Is the plural of roof, roofs or rooves?

(51 Posts)
overtherainbow Tue 19-Jun-07 21:12:58

My DD(6) came home with her spellings today - she has to change the list of nouns into plurals. They are for example: elf, roof, branch, stitch. I thought 1 roof = roof, more than 1 = roofs. Am I wrong?

bramblina Tue 19-Jun-07 21:14:19

I think anything ending in f becomes ves. Like leaf, leaves.

bramblina Tue 19-Jun-07 21:14:42

elf, elves.

bramblina Tue 19-Jun-07 21:15:50

It's definitely rooves and elves but as for the rule, not sure if everything ends that way.

ahundredtimes Tue 19-Jun-07 21:16:03

Yes is roofs, pronounced rooves, but spelt roofs.

slayerette Tue 19-Jun-07 21:16:16

No, just checked in dictionary and it's roofs.

slayerette Tue 19-Jun-07 21:16:50

X-post, ahundredtimes!

wombat2 Tue 19-Jun-07 21:16:51

I thought it was roofs...

Desiderata Tue 19-Jun-07 21:17:20

That's a 'very' interesting question.

When I was young (a long time ago), the plural of roof was rooves.

And yet, I haven't seen it spelt like that for ages. I have actually seen 'roofs' being used in lots of children's books lately, and I'm wondering whether it's changed.

I suspect that both are applicable, but that the school will take 'a certain line' which, of course, will be the correct one

The OED is your only recourse!

Pruners Tue 19-Jun-07 21:17:21

Message withdrawn

wombat2 Tue 19-Jun-07 21:17:22

Same - much too slow!

Pixiefish Tue 19-Jun-07 21:17:31


both are correct. I believe roofs is a more recent version though but it's def OK.

not all things that end in f have a v plural. proof > proofs etc

NormaSnorks Tue 19-Jun-07 21:17:35

NO! It's Roofs, but elves.

Check if you're not convinced!

CristinaTheAstonishing Tue 19-Jun-07 21:18:09

roofs but wolves

eucalyptus Tue 19-Jun-07 21:18:14

I think roofs is the exception though?

wheresthehamster Tue 19-Jun-07 21:18:22

And yet hoof/hooves. is US though. think rooves might be the UK version.

UCM Tue 19-Jun-07 21:18:53

elves roofs branches stitches

MorningtonCrescent Tue 19-Jun-07 21:18:55


chuff chuffs

AttilaTheMum Tue 19-Jun-07 21:20:08

Chamber's dictionary also says roofs. It was roofs when I was young too. (and I'm nearly 10 years older than Desi......)

UCM Tue 19-Jun-07 21:21:09

Roofs doesn't look right, I agree.

Will consult the Oxford Wordfinder

it says

pl. roofs or disp. rooves

So what the fuck does disp. mean??

Pruners Tue 19-Jun-07 21:21:13

Message withdrawn

Pruners Tue 19-Jun-07 21:21:29

Message withdrawn

wheresthehamster Tue 19-Jun-07 21:22:33

Debated here

ahundredtimes Tue 19-Jun-07 21:22:55

I have never in all my born days seen the word rooves written down anywhere. Is madness, I am Disputing it!

scatterbrain Tue 19-Jun-07 21:23:40

It is roofs - I got stood up front in assembly when I was 9 and told off for repeatedly writing rooves beacuse I thought it was right ! says they have no entry for rooves.

It's surely roofs.

glyn Tue 19-Jun-07 21:24:51

It's def. roofs. Many words take the -ves in the plural, but not all!

UCM Tue 19-Jun-07 21:25:16

I would bet money on it being 'Roofs', the Readers Digest Oxford complete wordfinder is never wrong.

since when was any sort of authority?

I'd get out me enormous Oxford, but it's packed.

LynetteScavo Tue 19-Jun-07 21:25:36

I checked the Oxford A-Z of Spelling, which says;

roof noun and verb
The most usual plural of roof i roofs, although rooves is sometimes used.

bramblina Tue 19-Jun-07 21:26:43

Pruners, is it really not dwarves?
Desiderata, thank you! However, punctuation and spelling are definitely changing and it is wrong, wrong, wrong. Harrods and Boots have even dropped their apostrophe as they thing it looks "better"

Senorapostrophe, I was only saying it didn't exist on there.. not that they were any kind of authority.


UCM Tue 19-Jun-07 21:27:41

But how many times have any of you written 'roofs' unless of course you was a chav who had a daughter called Ruth and you woz writin to yer geezer in nick.

Then you could say 'Roofs teef are fru'

Apart from that I could never understand anyone writing that down at all. I am only interested in my 'roof'. If the others are buggered, not my problem.

overtherainbow Tue 19-Jun-07 21:27:55

The reason I ask is because at the top of the list she has the guide - spelling pattern: plurals: add 'es' or change f for v and add 'es'. That will make roof into rooves - Surely the school would realise that roof is roofs not rooves. Or maybe not and I am the confused one and went to the wrong school.

Desiderata Tue 19-Jun-07 21:28:04

Ah, but hold old are you, 100X? In my day, rooves was in liberal use.

But I like the earlier answer. It's best to spell it roofs, but we tend to pronounce it rooves ... so there's something for everyone.

Pruners Tue 19-Jun-07 21:28:36

Message withdrawn

Desiderata Tue 19-Jun-07 21:29:06

I agree, Rainbow, that it's an unintelligent question for a school to pose.

Both uses are acceptable, so no pupil can technically be wrong in their reply.

s'alright fireflyfairy. I'm not upset or anything.

overtherainbow Tue 19-Jun-07 21:33:06

I am 29 and only have one roof but didn't think my spelling was too bad when I was at school.

UCM Tue 19-Jun-07 21:40:04

Am I the only person on here who didn't actually believe in dwarfs or fecking dwarves, they don't exist, only in snow white.

and anyway doesn't even list "clagnut"

dwarfs do exist actually, UCM. but they don't necessarily have long ginger beards or live underground.

overtherainbow Tue 19-Jun-07 21:42:05

Thanks for all the replies I will probably advise her to write roofs and rooves.

overtherainbow Tue 19-Jun-07 21:49:19

I have just found this quiz whilst looking for roof or rooves - who can answer it correctly in the quickest time? I will post the answers shortly.......
Q1 - What's the plural of 'belief'?
Either can be used.

Q2 - What's the plural of 'leaf'?
Either can be used.

Q3 - What's the plural of 'roof'?
Either can be used.

Q4 - What's the plural of 'scarf'?
Either can be used.

Q5 - What's the plural of 'cuff'?

Q6 - What's the plural of 'wolf'?
Either can be used.

Q7 - What's the plural of 'loaf'?
Either can be used.

Q8 - What's the plural of 'dwarf'?
Either can be used.

Q9 - What's the plural of 'brief'?
Either can be used.

Q10 - What's the plural of 'cliff'?

Q11 - What's the plural of 'reef'?
Either can be used.

Q12 - What's the plural of 'hoof'?
Either can be used.

Q13 - What's the plural of 'proof'?

Q14 - What's the plural of 'safe' (a locked, metal cupboard for storing valuables)?
Either can be used.

Q15 - What's the plural of 'chief'?
Either can be used.

Q16 - What's the plural of 'knife'?

Q17 - What's the plural of 'half'?
Either can be used.

Q18 - What's the plural of 'calf'?
Either can be used.

Q19 - What's the plural of 'life'?
Either can be used.

Q20 - What's the plural of 'thief'?
Either can be used.

Q21 - What's the plural of 'wharf'?
Either can be used.

Q22 - What's the plural of 'chef'?
Either can be used.

Q24 - What's the plural of 'wife'?
Either can be used.

Q25 - What's the plural of 'shelf'?
Either can be used.

Q26 - What's the plural of 'handkerchief'?
Eith er can be used.

Boco Tue 19-Jun-07 21:50:31


UCM Tue 19-Jun-07 22:10:21

Senor, if you called a vertically challlenged person a dwarf, I believe you would be breaking the law??? Could be wrong.

dwarf is fairly widely used. "vertically challenged" is silly imo, but better than "little person" as one site I've just found suggests (had to google - wasn;t sure before)

UCM Tue 19-Jun-07 22:22:55

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