What is the Plural of Crisis?

by Robert Harrell | 0 comments

Ever have a crisis? It can be a crisis of conscience, an economic crisis, a moral crisis, or something else. But what if you have more than one? What do you have then?

What is the plural of crisis?

To put it simply, you have multiple crises.

Crisis forms its plural differently from the standard rules for plurals because there is an internal vowel change. Crisis becomes crises.

The standard rules for forming plurals

So, what are the standard rules for forming plurals?

1a. Most of the time, you add -s. For example, songs, words, cows, horses.

1b. When a word ends with SS, X, CH, or SH, then add -es to the end. That gives us words like presses, boxes, churches, and lashes.

The rules are more complex than this and include what to do with words that end with O, with F or FE, with Y, and with S or Z. And these are just the variants of the “standard plurals.” Then there are the unusual (or irregular) plurals.

Tips for mastering unusual plurals in English

Mastering unusual plurals in English requires lots of exposure to them, and there are some patterns, but not a lot of rules. Fortunately for us, crisis falls into a pattern: words that end with SIS form their plural by changing to SES. We see this in paralyses, oases, nemeses, and more. Examples:

If you have more than one hunger crisis, you have hunger crises. (The same for humanitarian crisis which becomes humanitarian crises when plural.)
A minor crisis becomes a series of minor crises when one comes after another.
A family crisis is a set of family crises if you have multiple at once or over time.
A budget crisis becomes budget crises, similar to a financial crisis turning to crises when there's more than one.

Examples of crises in a sentence

Here are some sentences that show you how to use crises in a sentence.

“The world has survived two world wars and many other crises, for which we should be grateful.”

“Learn about the world's worst crises and what can be done to help.” (International Rescue Committee)

“‘The New Humanitarian' publishes an annual list of the top ten crises in the world.”

“In this article, we’ll talk about what a crisis means and the different types of crises, along with examples of crises that might affect you or someone you love.” (VeryWellMind)

“There are several types of crises that can occur in the workplace.” (Indeed)

Unusual plurals can be tricky at times, but with practice, you'll start spotting them right away. 

Are there any plurals that give you trouble? Share in the comments


Now it's your turn. Do one of the following:

1. Do an internet search for articles about global crises and note how the word is used.

2. Take 15 minutes and a short piece using crises and other -sis-word plurals. Here are some suggestions: psychosis, thesis, basis, nemesis, oasis, stasis, diagnosis, ellipsis. Use as many as you can.

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