Grammar What Is the Plural of Bus? |
The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation

What Is the Plural of Bus?

You need to get across town and you’re not in a hurry. Should you rush to catch your bus, or will there be another one arriving soon after?

While you’re plumbing this question, other ones jump to mind: What word would you use to identify more than one bus, and how would you spell it?

In this post we will examine the plural form of bus and why it sometimes causes confusion.

Is it Buses or Busses?

First things first: The plural of bus is buses.


There are buses that run from the hotel to the airport every half hour.

The team is riding to the out-of-town game in two different buses.

Some readers might notice that the correct plural of bus is buses and not busses (two s‘s). The second spelling, with an extra s, is a common misspelling that may appear for a couple of reasons.

The first has to do with history. Busses was once considered an accepted plural spelling of bus. However, as English became more standardized in recent decades, that version has (mostly) disappeared from the language. Today it is considered a typo or a misspelling.

The second reason you still see busses as the plural of bus can be a result of how the word is pronounced. To many, busses seems to better match the spoken version of the word. For others, buses with one s might be mispronounced as “booses.”

Regardless, dictionaries and style guides are clear: If you want to be correct, use buses.

Why Misspellings Hang On

If you spend time exploring our website, you’ll learn more about how misspellings can be common in English, especially when they concern the plural versions of certain words. This could be because those words are:

  • different from conventional spellings (i.e., irregular)
  • not used very often
  • hard to memorize
  • derived from unusual root or foreign words
  • difficult to spell and pronounce

In some cases, the wrong version of a word is so popular that the misspellings might not be noticed. The incorrect version might even eventually be accepted and incorporated into dictionaries and style guides.

Will that happen with buses? No one can say for sure, but for now, as a precise and mindful communicator, you know the correct version and can continue using it properly.

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One response to “What Is the Plural of Bus?”

  1. Remy says:

    Thank you for your article. I have been wondering about the correct plural use of bus for a long time.

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