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    #1

    staff vs staffs

    Can I add "s" in the end of the word "staff"?
    Three staffs are sitting next to the door.
    A staff is waiting the school bus.

    Please tell me ...

  1. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: staff vs staffs

    Three staff members.
    A staff member.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #3

    Re: staff vs staffs

    Quote Originally Posted by Polyester View Post
    Can I add "s" in the end of the word "staff"?
    Three staffs are sitting next to the door.
    A staff is waiting the school bus.

    Please tell me ...
    No. When it means "employees", staff​ is non-countable.
    I am not a teacher.

  2. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: staff vs staffs

    Quote Originally Posted by Polyester View Post
    Can I add "s" AT the end of the word "staff"?
    Three staffs are sitting next to the door.
    A staff is waiting FOR the school bus.

    Please tell me ...
    Please note the corrections.

  3. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: staff vs staffs

    If it's a school you are probably talking about teachers, so say:

    Three teachers

    OR

    a teacher

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    #6

    Re: staff vs staffs

    It's possible to say 'The staffs of three schools met for a joint discussion'.

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    #7

    Re: staff vs staffs

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    When it means "employees", staff​ is non-countable.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rover_KE View Post
    It's possible to say 'The staffs of three schools met for a joint discussion'.
    This countable/non-countable stuff gets very complicated. Staff is non-countable when it refers to the employees of a single establishment. When discussing more than one establishment, staff is countable provided that each staff refers to one establishment's employees.

    Confusing the issue further, the countable noun staff meaning "a line of music in Western notation" takes different plurals in British and American English: staves and staffs respectively.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #8

    Re: staff vs staffs

    I don't think you can say staff is non-countable.

    It usually refers to a (singular and countable) group of workers, not the individuals. This school has a staff, that school has a staff... Rover_KE's is a clear example of a plural (and countable) use.

    I also think it's important to remember that individual words are neither countable nor non-countable in themselves. It is the use of a noun in context that determines its grammar, i.e. its countability.

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    #9

    Re: staff vs staffs

    I do see staffs used in the plural sometimes nowadays, which I didn't in the past. I think there may be a change brewing, but for the moment would recommend holding back and using staff, and members of staff for a plural, Rover's not so common case excepted.

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