Submitted by barnes on July 20, 2010

Plural of Yes

How do I correctly write YES as a plural. Example: # of Yes’s.

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The Oxford American Dictionary accepts both yeses and yesses. Also gases and gasses. Compare "bus" and "buses" and I think "yeses" gets the win.

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Glad retired English teacher is retired. A bit of work on apostrophes and use of italics required. See me after class. Yeses, as in buses.

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I believe "Yesses" is correct. It looks really funny, I know.

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Retired English Teacher: I believe your rule applies only to numbers (in numeral form, not spelt out) and single letters, not words. So your first example (3's) is correct, but your second (that's) isn't. It's yeses.

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There is one snag to this discussion. When referring to an actual word or number, the word is italicized and then an apostrophe s is added. For example, My phone number has two 3's in it. You have too many that's in your sentence. So I think it should be yes's. But then there is the rule that when a noun ends in s, the plural is formed by adding -es. So it could be yes'es but that looks funny. I will check various dictionaries.

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Vot or me please

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The correct plural is yeses. Nouns ending in -s (focus or excess, for example) generally are made plural simply by adding -es.

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Yesses is correct

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yes plural is AYES, this is correct

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AGREED... ?

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My original instinct was yeses. As long as its acceptable - I'm happy.

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I'm pretty sure it should be yeses, like buses and gases (as already mentioned).
Is the plural of no "noes"?

Kenneth - I don't think you can say "numbers of yes" any more than you can say "numbers of person". There's only one number so it shouldn't be plural (unlike "types of cake" where there are several types). That's my take on it anyway - I might be wrong.

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'Yes' can be a countable noun - "I'll take that as a yes, then", so we can definitely have a plural, and don't need to resort to apostrophes (yes's). Dictionaries seem to give two possibilities - 'yesses' and 'yeses', (although I'm getting red-lined for the double s version). Personally, I prefer 'yesses' - why?

If you simply add 'es' to yes, the e could look as though it was hardening the s, so it looks as though it might sound like 'yezes'. The example of 'focus' is not the same, as the stress or accent falls on 'fo', not 'us', and 'excess' already has a double s. 'Yeses' simply looks a bit odd to me.

On the other hand, for gas, my dictionary gives 'gases' (less frequently 'gasses'), and as someone else pointed out - buses.

@Chris B - Yes, the plural of no is noes (according to two dictionaries I checked) . And I agree - 'The number of yes(s)es was higher than the number of noes'.

As far as I know, we only use plurals of yes and no like this when talking of votes, so we could avoid the whole problem by simply saying - "The yes votes easily outnumbered the no votes"

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As an aside, when I was a kid living in the UK I wondered what the hell the "eyes to the right" and "nose to the left" meant.

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Too funny, before I looked at this website, I sent a response to a coworker using every single answer on this page...Wow what a pain the in the english! Thanks for your approval...

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The plural form of "yes" is "yeses" i checked microsoft word if you dont believe me check there.

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Well if Microsoft say so, it must be right (!). I think I will stick with Oxford, which gives me a choice. And my choice will continue to be 'yesses' for the reasons I've given above. Admittedly the only other countable one syllable words with a vowel followed by s I can find are bus and gas, where single s is standard, which rather destroys my argument. But I just prefer the look of yesses to yeses. Luckily, I doubt that I will ever have to put this to the test in real life.

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Let's get back to Yea and Nay.
The plurals are easier.

:-))

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Is it correct to also say the numbers of yes, as one would say the types of cake?

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@Chris B - Good one! That took me a second or two to work out - at my school we got dressed up as soldiers twice a week and did drill, and I was getting confused with "Eyes right", but I take it you're talking about voting in the House of Commons.

I have a similar confession - for years I had come across the the past form "misled" in books, but wasn't aware of having heard it. Having read it lots of times, I knew exactly what it meant, but always assumed it was the past of that well-known verb - to misle. It was only when I heard it on the radio one day that I realised my mistake. What an idiot I felt! But I've since discovered that I'm not the only one to have made that particular mistake.

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I'd be more inclined to go for 'yes's as then you are acknowledging that there technically is no plural of 'yes'

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