The word journey in its plural form is the source of some confusion. Many are unsure whether to spell it 'journies' or 'journeys.'
In this article, we will answer that question, and highlight the reason for the confusion, and cover the general plural rules in the English language.
Firstly, let's answer the question on everyone's lips and the main reason you're reading this article: is it 'journies' or 'journeys'?
The correct way to spell the plural of the word 'journey' is: 'journeys.'
It is never correct to spell it 'journies.'
Let's begin by exploring a few ground rules around forming plurals of words.
As mentioned already, the plural of 'journey' is always 'journeys'.
With words that end in "vowel+y," we add "s" at the end to create the plural form of the word.
So why is there confusion around this in the first place? Aren't the rules around plural word spellings reasonably straightforward?
Well, perhaps not.
The main rule is that when a word ends in 'y', to make the plural form, we must change the 'y' to 'ies.' For example:
If we abide by this rule, the plural of 'journey' should be 'journies.'
Not so fast! There's a follow-up rule. This one applies to words with a vowel before that 'y' at the end.
Instead of changing the 'y' to 'ies,' leave the 'y' in and add an 's.'
As a reminder, here is the list of vowels in the English language: a, e, i, o, u.
Here are some examples:
Can you see then why the plural of 'journey' must be 'journeys'? Since the 'y' in the word is preceded by 'e' (a vowel), we must use the second rule to pluralize 'journey.'
The rule for pluralizing words ending in 'y' and vowel + 'e' is, in fact, in agreement with the general rule for pluralizing all words: just add 's.'
Now that you are familiar with the rule for pluralizing words in general and the rule for pluralizing words ending in 'y', would you like to know the standard rules for other words? If so, read on.
For these words, add 'es' to the end of the word to get the plural form. For example:
Sometimes, you need to double the 'z' at the end of the word before adding 'es.' Like in the following examples:
Add 's' or 'es' to pluralize words ending with 'o'. For example:
With these words, there is no rule to determine which of the two it should be - 's' or 'es.' You simply have to memorize these.
The rule for pluralizing words ending in 'f' or 'fe' states that these nouns should either end in 'ves' or 's.' Again, there's no rule to differentiate the two endings; you just have to know.
To complicate the matter, some words do not follow any of the above rules. They either change entirely in the plural form or don't change at all. Here are some examples:
Another time when the general rules don't apply is with words ending in 'is.' Though these words end in 's,' they don't follow the same rule. Instead, we change the 'is' to an 'es.' For example:
Also, watch out for words that end in 'us.' Often, these need the 'us' removed, and an 'i' added on at the end. Yes, this is a bit of an odd one! For example:
We appreciate that all this can seem quite confusing, but we don't want you to feel overwhelmed! If you're currently learning English as a language, rest assured that the more you read English, the more the correct pluralizations will stick to your mind, as you'll get used to seeing them. Over time, it will become automatic. It just takes a little practice!
And if you are a native English speaker, and are just trying to learn more about your language, now that you have learned the rules, you have become more aware and will now start to pay more attention to the different ways to pluralize words as you read. For you also, knowing the correct spellings will become automatic.
Now that we've dived into the conventions around pluralizing words let's explore the word 'journey' and its meaning.
The word 'journey' is a noun, and its simplest definition is the act of traveling from one place to another.
The term usually implies a somewhat extended period of time, unlike the word 'jaunt,' which is very similar in meaning but is more suited to describe a shorter expedition.
The word 'journey' can refer to a physical trip - traveling from one physical place to another, perhaps to spend a gap year, to go backpacking, or even on a pilgrimage. Here are a few examples of the word used in this sense:
But the word can also refer to a symbolic trip. This could be an emotional journey, a spiritual journey, or a professional journey. Or it can be, quite simply, a life journey. It is, in essence, the story of how you got to be where you are. Here are some examples of ways you can use the word in this sense:
The word 'journey' can also take on a verb form without needing to change the word itself.
The verb 'journey' takes on the same meaning as the noun 'journey' - you can use it to refer to the act of going on a journey. Let's see some examples of this verb in action:
Many words carry a similar meaning to 'journey' while still being somewhat nuanced in what they imply. Here are some of our favorite terms to refer to some kind of journey:
Some of these make us feel like we're in an Indiana Jones movie or a Tomb Raider video game! What about you?
Hopefully, this article has helped clarify the meaning of the word 'journey' for you and the correct spelling.
To summarize, the plural of the noun 'journey' is always 'journeys.' It is never correct to spell it 'journies.' This would be considered incorrect.
Furthermore, the word can be used both as a noun and a verb.
And remember: keep on reading. It's the best way to improve your English language skills! Read novels and non-fiction on topics that interest you, and of course, our other articles. Here is a couple to get you started:
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