We must have come across the term ‘journeys’ quite a number of times. But then wait, what do you mean by ‘journies’? Does a word like this even exist in our dictionary? Before you get confused, let us explain. In this article, we are trying to find out the correct plural version of the noun ‘journey’.
All of us have studied the topic of “Singular and Plural” as part of our grammar lessons during our school days. If you think that this topic is extremely easy, well you are not completely wrong here, but it has its own rules.
Before going further into the core of this article, let us dig a little into the basics. What is a plural, or rather, a plural noun? A plural noun represents many objects or instances of a single object. Hence, the plural form of ‘pencil’ becomes ‘pencils’, the plural of ‘dog’ is ‘dogs’, and so on.
All about Plural Formation
If you recollect, not all plural nouns end with the letter ‘s’. The above examples were quite simple. However, this topic could get complicated as we study it further. You could get confused in deciding the correct plural of a particular noun. And ‘journey’ is one such word. Now, why is there so much confusion? And is there any way of understanding how these plural forms are determined? Of course, there are certain ways and techniques to determine the correct plural version of a noun.
There are a few rules defined for forming plural nouns. Once you understand this concept thoroughly, trust us, you will find this concept very simple. How many of us remember all the conditions for forming the plural of a particular noun? Well, one may think about what is so difficult in getting the correct plural form. But this can be quite confusing at times.
For instance, take the word ‘battery’. Undoubtedly, its plural form will be ‘batteries’, which is quite obvious. Come to the word ‘butterfly’. Its plural is obviously ‘butterflies’. Notice above that both ‘battery’ and ‘butterfly’ end with the letter ‘y’. Accordingly, the letter ‘y’ has been cut out in its plural version and instead we have ‘ies’ appended to it. Now you may wonder that the same rule follows for all words ending with ‘y’. However, you are wrong here.
Now, we will come back to the core concept of this article. Let us consider the noun ‘journey’. What do you think is the plural form of the word ‘journey’? Is it ‘journies’ or ‘journeys’? Some of you would put the correct answer as ‘journeys’, there are a few others who also think that the answer is ‘journies’.
In this article, we will delve deeper into this concept and will give you an idea about the rules revolving around the plural formation and how they are derived. Once you finish reading this article, you will have a good idea of what is the correct plural form of ‘journey’ and why is it so. We will also give you a few examples which will help you in understanding this concept better.
Correct usage of Journey vs Journies
How ‘journey’ originated
Before we jump into all the details concerning the grammatical rules involved while forming plurals, let us understand what the word ‘journey’ implies and how it originated.
The word ‘journey’ originates from an old French word ‘jornee’. People used this word to explain how their day went. ‘Jornee’ was also used to describe anything related to travel.
Meaning and Implication of Journey
What does the term ‘journey’ mean? To explain it in simple words, it refers to any kind of movement from one location to another. This is a word that can be used instead of ‘travel’ or ‘trip’. The term journey more precisely implies a long trip. For instance, when you are traveling a long distance trip by air, water, or even land, you can say that you will be going on a ‘journey.’
People also use this word to describe their ‘journey’ when they are on a spiritual path. For instance, when someone prays religiously every day, they are said to be on a journey closer to God.
The term is also used when people face challenging times in their life. They use it to explain a ‘tough journey’ in their lives.
There has been a lot of confusion about the correct plural version of ‘journey’. While grammar experts maintain the fact that the precise plural form is ‘journeys’, there are a few out there who believe that it should be ‘journies’, as most words ending with the letter ‘y’ have the string ‘ies’ appended to the word. Let us find out what is the correct answer.
Exceptions and Outliers
How does one determine the correct plural form of words ending with ‘y’? Before answering this question, understand that words ending in ‘y’ can be divided into 2 categories.
1. Words where a consonant precedes the letter ‘Y’
Let us again consider the example of ‘battery’. In this word, notice that the letter ‘r’, a consonant, appears before ‘y’. For such words, the plural is formed by dropping the letter ‘y’ and appending ‘ies’ to the remaining word. Hence, the plural of battery is batteries.
As we have explained above, whenever a noun ends with ‘consonant + y’, its plural form will have ‘ies’ added to the rest of the word. Hence, going by this logic, the plural of ‘battery’ becomes ‘batter +ies’ which is ‘batteries’. The letter ‘y’ is removed from the original word and is replaced by ‘ies’. The same logic follows for words like ‘butterfly’, ‘cavity’, ‘property’, and so on.
The table below gives a list of all words ending with a ‘consonant + y’ combination. Notice how the string ‘ies’ replaces the letter ‘y’ in the plural.
2. Words where a vowel precedes the letter ‘Y’
Not all the words ending with ‘y’ have ‘ies’ in their plural. There is an exception to this rule. What is that exception? We have a few words in which the letter ‘y’ is preceded by a vowel. Now the word ‘journey’ belongs to this category.
In this word, observe that before ‘y’, there is a vowel (e) present. As per the rules defined within the English language, whenever a word ends with a ‘vowel + y’ combination, then the plural form of such words includes the letter ‘s’ after the word. Hence, as per this rule, the plural form of ‘journey’ is ‘journeys’, and not ‘journies’.
Even if the logic of ‘ies’ replacing ‘y’ in the plural form was true for all words ending with ‘y’, the plural of ‘journey’ would have become ‘journeies’ and never ‘journies’. Or we can put it even this way – if the plural has to be ‘journies’, then the original word should be ‘journy’. And we all know that such a word does not exist in our English dictionary.
Other Similar Words
Not only the word ‘journey’ but there are also a few other words that end with a ‘vowel +y’ combination. The plural for these words is formed just by adding an ‘s’ after the word.
When is the term ‘journey’ used in a phrase or a sentence?
The term ‘journey’ has many synonyms. They include trips, travel, and voyage. Now you may wonder that when all these words have similar meanings, when can you exclusively use the term ‘journey’ in a sentence or a phrase?
Let us understand what each of these words implies and when you can use them.
- Journey: It refers to the process of moving from one place to another. The term ‘journey’ is used when you travel once in a while.
- Travel: ‘Travel’ also implies going from one place to another; however, this is more frequent when compared to ‘journey’.
There may be a little bit of confusion here. Looking at the descriptions above, one may feel that both ‘travel’ and ‘journey’ are exactly the same and one word can be used in place of the other. However, that is not the case. Let us see why.
‘Travel’ is used in the case of multiple movements. Basically, it is a mass noun and the article ‘a’ can never precede it.
Consider the following examples:
- Julia is planning a travel to Europe (Incorrect)
- Julia is planning to travel to Europe (Correct)
On the other hand, check out how the term ‘journey’ can be used in the above example.
- Julia is planning a journey to Europe.
- Trip: A trip is a long one. It refers to going to a particular place and coming back. A trip consists of many journeys. For example, when you go to Paris from London, it is a journey, however, if you move from London-> Paris-> Greece-> Switzerland-> London, then it is a trip.
Check out the following examples.
- I am going on a trip across Canada..
- I will be taking a journey to Canada this week.
- Voyage: The term ‘voyage’ is used to describe any sea or space journey. Voyages may take months or even years to complete.
The term ‘journey’ is also used many times with references to certain spiritual practices. For instance, if you are into the habit of offering prayers regularly, meditating quite often, and visiting places of religious interest, then you are said to be on a spiritual journey path.
Examples and Famous Quotes/Phrases
Now, let us look at some sentences where the term ‘journeys’ can be used.
- The members of this troupe have gone on many long journeys together.
- Spiritual journeys invite immense satisfaction and mental peace.
- Long journeys can be quite exhaustive and cumbersome.
- Parents should support and inspire children in all of their learning journeys.
- His journeys kept him busy for a decade.
- People who undertake spiritual journeys in their life go a long way.
- Our life can involve many journeys. Each one could be challenging in its own way.
- Meditation is a part of conquering a spiritual journey.
- Our entire life is a beautiful journey.
- She is on the last leg of a three-month-long journey across Europe.
Some famous quotes that use ‘journey’
Many people have quoted the term ‘journey’ in various motivational quotes. Take a look below.
- The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step – Lao Tzu
- Sometimes it’s more about the journey than the destination – Jamal Crawford
- Every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home – Matsuo Basho
- Hope is like the sun, which, as we journey toward it, casts the shadow of our burden behind us – Samuel Smiles
- It’s not an easy journey, to get to a place where you forgive people. But it is such a powerful place because it frees you – Tyler Perry
- The only impossible journey is the one you never begin – Tony Robbins
- The journey is the reward – Chinese proverb
- Life is just a journey – Princess Diana
- Life is a journey, and if you fall in love with the journey, you will be in love forever – Peter Hagerty
- A journey is best measured in friends rather than miles – Tim Cahill
Plural formation rules for nouns ending with words other than ‘Y’
The above plural formation rules were all about nouns ending with ‘vowel +y’ and ‘consonant + y’. Let us check the rules of plural formation for nouns ending with different combinations of letters.
- For nouns ending with ‘s’, ‘ss’, ‘ch’, ‘sh’, ‘x’, and ‘z’, the plural version is formed by adding the string ‘es’ at the end of the word. Some examples of these types of words are as follows.
Exceptions to this rule
There are a few exceptions within this rule. The plural form of some words ending with ‘ch’ will have only the letter ‘s’ after the word rather than an ‘es’. For instance, the plural of ‘patriarch’ is ‘patriarchs’, and the plural of ‘stomach’ is ‘stomachs’. We do not have anything like ‘patriarches’ or ‘stomaches’ in the English dictionary.
- For words ending with ‘o’, the plural is formed by appending ‘es’ after ‘o’. Check out the examples below for better clarity.
There are some exceptions to this rule too. Plurals of some nouns ending with ‘o’ are formed just by adding the letter ‘s’ instead of ‘es’. Check them out.
The plural of ‘volcano’ can be either ‘volcanoes’ or even ‘volcanos’. Both are correct.
- For nouns that end with two vowels, the plural is formed simply by adding the letter ‘s’ to the word. Take a look.
- When a word ends with ‘f’ or ‘fe’, then the plural is formed by dropping the letters ‘f’ or ‘fe’ and adding ‘ves’. Have a look at the examples below to have better clarity.
There are a few exceptions to this rule as well. A few words ending with ‘f’ have their plural versions formed simply by adding an ‘s’. Take a look.
- Some words remain the same in their plural form. Have a look below.
- There are certain nouns whose plural is formed by changing the vowels in the singular version. These types of nouns are called irregular nouns. Check them out below.
Now, after going through all the rules of plural formation, you must have got a very good clarity on why the plural of ‘journey’ is ‘journeys’ and not ‘journies’. So the next time when someone asks you this question, you know the correct answer and also the explanation for it. Not just for this one, but we are sure that you would crack the plural of any noun since your concepts are clear by now.
Getting some plural words could be quite tricky, however, if you are thorough with all the plural formation rules, you should find this topic quite simple. We sincerely hope and wish that you undertake many successful ‘journeys’ throughout your life!
What is the plural of ‘journies’?
There is no noun called ‘journies’. Hence it cannot have a plural.
When should I use travel journey?
Whenever there is a reference to travel from one place to another, the term ‘journey’ comes into the picture.
Is journeys with an apostrophe?
There is no apostrophe in journeys. It is just a plural word. The letter ‘s’ is appended at the end.
Is journeys a correct spelling?
Yes. It is the plural of ‘journey’ and it is correct.