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Know Your Vocabulary: Monkies Or Monkeys

by samik ghoshal

If you are not a native English speaker, I think the concept of plurality has certainly left you distraught and confused. Well, I am here to help you out so that you do not have to resort to the internet to ask questions like ‘Is it monkies or monkeys’. Without further ado, let us drop right in. 

What Is The Plural of The Word ‘Monkey’: Monkies Or Monkeys?

According to a trend noticed by American Standard English experts, words that end with ‘y’ tend to flout the usual norms and go about their own way.  Well, that sounded way more dramatic than it is. But the truth is the words that do end with ‘y’ do not follow the norm of putting ‘s’ or ‘es’ at the very end of the word. And therefore people are confused about whether it is monkies or monkeys. Keep reading as we will help you tackle fundamental ideas and see how the plurality of words functions.

Monkies Or Monkeys

If you are not a native English speaker, pluralization can be one of the most frustrating aspects of the language. With so many rules and exceptions to follow, it can really be a challenge to remember all of them in a single go. If we take the current example, the word monkey ends with a ‘y’ and therefore people are getting confused about the plurality of the word. 

Delving deeper into this topic you will understand that the answer is quite complex and quite mind-boggling. It shows the beauty and complexity of the language. Take one instance for example, ‘lorry’ becomes ‘lorries’. ‘Trolly’ becomes ‘trollies’. So if we follow the same rule, ‘monkey’ should become ‘monkies’ right? Well here is where the magic of the language lies. The correct plural form of the word ‘monkey’ is not ‘monkies’ but, ‘monkeys.’ How did that happen? Delve deeper and you will know why and how that happened.   

The ‘Y’ Argument.

So, I think that sudden twist in the situation might have frazzled you a little bit, but trust me when I say this. The sudden variation happened according to the laws of the English language. 

So, the primary reason that ‘y’ poses a challenge to the rule of plurality is not because of any linguistic norms Several experts believe that it is more of an aesthetic factor. Take two words for example, ‘fly’ and ‘community’. Now change the words to ‘flys’ and ‘communitys.’ Do the words not look aesthetically incomplete? However, when you write ‘flies’ and ‘communities’, the words look more complete and read well. So, the primary factor of this ‘y’ debate lies in the aesthetic aspect of the language.

However when the question becomes about ‘ey’ the rule shifts again. Since the words feel more complete from the get-go, adding a lone ‘s’ works perfectly fine. So key’ becomes ‘keys’, and ‘monkey’ becomes ‘monkeys’. This should simplify the overall confusion for quite some time. But since we are talking about words it is only natural that we look at the etymological origin of the word ‘monkey’.   

Etymological Definitions.

According to the etymological definition of the term ‘monkey’, it is a word that originated in the German version of the story Reynard the Fox Legend. The story was first published in the year 1580. The fable features a figure that is named Moneke, an offspring of the character called Martin the Ape.

From here, the word ‘monkey’ originated. The word defines small primates residing in tropical areas, mostly trees. They are mostly humanoid in appearance and have opposable thumbs along with a long tail. 

Rules Of Plurality

With the monkies or monkeys confusion clarified to a great extent. I think we must look at the fundamental rule of plurality that the English language follows. The general rule of thumb is that if a word ends with just ‘y’ then the plural of the word is ‘ies’. The reason behind such a variation is mostly an aesthetic one.  A word that only ends with ‘y’ feels incomplete therefore it is transformed into ‘ies’.

However, there is one single exception to this rule. This exception is that if a word ends with an ‘ey’, then the plural version of the word becomes, ‘eys’. Again, this is purely an aesthetic rule. Any word that ends with ‘ey’ looks more complete and therefore there is no need to add ‘ies’ to the mix. 

Now any word that does not fulfil the previous two requirements or are simple noun, does not resort to the aforementioned rules. In fact, adding an s to such words will simply transform them into their plural counterparts. A bus can become busses. The word ball can become balls. And the list goes on. 

Since we are already looking at the rules, I think we must look at another rule before start wrapping this up. Well, if a word ends with an ‘f’ sound then the norm changes again. The plural version of such words end with ‘ves’. Like for example, the word calf becomes calves. The knife becomes knives and the list goes on. 

End Note

And with that, we have reached the very end of our article. All the variations that we discussed here are not only important for our monkies or monkeys debate. But is also very important for understanding how plurality of words works. I hope that this article will help you with your query.  Keep following our page for more sports-related content. 


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