‘Tomato’ or ‘Tomatoes’: What is the Plural of ‘Tomato’?

By Shanea Patterson, updated on October 18, 2022

‘Tomato’ is one of those rare words in the English language that’s treated somewhat differently when it comes to its plural form.

The plural form of tomato is ‘tomatoes.’ It’s not 'tomato,' although some plural words don’t require an ‘s’ at the end.

What are the Rules for Plurals in English?

In most cases, you’d get the plural form of a word by simply adding ‘s’ or ‘es.’

For example:

  • Dish > Dishes
  • Clip > Clips
  • Bed > Beds
  • Folder > Folders
  • Paper > Papers

However, there are some exceptions. While you’d add ‘s’ or ‘es’ to most words to get their plural forms, some words (like words that end in ‘y’) require something different. Words that end in ‘y’ require you to drop the y and add ‘ies.’

For example, the following words end in ‘y’ and would need to be changed in the following ways:

  • Envy > Envies
  • Bakery > Bakeries
  • Canopy > Canopies
  • Delivery > Deliveries
  • Factory > Factories

Some nouns that end in ‘y’ are treated differently. For example:

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

Some words have almost a totally different ending when in their plural forms, such as:

  • Calf > Calves
  • Life > Lives
  • Knife > Knives

Words Similar to the Plural of Tomato

Some words are treated very similarly to the word ‘tomato,’ such as the following words:

  • Potato > potatoes
  • Hero > heroes
  • Torpedo > Torpedoes
  • Echo > Echoes
  • Veto > Vetoes

Why the Plural of ‘Tomato’ Isn’t ‘Tomato’

Had you not read the above information, you might have been tempted to spell the plural of ‘tomato’ as ‘tomato’ or tomatos,’ but neither spelling is correct.

Tomato gets treated slightly differently than most words in the English language, as you’ve seen above.

English is made up of a combination of other languages. That means the origins of words are different, which is why there are different ways to pluralize different words.

Terms or Phrases Using ‘Tomato’ or ‘Tomatoes’ 

  • A hot tomato (an attractive female)
  • Rotten tomato or tomatoes (unpleasant or undesirable person/people or thing(s))
  • Tomato can (a very bad boxer)

‘Tomato’ Is and ‘Tomatoes’ Are

When using ‘tomato’ or ‘tomatoes’ in a sentence, it’s helpful to know the correct way to use each word. Here are some examples.

  • Singular: That tomato is ripe.
  • Plural: Those tomatoes are ripe.

The singular form of the word uses the word “is” after it, while the plural form uses “are.”

Final Thoughts on Using ‘Tomato’ and ‘Tomatoes’

Similar to ‘potato,’ the word ‘tomato’ follows special spelling rules for pluralization, which includes adding an ‘es’ to the end of the word when you’re talking about multiple tomatoes. Words like journey and equipment can be tricky.

To remember how to spell the plural version of the word, remember that it rhymes with potato (which has the same last three letters when spelled in plural form).

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