'Women' or 'woman': these two words only differ by one letter. So which one should you use? That's what you'll learn in this article.
In short, 'women' is the plural form of 'woman.' A woman is a person of the female gender.
Whether or not you should use 'women' or 'woman' will depend on the context. Are you talking about a single person or two or more individuals?
But let's start by looking at the meaning of the word' woman.'
'Woman' is a noun, and the Cambridge Dictionary defines it as:
- "an adult female human being"
- "an adult who lives and identifies as female though they may have been said to have a different sex at birth."
'Women' is the plural noun form of 'woman.'
Though the two words look very similar, that one-letter difference changes how the word is pronounced.
The word 'woman' sounds like this:
[ wum-uhn ]
Whereas the word 'women' sounds like this:
[ wim-in ]
Notice how the 'o' changes sound, too, simply because there's an 'e' in the second syllable instead of an 'a'.
The International Phonetics Alphabet spells them like this:
/ ˈwʊm ən /
/ ˈwɪm ɪn /
Now we'll look at some examples of these two words in a sentence. We'll start with 'woman.'
Have you met Miss Harold yet? She's the woman standing by the coffee machine.
I saw a woman flee from the scene.
The woman entered the room with urgency.
I helped the woman get across the busy road.
It's a women-led organization.
The women all got together to discuss the next course of action.
Far too often, we see young women forced into a mold that doesn't work for them.
The two French woman sat and had coffee.
There are many differences between men and women but many similarities too.
I hope you now feel more confident in understanding the two words, how they differ, and when to use them. To summarize:
If you found this article helpful and want to continue improving your English grammar skills, visit our Confusing Words blog.