'Mongooses' or 'Mongeese': What is the Plural of 'Mongoose'?

By Shanea Patterson, updated on October 28, 2022

‘Mongooses’ or ‘Mongeese’? If you’re wondering about the correct way to pluralize the word 'mongoose' and how to use it in a sentence, this article will cover that and more.

To keep it brief, the plural of ‘mongoose’ is ‘mongoooses,’ not ‘mongeese.’ That might seem weird, considering you’d pluralize ‘goose’ and say ‘geese.’ But this is just one of those words in the English language that seems to follow its own rules.

The Plural of Mongoose

The plural of mongoose is trickier than most words because it seems like it would follow the same rules as the word ‘goose,’ since the word is literally contained within the word ‘mongoose.’ But nope, it would be incorrect to say ‘mongeese.’ The word follows the standard rules for pluralizing nouns.

So, what’s the plural of ‘mongoose’?

What is the Plural of Mongoose

As you’ve already learned, the plural of ‘mongoose’ is ‘mongooses’ and not ‘mongeese,’ which seems to be correct based on the way you pluralize ‘goose.’

Standard Pluralization Rules

The standard rule for pluralizing English nouns is to add an ‘s’ or ‘es’ to the word to make it plural. However, not all words follow this rule.

For example, for words that end in ‘y,’ you’d drop the ‘y’ completely and add an ‘ies.’ Let’s take a look at some examples:

  • Marry > Marries
  • Fairy > Fairies
  • City > Cities
  • Puppy > Puppies

But some words that end in ‘y’ don’t follow that rule. That includes words like:

  • Stay > Stays
  • Day > Days
  • Way > Ways
  • Lay > Lays
  • Boy > Boys
  • Toy > Toys

Then, you’ve got words that don’t change at all in their plural forms. Some examples include:

  • Trout > Trout
  • Shrimp > Shrimp
  • Spacecraft > Spacecraft
  • Swine > Swine
  • Hovercraft > Hovercraft
  • Deer > Deer
  • Sheep > Sheep
  • Aircraft > Aircraft

Definition and Meaning 

The Merriam Webster definition of ‘mongoose’ is “any of numerous long slender carnivorous mammals (family Herpestidae) chiefly of Africa and southern Europe and Asia that are usually ferret-sized agile mammals typically with nonretractile sharp claws, short legs, long tail, and usually brownish or grayish fur sometimes with bands or stripes.”

Cambridge defines it as “a small tropical animal with a long tail that eats snakes, rats, and birds’ eggs.”

Using ‘Mongoose’ and ‘Mongooses’ in a Sentence 

We’ve covered the pluralization and definition of ‘mongoose.’ Now it’s time to learn how to use it correctly in a sentence.

Here’s how to use the singular form in a sentence:

  • Look at that gigantic mongoose over there; it’s bigger than I thought it would be.
  • The mongoose looks similar to the seal.
  • That mongoose looks injured or sick; someone should help it.

Here’s how you’d use the plural form in a sentence:

  • Look at those mongooses fighting in their habitat; they must be sick of each other.
  • We have three mongooses at this zoo, but more are on the way.
  • Mongooses don’t seem like friendly animals; I’m keeping my distance.

Singular and Plural Possessive Forms

The singular possessive form of the word is ‘mongoose’s.’ The plural possessive form is ‘mongooses’.’

The rule are as follows:

To show possession, use an apostrophe and an ‘s’ when dealing with a singular noun.

To show possession when a plural noun ends in ‘s,’ put the apostrophe after the ‘s.’

Here’s how to use the singular possessive form in a sentence:

  • That mongoose’s tail is long and furry.
  • The mongoose’s lunch is two snakes; that should fill it up.
  • The mongoose’s best friend is a meerkat.

Here’s how to use the plural possessive form in a sentence:

  • The mongooses’ habitat is huge; they have plenty of space to play.
  • The mongooses’ family is snuggled around him.
  • The mongooses’ meals are all evenly portioned.

Final Thoughts on Using ‘Mongoose’ and ‘Mongooses’

We’ve learned that the correct way to pluralize the word ‘mongoose’ is ‘mongooses’ and not ‘mongeese.’ Despite that, you’d pluralize ‘goose’ and say ‘geese’ is irrelevant.

Try to remember that when pluralizing that and tricky words like ‘roof’ and ‘buffalo’ follow the standard rules for pluralization. If you find yourself getting stuck, browse our library of confusing words for answers.

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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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