Loan words - plural

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Advice Leaflets

Advice leaflets originally produced for the Study Advice Service in the University of Hull, which holds the copyright:

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Some words are essentially used in English only in their plural form. Some of these are in the table below. Words listed in square brackets [ ] do not usually occur in English in that form, even in the most academic writing.

[It may help to know that et in Latin (and French) means 'and'.]

Usual (plural) form Original Singular Comments
agenda agendum = the things that are to be done.
alia [alium] = other things.
alii [alius] = other people
alumni alumnus (m), alumnae (f) (former) student, (former) pupil
arcana [arcanum] = 'the secret things', only revealed to initiates.
cetera [ceterum] = the other things, as in et cetera
corrigenda corrigendum = the things that should be corrected.
data datum The singular datum is rare nowadays.
delenda delendum = the things that are to be deleted.
emendenda emendendum = the things that should be changed.
impedimenta impedimentum = baggage. The Latin singular ~ impediment.
marginalia marginalium
miscellanea miscellaneum = miscellany.
paraphernalia [paraphernalium The singular paraphernal exists in English. But it is rare.

See also: Some examples of foreign plurals used in academic English and Table of common loan words usually taking the singular form