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Thread: roof, roofs

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    #1

    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.


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    #2

    Re: roof, roofs

    It is an exception.


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    #3

    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.

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    #4

    Re: roof, roofs

    Thanks, Anglika and Delmobile, for your reply.


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    #5

    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.


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    #6

    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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    #7

    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


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    #8

    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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