A lot of people struggle with making the plural form of the word ‘cactus.’ It can be tricky, especially when there are multiple plural forms of the word and you’re trying to remember which is correct.
To make it plain and simple, the plural of ‘cactus’ is ‘cacti’ or ‘cactuses.’ Both forms are used, although, in America, you might hear ‘cactuses’ more often.
So, you just learned that there are a few acceptable ways to make the plural version of the word ‘cactus.’
The general rule for pluralizing most English words is to add an 's' or 'es.' Take a look at some examples:
Some words that end in 'y,' have to be changed a bit differently. To pluralize some nouns that end in 'y,' you'd drop the 'y' and add an 'ies.' Check out some examples:
However, some words don't follow this rule because they might have a different origin.
Some people mistakenly believe that ‘cactus’ falls into the category of some words in the English language that don’t change when they’re pluralized. Some examples include:
The word has Latin origins and derives from the plural cacti. While this was originally the correct way to pluralize the word, it’s also become acceptable to use ‘cactuses,’ thanks to people using it all the time. New words get added to the dictionary all the time, and ‘cactuses’ was apparently one of them.
Merriam-Webster defines ‘cactus’ as: “any family (Cactaceae, the cactus family) of plants that have succulent stems and branches with scales or spines instead of leaves and are found especially in dry areas (such as deserts).”
The Cambridge dictionary defines it as: “any of many types of desert plant, usually with sharp spines (=long points) and thick stems for storing water.”
Now that we’ve gone over how to pluralize the word and how to define it, we can talk about how to use it in a sentence.
Take a look at a few examples of how to use the singular form in a sentence:
Take a look at a few examples of how to use the plural form in a sentence:
Now let’s discuss the singular and plural possessive forms of the word, which may come up at some point, so it helps to know them.
The singular possessive form of ‘cactus’ is ‘cactus’s.’ The plural possessive form of the word is ‘cacti’s.’
To use the singular possessive form in a sentence, follow this example:
To use the plural possessive form in a sentence, follow this example:
To recap, we’ve learned that the plural form of ‘cactus’ is ‘cacti’ or ‘cactuses.’ Both forms are acceptable to use.
To help you remember how to pluralize the word correctly, remember it’s similar to words like shrimp and trout, which have multiple acceptable plural forms.
If you’re ever struggling with confusing words or plurals, check out our library of confusing words.
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