Grammar Is the Plural of Mango “Mangoes” or “Mangos”? |
The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation

Is the Plural of Mango “Mangoes” or “Mangos”?

Sometimes with English, even when we think we know how to use and spell a word correctly, different forms of it can spring up and trip us.

Mango can be one of those words when we are writing its plural. Should it be mangoes or mangos? That’s not a fruity question, but rather one we can answer right now.

Why Mango (and Words Like It) Can Be Tricky

If you ever find yourself confused in writing the plural of mango, you aren’t alone. The spelling issue can cause pause because conflicting guidelines are at play.

Many nouns that end with a consonant + “o” will form the plural with a simple “s”: pianos, memos, concertos. At the same time, as it can tend to, English spelling creates its own exceptions by adding an “e” to the plural of some words ending in “o”: heroes, vetoes, tomatoes. This thwarts a go-to guideline.

Compounding the confusion, different resources might assign or allow for either plural depending on the writer’s preference: e.g., writers can use avocados or avocadoes.

Which brings us back to our original question:


How Do We Spell the Plural of Mango?

The immediate answer is that either mangos or mangoes can be correct, and you are the final judge of which to use. You might have days when you use mangos and others when you opt for mangoes. You can however consider a couple of things before you use them interchangeably.

The first is that the shorter spelling (mangos) is generally preferred in the U.S. Because the spelling is so common, some educators and style authorities may perceive the longer version, mangoes, as incorrect.

The second item of note is that different dictionaries, style guides, and publication guidelines may call for one spelling over another. For example, your teacher at school or your in-house style guide at work may prefer mangoes. If this is the case, there’s no reason to debate the issue: You can simply follow suit.

As with all else concerning grammar in American English, our aim is to be consistent with our choices of spelling and style. Once you decide to use mangos or mangoes, stick with the spelling unless you have a reason to change it.

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