Whether you’re in class, at the pub, or watching TV, you’re likely to find yourself caught up in a quiz. There are so many of them around, those qui…. what is the plural of quiz? Quizs? Quizes? Quizzes? Or simply Quiz? If you’re typing the word, autocorrect will likely help out – or you could go old school and look it up in a dictionary – but let’s have a look to see how you might figure it out for yourself.
Quiz: A Test of Knowledge
If ever there was an appropriate word to learn about, rather than just rely on a spellchecker, it would be the one that means “a test of knowledge”, right? It’s easy to see how the word quiz is used in classrooms, as well as for entertainment in bars, pubs, and on TV.
Less commonly, quiz can also mean a practical joke or someone who mocks; originally, it meant an eccentric person. It can also be used as a verb, as in to quiz someone. In this post, we are considering it as a noun. Whatever its meaning, the plural of this noun is formed in the same way.
Avoiding the Question
You could, of course, simply avoid having to use the plural of quiz by rewording your sentence:
We had a pop quiz in every class today – six in total!
We had six tests today – one in every class.
But that seems like a lot of work when the answer is quite simple!
Knowing the Rules
Quiz is a regular noun, which means that there are rules to help figure out its plural form:
The plural of most regular nouns is formed by adding s on the end.
But quizs is awkward to pronounce, so we need the next rule.
Nouns ending in s, ss, sh, ch, x, orz will have es added to form the plural.
This helps where the noun ends in a similar sound to the plural s – adding es ensures that the plural s is sounded.
So it’s quizes, then?
It might look a bit better, but now there’s a pronunciation problem that affects the vowel sound, so we need the next rule.
Double the final consonant if the e in the es ending would change the vowel sound.
This is because the effect of adding e at the end of a word in English will often change the vowel from a short sound (a single vowel sound – or monophthong, if you want to impress your friends) to a long one (a double vowel sound – or diphthong).
Here, if we went with quizes, the vowel sound “i” would change to sound more like “eye”, so we need to double the final consonant of the original noun.
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So the plural of quiz is quizzes.
You could avoid the issue and use a different choice of words, but by finding out about the plural of quiz, you now know that:
● It’s a regular noun
● You add s to make most regular nouns plural
● You add es to make regular nouns plural if they end in consonants that sound similar to s (s, ss, sh, ch, x, z)
● You double the final consonant of the noun before adding es to preserve its original short vowel sound
● The fancy name for a short vowel sound is monophthong
● The fancy name for a longer vowel sound is diphthong
● The plural of quiz is quizzes
Now you’re all set for all sorts of quizzes!
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