Monkies or Monkeys? What is the plural of Monkey?

Changing words from singular form to plural form is one of the most common English grammar mistakes that people make. The only grammatically correct way to make the word ‘monkey’ plural, is by adding an ‘s’ to the end of the word, making it ‘monkeys.’ 

Continue reading on to learn more about the definition and etymology of monkey, English grammar rules for changing singular nouns into plural nouns with examples, and how to use both the singular and plural forms of monkey correctly within a sentence.

Definition and Etymology of Monkey

According to an Etymology Dictionary, the word “monkey” may have originated in a German version of the Reynard the Fox legend, which was published around 1580 and is said to have inspired the term. This version of the fable features a figure by the name of Moneke, who happens to be the offspring of Martin the Ape.

Monkeys are, of course, small primates that live in tropical areas, mostly in trees. They are mostly known for their long tails and human-like hands with opposable thumbs.

Monkeys or Monkies, Which is Correct?

To make the word ‘monkey’ plural, you simply add an ‘s’ at the end of the word. This can sometimes be confusing because it goes against the traditional grammar rules for turning singular words into plural ones.

English Grammar Rules for Plurality

In the English language, to turn something from a singular form into a plural one, you must first look at the ending of the word and the letter that directly precedes it. The general rule of thumb is that a word that ends in a ‘y’ will have the ‘y’ changed to ‘ies’ to form the plural version.

There is an exception to this rule, however, and it features the preceding letter to the ‘y.’ If the word ends in ‘y’ and has a vowel that directly precedes it, you will use only an ‘s’ to make it plural instead of the more common ‘ies.’

An example of this is changing ‘party’ to ‘parties’ because the letter preceding the ‘y’ is a consonant. The word ‘chimney’ on the other hand, would be changed to ‘chimneys’ to make it plural because the letter preceding the ‘y’ is a vowel.

Using Monkeys: An Example

To refer to more than one monkey in a sentence, making the word plural, is quite simple. Just by adding an ‘s’ to the end, you can turn one monkey into one hundred if you like. Examples of using monkey in the plural form are:

  • The monkeys in India will take food right out of your hand.
  • There are monkeys in Puerto Rico that came there accidentally.
  • The monkeys in the Amazon are dangerous and should be left alone.