, dogs have only one life but cats have many lifes. (Again, this is an incorrect use. Lives should be used instead.)

Our lives or our lifes?  

Given that life in plural is lives, how it is used with the word ‘our’ depends on the context of the sentence. But as we have discussed, there is no word like lifes. So here also lives will be the appropriate word to use. If we are talking about two separate lives, then the sentence would be somewhat like this.

  • Our lives are very different, but we will figure something out together.
  • All our lives, we have been inseparable, but since she is getting married, I have to learn to manage without my sister.

But if we are taking the two lives as one, then it would be something like this.

  • Throughout our married life, we have been fighting.
  • We have a great family life.


“Our lifes or our lives?” “In our lives or lifes?” “Their life or their lives?” These can become confusing at times, but when you are looking to change the singular form of life to the plural form, the ‘f’ should e replaced with ‘v’ and would have to be followed by ‘s’ or ‘es.’ this is the basic that you have to remember, and the confusion about ‘lives or lifes’ would be clear. The word lifes should never be used without an apostrophe, be it a possessive sentence or a contraction.


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