'Mouses' or 'Mice': What is the Plural of 'Mouse'?

By Shanea Patterson, updated on October 20, 2022

Wondering whether to add an ‘s’ to ‘mouse’ to make it plural? You’ll learn the plural form of the word and how to use it in a sentence in both forms.

The plural form of the word ‘mouse’ is ‘mice.’ ‘Mouses’ is incorrect. 

Defining the Word ‘Mouse’ 

Before we get into the pluralization of the word ‘mouse,’ let’s quickly define the word.

According to Merriam-Webster, the word can be defined as: “any of numerous small rodents (as of the genus Mus) with a pointed snout, rather small ears, elongated body, and a slender tail.”

It can also be defined as: “a small mobile manual device that controls the movement of the cursor and selection of functions on a computer display” or “a timid person.” 

Why the Plural of ‘Mouse’ is ‘Mice’ 

As mentioned above, the plural form of the word ‘mouse’ is ‘mice.’

Standard Plural Rules

The standard rule for plurals in the English language is as follows:

To make a noun plural, add an ‘s’ to the end of the word. In some cases, you add an ‘es.’

For example:

  • Bake > Bakes
  • Muffin > Muffins
  • Letter > Letters
  • Watch > Watches
  • Catch > Catches
  • Match > Matches

Other words, call for a different set of rules. For example, when a word ends in ‘y,’ you have to drop the ‘y’ and add an ‘ies.’ But there are some cases when a word ends in ‘y’, and you just add an ‘s.’

Here are some examples of the change to ‘ies’:

  • Marry > Marries
  • Cherry > Cherries
  • Bury > Buries

Here are some examples of adding ‘s’:

  • Stay > Stays
  • Day > Days
  • Play > Plays

With some words, the ending changes completely. For example:

  • Child > Children
  • Goose > Geese
  • Foot > Feet
  • Leaf > Leaves

Can You Ever Use ‘Mouses’ to Pluralize the Word ‘Mouse’

Using the word ‘mouses’ is never correct. However, if you were talking about the singular possessive or plural possessive forms of the word ‘mouse,’ you’d use either ‘mouse’s’ or ‘mouses’’ respectively.

Singular Possessive Form

In the singular possessive form, you’re talking about ownership by a single person.

Therefore, you’d use the word in a sentence in the following way:

  • The mouse’s little house is so cute.
  • The mouse’s gray fur is thick and soft.

Plural Possessive Form

In plural possessive form, you’re talking about ownership by multiple people (or mice, in this case).

Here are a few examples of how to use the plural possessive form in a sentence:

  • Our mice’s little hotel is adorable.
  • The mice’s cages are on the left when you walk into the lab.
  • We have several computer mice we bought over the years.
  • Those women are the mice of the office, shy and withdrawn.

Using the Plural of Form in a Sentence

 Since you know what mouse means, and the singular and plural possessive forms of the word, let’s discuss how to use the plural form in a sentence.

Here are a few examples:

  • The mice got out of their cages last night.
  • The gray mice are feistier than the white mice, we noticed.
  • My best friend used to have pet mice he kept in a cage near his bed.

Final Thoughts on Using ‘Mice’ Rather Than ‘Mouses’

To recap, you learned that the plural form of ‘mouse’ is ‘mice’ and not ‘mouses.’ You also learned that there is an appropriate time to use the word ‘mouses,’ but with an apostrophe (in the singular possessive form of the word).

It can be tricky trying to remember how to use the plural form of 'mouse' because it's similar to other confusing words, like foot and wife.

For more clarification about confusing English words and commonly misspelled words, be sure to check out our other articles explaining confusing words.

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Written By:
Shanea Patterson
Shanea Patterson is a writer based in New York and loves writing for brands big and small. She has a master's degree in professional writing from New York University and a bachelor's degree in English from Mercy College.

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