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Thread: roof, roofs

  1. #1
    kohyoongliat is offline Senior Member
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    Default roof, roofs

    The plural of 'roof' is 'roofs', while the plural of most verbs ending in 'f' or 'fe' have 'ves' at the end of the word. For example, thief, thieves; knife, knives.
    Is there a reason for this or is it just an exception?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
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    Default Re: roof, roofs

    It is an exception.

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    Default Re: roof, roofs

    [Disclaimer: I am not a teacher, but am a native speaker and hold an undergraduate degree in English.}

    Back to Wikipedia:English plural - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    (scroll down to "almost-regular plurals.")

    This seems to be one of those rules based on pronunciation. "Rooves" indeed used to be the plural of roof, but is now considered archaic.

    I am sitting here reciting the plural of various voiceless-fricative ending words and find I am perfectly capable of saying calf(s) and wolf(s), so maybe in another hundred years the rest of these V's will disappear. In the meantime, I suppose you are going to have to memorize.

    PS: The dwarf/dwarves note is fascinating.

  4. #4
    kohyoongliat is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: roof, roofs

    Thanks, Anglika and Delmobile, for your reply.

  5. #5
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
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    Default Re: roof, roofs

    Sorry, Delmobile - "rooves" is not acceptable as a written form. The word "roofs" is often pronounced in this way, but it is an incorrect form in writing. Wikipedia is a snare and sometimes a delusion. Its information must be treated with great reserve.

  6. #6
    Jason72 is offline Banned
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    Default Re: roof, roofs

    Quote Originally Posted by Delmobile View Post
    "Rooves" indeed used to be the plural of roof, but is now considered archaic.
    I beg to differ. I was never used, as far as I know (at least in the last 80 years).

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    Default Re: roof, roofs

    I hope I did not give the impression that "rooves" is ever considered correct now. I am very sorry if I did.

    When I say "used to be," I don't mean "when I was a girl." Here is a slightly more authoritative source than a Wikipedia article:
    § 165. roof. 7. Pronunciation Challenges. The American Heritage Book of English Usage. 1996

  8. #8
    Jason72 is offline Banned
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    Default Re: roof, roofs

    Quote Originally Posted by Delmobile View Post
    I hope I did not give the impression that "rooves" is ever considered correct now. I am very sorry if I did.

    When I say "used to be," I don't mean "when I was a girl." Here is a slightly more authoritative source than a Wikipedia article:
    165. roof. 7. Pronunciation Challenges. The American Heritage Book of English Usage. 1996
    This is news...

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