Plural of 'Yes' and 'No': Yes, Yesses, Yeses, Nos, No's, Noes - Which is Correct?

By Carly Forsaith, updated on February 13, 2023

'Yes' and 'no': two common words we hear and often use in the English language. But what about their plural form? Have you ever wondered what the plural of 'yes' and 'no' is? That's what we'll learn about today.

In short:

  • The two acceptable plural forms of 'yes' are 'yeses' and 'yesses,'
  • The two acceptable plural forms of 'no,' are 'noes' or 'nos.'

What's the Plural of 'Yes' and 'No'?

'Yes,' and 'no' are two words used to either affirm something or negate it. For example:

Would you like to go to dinner tonight or no?

Yes, I'd love to.

The question of how to pluralize 'yes' and 'no' is a tricky one. After all, these two words aren't often used in the plural form. That's because they are most often adverbs, and adverbs don't have a plural. However, there are some instances when they can be nouns, and those are the times when you might need to use the plural form.

We'll talk more about that later and look at some examples of 'yes' and 'no' used in their plural form. For now, let me just say that although you'll find many alternatives suggested on the internet, there are only two different options for when you want to pluralize these two words. Those are:

Yes → yeses/yesses

No → nos/noes

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary confirms this.

A Note on Using Apostrophes for Plurals

A variant you'll often see is yes's, and no's. I want to take this opportunity to remind you that apostrophes aren't intended to pluralize nouns. They are used to denote possession or as contractions.

Therefore, it doesn't make sense to use yes's and no's as the plural forms of 'yes' and 'no.'

Pronunciation: How to Pronounce the Plural of 'Yes' and 'No'

I'm sure you know how to pronounce 'yes' and 'no,' but do you know how to pronounce their plural forms? Here's how to pronounce 'yeses' or 'yesses':

[ yes - iz]

And 'nos' or 'noes':

[ nohz ]

The pronunciation for 'nos' is the same as the word 'nose,' that body part you use to smell things.

The International Phonetics Alphabet spells them like this:

/ yɛs ɪz/

/ noʊz /

When to Use the Plural of 'Yes' and 'No'

So now you know the plural version of these two words, when exactly should you use them? It's important to understand that you can only pluralize the noun form, not the adverb form. So when you're using the words in their noun form, feel free to pluralize them.

I'll show you some sentence examples so you can better understand how to use them in context.

How many yeses do we need to make it to the next round?

He's burning bridges with his constant nos.

Doing this job requires a lot of patience; the ratio of nos to yeses is very high.

I'm going to scrap this project altogether if we get any more nos.

If you mainly checked yeses, you might qualify for a free exam.

Concluding Thoughts

That concludes this article on the plural forms of 'yes' and 'no. To summarize:

  • 'Yeses' and 'yesses' are the preferred plural forms of 'yes'
  • Use 'nos' or 'noes' for 'no'

And if you'd like to learn about more confusing words, check out our blog.

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Written By:
Carly Forsaith
Carly Forsaith is one of the lead freelance writers for Carly is a copywriter who has been writing about the English language for over 3 years. Before that, she was a teacher in Thailand, helping people learn English as a second language. She is a total grammar nerd and spends her time spotting language errors on signs and on the internet.

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