lifes lives

Lifes or Lives? What is the difference?

“Lives” is the plural of the noun “life”. “Lifes” is incorrect in English.

We only have one life.

A cat has nine lives.

Why is it Lives and not lifes?

The word life has an irregular plural because it ends in “fe”.

Many nouns in English that finish in “f” or “fe” change their ending to “ves”.

Common examples include:


Shelf—> Shelves

Life —> Lives


Lives or Lives(Verb vs Noun)

The verb “to live” is the same spelling in the third person singular.

He lives down the road from me

The difference is in the pronunciation. 


The verb “lives” is pronounced \lĭvz\

The “i” sound is the same as in “gives”


The plural noun “lives” is pronounced \līvz\

The “i” sound is the same as in “drives”


Remember “lifes” is incorrect and not used in English.

Questions from students

Is it “Their life” or “Their lives”?

“Their lives” is usually correct as if we are talking about people in the plural then we need “life” in the plural which is “lives

 Their lives are as important as other people’s.

Is it “Life together” or “Lives together”?

“Lives together” is correct if you are talking about two people. 

They are going to spend their lives together.

Is it “People’s life” or “People’s lives”? 

“People’s lives” is correct because “people” is plural and therefore you need a plural noun.

You shouldn’t mess with people’s lives. 

Is it “Everyone’s life” or Everyone’s Lives”?

“Everyone’s life” is correct because “everyone” is a singular word. 

Everyone’s life is valuable.

Is it “Saving lifes” or “Saving Lives”?

“Saving lives” is correct. “Saving lifes” is never correct.

This vaccine is saving lives.

Is it “Family’s life” or Family’s Lives”?

Both “Family’s life” and “Family’s Lives” are possible. I prefer “Family’s lives”

Our family’s lives are at risk.