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

What Is the Plural of Money?

We all want more money, but having lots of it stuffed into one sentence can become a grammatical issue. A common question we receive concerns how to treat the plural of money.

In this review, we’ll get to the bottom of how to treat money when we’re referring to more than a single bill in our hand or bank account. We’ll discuss the plural of money as well as proper usage for moneys and monies when those words are used as exceptions.

The Plural of Money

The first thing to establish is that money is a mass noun (also referred to as a collective noun). That may sound complicated, but all it really means is that money can be either singular or plural depending on the context in which the word appears. For instance, you could write or say:

I gave my sister a ten-dollar bill, so she has money now.

I gave the cashier all of the money I had with me.

The used car cost him only a little money.

You wouldn’t write or say:

I gave five money for dinner.

The cab to the museum cost twenty moneys.

Do you have any more monies I can borrow? I’ll pay you back later.

These uses can sound odd to both the native and developing ear in American English. That’s because, as a collective noun, money isn’t used in this way. While you describe specific denominations (e.g., Please give me five twenties for this hundred-dollar bill), money itself is already pluralized.

Exceptions to the Pluralization of Money

If money is already plural, then why might you sometimes see the words moneys and monies being used?

These forms exist because there may be isolated instances in which a writer may choose to further emphasize separate amounts or sources of currency. For example, if you are referring to funds invested in a business venture by several partners, the contributions might be differentiated grammatically just as they would be in an account ledger.

Consider the following sentences:

The venture capitalists are pooling their monies to finance the start-up tech company.

If you were to compare the different moneys of the world, you would find similarities in printing, paper, and metals.

The countries in the agreement use different monies, so the chief adviser will need to establish a consistent rate of exchange among them.

Note that each use of moneys and monies aims to identify and express individual amounts of money from different sources. For this reason, we might on occasion wish to use the nonstandard plural forms to provide nuance in what we’re describing. This would be an exception, but it is a viable one.

As shown in the examples, moneys and monies can be used interchangeably. Some style guides might prefer one spelling over the other. The spelling monies will typically be more common.

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