Are you a student of the English language? Or, do you aspire to be an author or writer?
In both cases, while you are dealing with the language, it is necessary that you are clear with what words you are using and when exactly you are using them.
Let us first talk about the differences between the words woman and women.
When you think about the word ‘woman’, what is the first thing that comes to your mind? It is probably the biological definition of the word. Right?
According to any dictionary that you can find, the meaning of the word ‘woman’ is stated as “an adult female individual.”
When the female individual is young, she is defined by the word ‘girl’ (plural, girls). And when she becomes an adult, she is known as woman (plural, women).
Woman Vs. Women
Although both the words refer to the female gender, there is a stark difference between the two. And that is the number of the noun.
While the noun woman is used to refer to the singular form, the word women refer to the plural form. In other words, ‘woman’ is singular, and ‘women’ is plural.
This is something that people generally get wrong. Think about it like this:
One woman, many women.
Just like the word man changes to men when the number of the noun changes, ‘woman’ also changes to ‘women.’
Does that make things easier to understand?
The spelling and pronunciation of certain words may often confuse you when using them. “principal vs principle,” then learn more to clear your all confusions.
The English language has been evolving every day. In order to understand the difference between the words women and women, let us go way back to the origin of the words in Old English.
A lot of people may think that the word woman has some connection to the word womb. This is a very popular misconception. So let us address this one first.
The term ‘womb’ has been derived from the word wamb, which meant belly or uterus in Old English. So it is in no way connected to the modern word woman.
In early old English, the word woman was spelled and pronounced as wifmann. It then changed to wimmann and then to wumman.
At the beginning of the language evolution in Old English, the modern term ‘man’ was referred to as wer, and the term ‘woman’ was referred to as wifmann, which meant a female individual.
The term or suffix ‘mann’ was a gender-neutral word that meant ‘human’ in the Anglo Saxon dictionary.
However, after the Norman Conquest of 1066, when England was occupied by the Normans and Bretons, the meaning of the term changed and mann came to be used to refer to the male gender.
The consonants f and m of the word wifmann coalesced together to form the modern word woman. The initial element of the word wifmann, which is wif, now means wife (a married woman).
Writing a leave application can complicate things if you do not select the right way, click here to know How To Write Child Care Leave Application?
2. Some Examples
Even though everything is written in the article about how to use the different words and exactly when to use them, it still might be a bit confusing to you. For that reason, let us try to understand the usage of the words ‘woman’ and ‘women’ with the help of some examples.
Example of using the word Woman:
- Sarita saw a woman by the gate
- The woman was seen with her children.
- The man is short, but the woman is tall.
- Lucy is a working woman
- Maya Angelou was a phenomenal woman poet
Examples of using the word Women:
- Two men and two women were sitting inside the car
- These two women are great friends
- Discrimination against women is still prevalent in the society
- There are many great women authors in the history of English literature
- Few women were stuck inside the lift when it collapsed
3. Woman Vs Women Pronunciation
Not only are they different because of their numbers, but they are also pronounced differently from each other.
‘Woman’ is pronounced as woo-man, whereas ‘women’ is pronounced as wee-men.
It is very important that you pronounce the words differently. This is because, depending on your pronunciation or what you say, the listener will try to understand the context.
If you incorrectly pronounce ‘woman’ as ‘women,’ then the listener will get the wrong idea of the context.
If you are having trouble trying to remember how to pronounce the two words, just remember and focus on the last two letters of the words.
The last three letters of the word ‘woman’ are ‘-man.’ Hence, the word will be pronounced as ‘woo-man.’
The last three letters of the word ‘women’ are ‘-men.’ Hence it will be pronounced as ‘wee-men.’
Are you planning to write a persuasive essay for your client? Read more to know the writing frame correctly.
4. Key Differences
Let me make it easier for you. Below are the differences between ‘woman’ and ‘women.’
|One adult female is referred to as woman||More than one woman is referred as women|
|Woman is singular||Women is plural|
|Article’ a’ is used before woman||Article’ a’ is not used before women|
|Pronounced as woo-man||Pronounced as wee-men|
|Example: A woman is sitting in the park.||The two women are going to the market.|
5. Any Similarities
While the words woman and women are used differently in different contexts, depending on the number of individuals, there is one similarity between the two words.
Both of them refer to the same gender.
Woman refers to one female individual.
Women refers to more than one female individual.
Know about “whoever vs whomever” – When to use this two words?
6. Woman Or Women: When To Use What
While it can get confusing for beginners who are using the language, you should keep in mind which word you are using and in what context.
If you are talking about a singular individual, only one female person, keep in mind that you use the word ‘woman.’
For example: She is a very honest woman.
If you are talking about more than one female individual, two persons, or many, make sure that you use the word ‘women.’
For example: Three women in the market are quarreling amongst themselves.
Note: “You cannot use women when you are talking about one lady. Women is the plural noun form of the word woman. They have to be used separately in different contexts”.
‘Woman’ and women are both used to indicate female individuals
‘Woman’ is the singular form used for one female person
‘Women’ is the plural form used for more than one or many female individuals.
Frequently Asked Questions
The word woman means one adult female individual. When there is more than one female individual, the word changes to women, which is the plural form of the main word. Women’s is not the plural form. It indicates the function of possession. That is, something that is referred to belongs to the women.
Womens is incorrect. This is because women itself is the plural form of the base word woman. When you write women’s, it indicates that something, that is being referred to, belongs to the women.
Women’s is used when you want to write a sentence indicating that something belongs or is owned by the women.
The words ‘woman’ and ‘women’ have been sometimes used incorrectly. This is because people generally get confused when to use which one. There are certain things that should be kept in mind while using the words.
Firstly, ‘woman’ is a singular form and ‘women’ is a plural form of the same noun.
Secondly, the two words are used differently in different contexts. While ‘woman’ is used when talking about one female individual, ‘women’ is used when talking about many females. And
lastly, the two words are pronounced differently.
You should keep in mind how you are speaking or pronouncing the words. If you are talking about one woman, pronounce the word as woo-man. If you are talking about more than one person, pronounce the word as wee-men.
If all these things are kept in mind while you are talking or writing, you will surely make fewer mistakes. Hope you found the answer to what you were looking for. In case something was missed out, feel free to comment down below your thoughts.