Template talk:en-noun

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Red link plurals[edit]

Why is the plural given in the form of a redlink? This looks truly horrible! Brya 18:19, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

Wiktionary is not complete. The link will not be red when the plural entry exists. In the meantime, the horrible-looking red links should motivate editors to create the missing entries. ;-) Rod (A. Smith) 14:22, 18 August 2006 (UTC)
Well, more likely it will discourage editors from using the "en-noun" template. Putting that in will either leave the item itself with a horrible redlink (which means that creating the item in the first place was a wasted effort) or will result in almost as much work again as creating the item in the first place. Why not have the template create the relevant entry by itself? Brya 09:23, 19 August 2006 (UTC)
The link to the plural form is a requirement. If the plural does not yet exist, that link will be red. (-: And if red links scare away an editor, managing expectations may be yield the best results. :-)
Creating entries for missing plurals is becoming more automated. My gut reaction is that equiping the headword/POS/inflection templates with such behavior would create more problems than it would solve, but if you want to help that automation, you may consider posting your ideas on WT:GP to colaborate with others. Rod (A. Smith) 15:38, 19 August 2006 (UTC)
I am afraid that I would not involve myself with the automation process even if I were moderately well equiped to do so. I am a scarce resource ;-). Still, I could make the suggestion that if generating a complete page is too much to ask, then maybe the template could generate a draft page, to be accepted or not by the user of en-noun? Brya 07:28, 21 August 2006 (UTC)
That too creates problems, since many English plurals are also the third-person singular present forms of verbs. There are more than a million words recorded in the OED, and that doesn't include all the plurals and other inflected forms. Right now Wiktionary has about 85,000 English entries. There will be red links on Wiktionary for a long time to come, and hiding that fact doesn't help anyone. --EncycloPetey 14:18, 7 September 2006 (UTC)
I would prefer that editors be given the option of the plural not being linked at all (that is, black rather than red). 02:20, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
If you create an account, there is an option to turn red links black in Special:Preferences. Nadando 02:30, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
Really? I don't see it, and we haven't added it to WT:PREFS yet. Users can add to Special:Mypage/monobook.css:
a.new { color:black !important }
and all edit links will be black instead of red. Robert Ullmann 11:55, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

Extraneous linebreak[edit]

How do I add qualifiers on the same line? It used to be:

'''colour''' (''plural:'' '''[[colours]]''') {{cattag|UK}}

or more often the UK wouldn't be inside the cattag, but would be naked ''(UK)''.

But now, the ''UK'' part ends up on the next line. Is this because the second section uses <DIV> instead of <SPAN>? Shouldn't that nasty table thing have {{-}} at the end of it, yet none of it should affect the proper formatting? Or is it something else? --Connel MacKenzie 23:29, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

I copied the table style from the old table-style inflection templates. I don't think they had {{-}} in them, but I'm not certain. If the table-preference users do not object, feel free to modify the template to allow same-line context markers. Another option may be to reverse the order of the two output formats in the template so that it ends with the inline display style, which should allow the trailing context tag. If the <div/> forces a line break, using a <span/> should default to the css style "display:inline", right? Rod (A. Smith) 01:03, 7 September 2006 (UTC)
Oops. The default css display style of <span/> doesn't much matter when its whole purpose is to be overridden by a style sheet. The style sheet may also have to change. Rod (A. Smith) 01:28, 7 September 2006 (UTC)
If we want to support such tags, we must swap the order of the inline and the table sections of the template. That is, "<div class="infl-table">...</div>" must be cut and pasted before "<span class="infl-inline">". If the community wants to be able to append tags to the end of inflection lines, that is the solution. Rod (A. Smith) 05:17, 7 September 2006 (UTC)
I had always thought such qualifiers belonged on the definition line(s). Widsith 08:30, 7 September 2006 (UTC)
When they apply to only specific meanings, yes. But when it is for the whole section, I've used it on the inflection line. --Connel MacKenzie 08:32, 7 September 2006 (UTC)
I noticed the same problem yesterday while editing pluot. --EncycloPetey 14:16, 7 September 2006 (UTC)
OK, I'm being bold. --Connel MacKenzie 06:03, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

Interwiki link to the Vietnamese Wiktionary[edit]

Please add an interwiki link to the Vietnamese version of this template:

[[vi:Tiêu bản:eng-noun]]


 – Minh Nguyễn (talk, contribs) 20:55, 3 October 2006 (UTC)

I see you've "borrowed" it. Very good. We don't put interwiki links on templates here ... but we could link to it: vi:Tiêu bản:eng-noun Robert Ullmann 22:23, 3 October 2006 (UTC)

Getting rid of the plural[edit]

Is there any way to make it so the (plural) bit doesn't appear, perhaps replacing it with a short usage note? There are some words which are not mass nouns, but nevertheless are not used in the plural. --Ptcamn 06:59, 9 October 2006 (UTC)

If the first argument is not a valid page name, you get headword (first argument):

{{en-noun|''[[pluralia tantum]]''}}: en-noun pluralia tantum

easiest thing is if, (as shown) some part of it is wikilinked. Note that in table format, you will still get "Singular" over the headword, and "Plural" over whatever note you use. Robert Ullmann 16:57, 9 October 2006 (UTC)


Please change this to "mass noun" or at least "[[uncountable noun]]" (which just defines it as a "mass noun"). It is otherwise confusing. The dictionary should be accessible to people other than Wiktionary editors or linguists whose first thought on seeing the word "uncountable" is "mass noun". Centrx 08:58, 16 December 2006 (UTC)

Categorizing into sub-categories[edit]

I'm very new to Wiktionary, but it appears to me as if this template categorizes all articles into Category:English nouns. Is this appropriate when there are a number of subordinate English noun categories, namely:

I wonder if it is at all reasonable to perform this categorizing via the current template, but should there not be an option to omit the default Category:English nouns whenever one or several more specific categories have been applied? (e.g. seven) __meco 13:37, 16 December 2006 (UTC)

Why? --Connel MacKenzie 23:01, 16 December 2006 (UTC)
I find question of this sort rude and I will not attempt an answer. __meco 06:37, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
If you can give no reason to omit the overarching category, we should not do it. You should read past discussions regarding both use of this template and part of speech categorization. Prior consensus was to include all English nouns in Category:English nouns, even if a subcategory was also used. The only exceptions I can think of are declined forms (including plurals) and proper nouns. And byb the way, we treat numbers as a separate part of speech from Noun; in English all cardinal numbers may function as a substantive (as if a noun; e.g. Three is my favroite number), just as most nouns can function attributively (as an adjective; e.g. Lunch will be held in the campus cafeteria.) and most adjectives can function as a substantive (e.g. The poor will always be with you.). None of these issues necessitates an additional category. --EncycloPetey 17:15, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
Generally I think it is unreasonable to expect any non-experienced user on a project such as this, which really is very oblique and non-generic in structure, to be updated on prior discussions. That said, I have no problem accepting that a policy decision exists such as you describe. __meco 19:10, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

The template en-noun allows only the categories "countable" and "uncountable". The template is incapable of showing a distinction between concrete and abstract, and should be fixed to do so. The noun "authorization" has both concrete (a credential) and abstract (an activity) meanings; these definitions are improperly displayed as countable and uncountable using the current template. -- Parcheesy 18:51, 11 January 2010 (UTC)

Spurious showing up of the inflection table[edit]

If I use the template twice shortly after another, the inflection table shows up, along with the usual inflection line. I cannot explain this. I wanted to split up the noun definition of die, to make it clearer, like this:


  1. A polyhedron, usually a cube, with numbers or symbols on each side and used in games of chance.


  1. The cubical part of a pedestal, a plinth.

As you see, here too the table shows up. Can someone fix this? henne 19:16, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Short of a template fix, the only alternative I can suggest is to go with ===Noun 1=== and ===Noun 2=== each followed by an inflection template. Though that would not be the most desirable way to handle this, it would avoid the problem. --EncycloPetey 03:22, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

Well, since this is such a bizarre case, perhaps you could just add a null table betwixt them? E.g.:


  1. A polyhedron, usually a cube, with numbers or symbols on each side and used in games of chance.


  1. The cubical part of a pedestal, a plinth.
Yes, I know that is screwy and kludgy. WM software should parse it correctly and close the OL and LI tags before starting the next DIV, but it doesn't. I don't know why, and no, you cannot make me look at parser.php, to try to see what's wrong there. I have no idea why it no-workie when my initial comment above is indented or bulleted. Why it works for spans but not divs is a matter of great speculation, but I don't sacrifice goats nor do any of the proper incantations, so it shall remain a mystery. --Connel MacKenzie 08:18, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
Now wait just one cotton-pickin' second here. Why would you want to break so many things, just to display the entry wrong? The inflection template goes immediately after the heading, only. The specific meanings have the plurals marked line-by-line which is undeniably clearer. All that you could accomplish by breaking apart the inflections as you suggest are: 1) confuse readers, 2) break mirror sites that parse and reuse data from here (e.g. yawikt or ninjawords, or the cell-phone thing, or the mirror [somewhere] for iPods.) doing that intentionally would be a Very Bad Thing(tm). --Connel MacKenzie 08:44, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
This becomes a serious problem for inflected languages. In English, there is just the plural different between the various entries, but in more highly inflected languages, there may be three or more such differences to list in front of each definition, on top of any contextual information that might be shown. Consider the following example (hypothetical because a specific case isn't coming readily to mind, but I know I've encountered this issue more than once):
'''fluobo''' ''m'' or ''f'' (''masculine plural'' '''fluobos''', ''feminine'' '''fluoba''', ''feminine plural'' '''fluobas''')

# (''masculine only'', ''plural'' '''fluobos''') A lens.
# (''feminine only'', ''plurale tantum'') A pair of glasses, specatcles.
# (''masculine'', ''masculine plural'' '''fluobos''', ''feminine'' '''fluoba''', ''feminine plural'' '''fluobas''') A person from Fluobo.
Doing it your way really makes it hard to find the definitions amidst all the grammatical information (in that last one 80% of the "definition" line is not definition), but the grammatical information is necessary because some of the forms inflect one way while some inflect another way. Some of the forms have a plural, and one does not. One of the forms will take masculine adjectives, one will take only plural feminine adjectives, while one form has an alternate feminine form with the adjective inflecting according to the noun.
The only solutions I can see to avoid this are: either we need to use the inflection template multiple times or we'll have to have Noun 1, Noun2; Preposition 1, Preposition 2,... And of these options, I would rather see the inflection line repeated. --EncycloPetey 00:58, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
Is it really so bad to have separate L3 headings? If two cases inflect differently, aren't they different words, not just different senses? See 上手 for an example in Japanese where two different words are written the same way. Cynewulf 01:18, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
That's precisely one option I mean, except that I would label them explicitly as ===Noun 1=== and ===Noun 2=== instead of just ===Noun===. Otherwise, some future editor might merge the two sections thinking that it was a mistake. --EncycloPetey 16:21, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
I am not sure this is an option everywhere. Most of the time, this problem solves itself because the different forms will have a different etymology, and thus the entire entry is split by etymology. I suspect this should also be the case for die. But this will not always be the case. E.g. it also disturbs me how words which are used uncountably and have a plural too are handled: right now it has something like


I think this looks ugly and would rather have it split in two definition sections, one for the countable part, one for the uncountable part. In this case, it would be inappropriate to have two separate L3 (or in the case of die, L4) headers.
Oh, and Connel, I don’t think your technical arguments make any sense. It is just plain stupid of those other sites to count on that information. Since wikt is hand-edited, it is an illusion that will be there consistently. henne 12:35, 8 February 2007 (UTC)
Sorry, but you are wrong and your comment is stupid. The purpose of the GFDL is to allow content to be reused. It is being reused. Harebrained methods to intentionally break derived work is stupid. --Connel MacKenzie 10:00, 17 July 2007 (UTC)
To reiterate: under no circumstances, should inflection templates be added interspersed between definition lines. Multiple inflection lines before the first definition are fine. A similar situation arises in English, for example duel#Verb. But if other subdivision is needed, split it out by etymology (especially for cases such as EncycloPetey's example above...where spectacles come from a lens, and a lens comes from the place name...those are separate word origins.) --Connel MacKenzie 10:00, 17 July 2007 (UTC)



Please, put the interwikis de:Vorlage:Englisch Substantiv Übersicht and pt:Predefinição:flex.en in the template. Thanks. Luan 23:33, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

We don't put interwiki links on templates. Robert Ullmann 15:07, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
Why? — Luan 21:17, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
Indeed, isn't the inclusion of interwiki links on templates one of the reasons the <noinclude> and <includeonly> syntax was developed? Thryduulf 17:15, 11 July 2007 (UTC)
It is good for having the interwikis to have a bigger interaction you enter the Wiktionaries. — Luan 18:19, 14 July 2007 (UTC)

Put iwiki links on/between the Talk page(s); that is what someone following the links wants to see. Putting them in the templates only causes transclusion overhead (and no, the noinclude tags don't help with that). If iwikis were allowed on templates, in most cases they would be 90% of the transcluded text. This should apply to all wikts (and all projects), but at least applies here! Under no circumstances in the template itself. Robert Ullmann 18:27, 14 July 2007 (UTC)

I don't understand what you are saying. If interwiki links are in noinclude sections they are never transcluded with the template. If the interwiki links are not in such sections, then they are transcluded onto the target page and the targets of the interwiki links show up in the "in other languages" section as if the interwiki link had been included directly on that page. If I follow an interwiki link from a template page I expect to land on a template page, if I follow an interwiki link from a template talk page I expect to land on a template talk page. Thryduulf 19:05, 14 July 2007 (UTC)
The entire text of the template has to be retrieved and parsed when the template is transcluded. The noinclude tags will prevent the link from being included in the final result, but the performance penalty has already been paid. As I said, the talk pages should be linked to the talk pages, never the templates themselves. No WM project should be allowing iwikis on templates. Robert Ullmann 19:13, 14 July 2007 (UTC)
It is the first time that I see somebody to say that is not allowed to place interwikis in templates. I see templates with interwikis in some projects of some languages, also in projects anglophone as this. — Luan 00:59, 17 July 2007 (UTC)
Luan, that is obscene. The technical solution is to put the interwikis on the talk page. You are being very insulting by suggesting that the technical limitation (for Special:Whatlinkshere) is somehow not showing cooperation. How can you possibly be so outrageously insulting, over such a clear technical detail? --Connel MacKenzie 09:40, 17 July 2007 (UTC)
Should be noted that the Wikipedia policy is to put interwikis on the template doc page, not the template. Robert Ullmann 11:27, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

Possessive forms[edit]

There is currently an active vote at [[1]] regarding whether regular possessive forms of modern English nouns should have their own entries or not. As part of this it has been suggested that this template might be modified to show the possessive forms in the inflection line of modern English noun entries (irrespective of the outcome of the vote). Your comments and/or votes are welcome until the end of the vote on 5th August 2007. Thryduulf 17:15, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

That vote page, WT:GP and WT:BP are the appropriate places to announce the tentative change. The tentative change should have {{en-noun-experimental}} created and shown to work before any contingent votes should be started. --Connel MacKenzie 18:05, 28 July 2007 (UTC)

Multiple plurals and uncountable[edit]

What about when the word is countable and uncountable and have multiple plurals? I've tried en-noun|pl=biases|pl2=biasses|-, but it's not working. I left bias only with the uncountable sign (that's what's is happening with the template), until this is fixed. Thanks. —⁠This unsigned comment was added by Marcot (talkcontribs) at 19:26, 29 September 2007 (UTC).

I gave it my best shot, but someone with a better understanding of templates needs to sort it out properly. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 19:44, 29 September 2007 (UTC)
Fixed: {{en-noun|es|-|pl2=biasses}} or {{en-noun|2=-|pl=biases|pl2=biasses}}. The - has to be in the second numbered parameter apparently. Cynewulf 19:55, 29 September 2007 (UTC)
That's correct, - as the first param gives uncountable, as the second gives countable and uncountable. Robert Ullmann 11:32, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

Bug with no params[edit]

{{en-noun}} without parameters doesn't work right. See homer. DAVilla 05:55, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

Where? Both instances look fine to me. Maybe it was a transient server/connection problem? --EncycloPetey 14:50, 3 December 2007 (UTC)
I think this is/was the same bug mentioned in the GP; someone making s/w changes that don't work. Robert Ullmann 14:55, 3 December 2007 (UTC)
I just found that discussion: Wiktionary:Grease_pit#Odd pluralization bug (?) for some noun entries. --EncycloPetey 15:08, 3 December 2007 (UTC)
Funny that neither I nor anyone else said what they actually saw. I think there was an extra }} and other garbage that made it look like an obvious error although the template hadn't been changed. Anyway it's fine now. DAVilla 01:44, 8 January 2008 (UTC)


A corner case: countable sense for which the plural is not known to exist. DAVilla 01:47, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

How would you propose handling this? Can you give some examples of countable nouns for which the plural is unknown, but still theoretically expected? --EncycloPetey 02:02, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
Leave it alone, with possibly a usage note saying that the plural is very rare. To quote a book on lexicography I'm reading: (After pointing that he has citations for a number of unusual plurals) "My experience as a dictionary maker convinces me that it is rash to suppose any grammatical form cannot occur." (Sydney I. Landau, 2001, Dictionaries: The Art and Craft of Lexicography, 2nd ed., Cambridge University Press, p. 115.) Circeus 19:59, 19 January 2008 (UTC)

Pluralia tantum[edit]

This template badly neads a way to deal with pluralia tantum. Circeus 20:01, 19 January 2008 (UTC)

Singular and plural[edit]

How to deal with nouns which are their own plural (invariant nouns)?

Entering the word itself as plural works, but yields a slightly awkward redundant construction, looking like it might just be an editor's mistake:

aircraft (plural aircraft)

Wouldn't it be better to be explicit?

aircraft (singular and plural)

I suppose these should should also be added to category:English nouns, category:English plurals and category:English invariant nouns. —Michael Z. 20:50, 4 April 2008 (UTC)

For a plural[edit]

How to use this template in an entry for a plural? E.g., on inukshuks. —Michael Z. 21:27, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

You don't. You use {{plural of}} and/or {{pluralonly}} as appropriate. Thryduulf 00:22, 10 April 2008 (UTC)
So for the example, the best form would be the following?


# {{plural of|inukshuk}}

[[Category:English plurals]]

The problem with this is that a rarely-used case (plural nouns) requires an extra step, so I waste time searching the docs here every time. Or I might forget to add the category separately.
Is it possible to add a parameter, like {{en-noun|number=plural}}? Or use the existing pl= parameter as empty: {{en-noun|pl}}?
I could just make {{en-noun plural}}, but I'd prefer a solution which reduces the choices instead of adding one. —Michael Z. 00:49, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

I don't understand your question, {{plural of}} automatically categorises into category:English plurals, see daters for example.

So the formatting you want for your example is:


# {{plural of|inukshuk}}

So there is no extra step needed, we just use a different template for plurals than for the singular. Thryduulf 01:06, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

And English plurals falls under English nouns. Oops. That makes sense, of course. Thanks. —Michael Z. 01:30, 10 April 2008 (UTC)
If you want to use a template for the inflection line, you can use {{infl|en|plural}} under the POS header instead of just the word in bold. Of, for nouns that are always plural (like or ), you can use {{en-noun|''[[plurale tantum]]''}} --EncycloPetey 22:48, 10 April 2008 (UTC)
That is wrong with regards nouns that are always plural. Use one of
'''noun''' {{pluralonly}}
'''noun''' {{plurale tantum}}
as this categorises the words apropriately. See the Beer parlour for the onoging discussion about "plural only" vs "plurale tantum". Thryduulf 11:08, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
A practice cannot be "wrong" when the discussion is on-going. Every noun that is plurale tantum should appear in Category:English nouns, since we want a complete list of base-forms. How we achieve that has not yet been decided, and practice varies considerably from one user to another. Your recommended solution above is newly proposed, and the discussion is not settled, so it is inappropriate to present it as if it were the correct and only method. --EncycloPetey 12:22, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
The only ongoing discussion I'm aware of is whether to use {{pluralonly}} or {{plurale tantum}}, and the text they display on the page. The practice of including one or other of these templates after a manually entered bold headword is the only one that I've ever been aware of from my own reading of style guides, policies, discussions and my exploration of the wiki. Both templates categorise into Category:English pluralia tantum, a sub-category of Category:English plurals, itself a subcategory of category:English nouns.
Please could you point me in the direction of the (ongoing) discussion(s), style guide(s), entires, etc that support your assertions. Thryduulf 15:56, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
The forms I noted are the only ones I've ever used, known about, or ever encountered. So, I have no specific discussion I can point to because it's all I've ever known or seen. I expect that whatever discussion I learned it from dates from around the time that {{en-noun}} was introduced and/or standardized. I do note that scissors uses the template {{infl}}, as I suggested above. The entry for cattle uses {{en-noun}} in a variation of what I noted, as do opera glasses and Christmas lights. I'd bet that my method is used more commonly. --EncycloPetey 17:40, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
opera glasses uses your format for the inflection line and {{pluralonly}} on the sense line.
On the 22nd of March I counted 404 inclusions of the templates. But as your solution doesn't categorise, I don't suppose there is a true way to tell. I'll start a thread on the beer parlour about this. Thryduulf 18:33, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

see: Wiktionary:Beer parlour#Inflection line for nouns used only in the plural.. Thryduulf 18:49, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

It would be nice to adopt a standard and put this is writing somewhere. --EncycloPetey 21:48, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

This still bugs the heck out of me. Every (rare) time I go to create an entry for a plural form, I spend five minutes of trial and error with template parameters, then end up back here at the docs. Why on earth is an inflection-line template like {{en-noun}} vital to categorize every entry under the sun, except in the plural nouns only it is left out completely? And the categorization done by a different template in a different part of the entry?

This is inconsistent and has poor usability. It must be impossible for casual editors. Michael Z. 2008-07-02 03:28 z

template error?[edit]

Could someone please look at the way this template is being used in super? The {{en-noun|-}} usage right before the Australian slang definition is causing the page to display not only the correct "super (uncountable)" but also showing a table above it with "Singular" and "Plural". Removing either usage of the template makes the spurious table go away. It appears to be an artifact of the use of both tables. I'm not sure how that should be fixed. Thanks. Rossami 11:40, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

The table should be there, because some of the definitions do have a plural form. The missing component is to add arguments to the template to indicate on the inflection like that both countable and uncountable senses exist: {{en-noun|s|-}}. I have added this. --EncycloPetey 15:22, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

No plural, yet again[edit]

Okay, here's another “edge case” for you:

as a noun. This is not the written abbreviation, but a word commonly used in speech around here: “I'm going to visit the leg.” (legislative building) or “the leg. is in session” (legislature). I don't have any attestation for a plural, although I have heard “ledges, ” rarely, and I have no idea how to spell that.

I've entered a space, which is unacceptable because it looks like an indicator that the noun is plural, but I can't come up with a better workaround.

Here's a noun where I choose not to enter a plural because I am not confidant what it is. This template is lacking because it doesn't support this common occurrence. Michael Z. 2008-11-28 23:10 z

This is annoying; I use {{infl|en|noun}} when I cannot find an attested plural. It would be nice if we could use en-noun, though -- maybe something like {{en-noun|?}} ... -- Visviva 03:30, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
Ah, thanks, that is better. Is there any reason not to just use {{infl}} everywhere? Michael Z. 2008-12-03 08:27 z
That, along with an {{attention}} tag would alert those folks who might be better able to add the plural. --EncycloPetey 08:47, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
Well, the CanOD, the best authority on Canadian English, doesn't supply a plural for this Canadian sense. So possibly there is no plural attestable. So we have at least two perennial use cases where {en-noun} falls short. It cannot be used for plural nouns, nor for countable nouns which lack an attested plural. So is there any reason to use {en-noun} at all, instead of {infl}? —⁠This unsigned comment was added by Mzajac (talkcontribs) at 17:56, 7 December 2008 (UTC).
Because most of the time, it's easier to read and write the wikitext with {{en-noun}}. {{infl}} requires an argument for the plural, which is an just opportunity for a typo in the common -s situation. Rod (A. Smith) 18:32, 7 December 2008 (UTC)

en-noun needs more plural parameters[edit]

Deus ex machina has at least six attestable plural forms in English. Trying to display them all by using pl2–6 only displays the first three. I’ll try a fudge for now, but {{en-noun}} should have more plural parameters. Whilst whoever makes the necessary changes does this, would it also be possible to write in an autocategorisation of English nouns with two, three, four, &c. plural forms? Thanks in advance.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 03:31, 24 December 2008 (UTC)

I'm not convinced this is a good use of the inflection line. Why not just put the most common one or two in the template, and list the others in a usage note? -- Visviva 04:01, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
Dei ex machina, dii ex machina, di ex machina, dei ex machinis, dii ex machinis, and di ex machinis are all standard plural forms of
(deprecated template usage) deus ex machina
; policy / convention is to list at least all the standard plural forms in the inflexion line. On top of those, there are deus ex machinas, deuses ex machina, deus ex machinae, dei ex machinae, and probably some others. That makes at least ten plural forms, though only six of which should be listed in the inflexion line IMO. Of course, all this confusion will be explained in a usage note.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 04:30, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
Where is this policy? For some languages, no plural forms are listed on the inflection line (e.g. Latin, Polish, Ancient Greek). I don't see any problem with having an option in the template to display "additional plurals in use" or some such, and then have a list of plural forms under the Usage notes with an explanation. --EncycloPetey 20:42, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
I meant in English, and nota that I wrote “policy / convention is to list…”. Most of the time, every plural form — standard and not — is listed in the inflexion line; whereas, AFAIK, all standard plural forms are always listed. The inflexion line is bold and easily noticed, hence it makes sense to put the standard plural forms there, rather than lower down amongst some text in a usage note or in a list of related terms; for nouns with irregular plurals and, indeed, foreign phrases, readers are quite likely to come here just to check for its plural if it is formed irregularly (in support of this, I cite all the UseNet postings which pluralise a Latinate word which is then immediately followed by two or three alternative forms with quæstion marks in parentheses). Whilst it would be understandable not to make any changes in order to allow the display of incorrect plurals (which no one who cared to check the plural would use), we should definitely do so for correct ones.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 01:44, 25 December 2008 (UTC)

Can the template use commas between all but the last two plurals? Multiple ors are awkward and harder to parse. Michael Z. 2008-12-27 16:42 z

Inconsistent display of text depending on which plural parameters are used[edit]

Note the incorrect display of the second plural form in the inflexion line of this entry (dea ex machina) — it seems to be because the plural is included in the pl2= parameter, because the pl= parameter renders properly, not sharing the fault of the pl2= parameter. The only way I knew of solving this problem was by expressing both the plural forms in the single pl= parameter — a less than ideal solution. Could the pl2=, pl3=, and any other such parameters be changed to act like pl= please? Thanks in advance.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 14:04, 3 January 2009 (UTC)

Using pl= and pl2 correctly, without all the extra ' and [ ] crap I just removed, works just fine. (If the term is English, it is not italicized. If it is italicized in use, it ain't English.) Robert Ullmann 14:28, 3 January 2009 (UTC)


I have reverted Visviva's edits per his edit summary, which says to do so in case of lack of backward compatibility. {{en-noun|2=-}} was broken: see ad hocism or oleoresin, for example.—msh210 18:08, 13 January 2009 (UTC)

I'd suggest we find and fix those (whichever variants), and require {{en-noun|s|-}} for that case. (good catch) Robert Ullmann 18:21, 13 January 2009 (UTC)
See anime for another case, in which 2=- is required with the older version, but /draft works with - as the 1st parameter (and correctly with 2=- as well). Robert Ullmann 18:27, 13 January 2009 (UTC)
Urk! I had not been aware this was ever used that way. Fixed (in /draft), I think. -- Visviva 01:41, 14 January 2009 (UTC)
Rolled in revised changes. -- Visviva 13:32, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

Identifying the stem[edit]

I've been processing some pluralization data obtained from wikipedia. In doing so, I've discovered a few instances of what I see as slightly incorrect usage of this template. I've corrected a couple - morphology and absorptivity - with the thought that since I have to correct my own data, I might as well correct wiktionary at the same time.

Before I go any further, though, I want to make sure that I'm correct in my assumption here. Here is my assumption: when using the en-noun template for an irregular noun as above, you should specify the stem and the suffix as parameters. The stem itself should appear in its entirety in the singular form.

Example: for morphology, it was specified as en-noun|morphologi|es, rather than en-noun|morpholog|ies. I changed it to the latter. Is this correct? I have a list of about 50 more occurrences of this; should I change those as well? I'm a bit new to this and I don't want to mess anything up.

Duckwizard 20:39, 2 April 2009 (UTC)

It doesn't really matter - but if you want to, feel free. The template parameters are just to get the display right, I don't think anyone had gone into thought about what the parameters should actually be. If you need them to be right for what you're doing, then we can change this and be more consistent. Conrad.Irwin 21:02, 2 April 2009 (UTC)


Needs one more plural, for lingua francaMichael Z. 2009-04-09 15:22 z

Needs pl5 and pl6 OTOT at least for deus ex machina, too.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 18:01, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
No it doesn't. The inflection line is a summary, not a complete explanation. If there are more than a few plurals, then they can be listed (1) on the target page as Alternative forms and (2) in the Usage notes section where the reason for the variants can be explained. --EncycloPetey 21:25, 10 April 2009 (UTC)
Why is three the right number? Michael Z. 2009-04-10 22:08 z
What do you think is the right number? Four? Ten? Five hundred? And why? --EncycloPetey 22:15, 10 April 2009 (UTC)
There isn't a single number correct for every case. But if we insist that three should be the limit and not four, then either we are acting as if there were, or we are enforcing baseless limitations on editors. I think decisions are better made by editors, not by inflexible tools. Michael Z. 2009-04-10 22:44 z
I agree that a specific number is not necessarily correct for every case, but I disagree that just any number should be acceptable. Without some limit imposed, the number of forms will creep ever upwards until we have inflection lines longer than the entire entry on some pages. The current limit is three. If it creeps upwards to four, then why not five, six, ten, etc. ? We should keep the limit where it is, since there is no compelling reason to change it. --EncycloPetey 22:56, 10 April 2009 (UTC)
I'd actually lean the opposite direction, reducing it to two. Otherwise it seems like we're trying to make the headword line exhaustive, which we cannot do. —Rod (A. Smith) 22:55, 10 April 2009 (UTC)
Alright, I'll concede that those are good points. But this isn't mentioned in WT:ELE#Inflections, or on this page. How do you know that the community accepts that the inflection line is just for a summary? This is grammatical information, not exactly usage, so why put it in usage notes? Wouldn't it be better to have one place for all the inflections? Michael Z. 2009-04-11 02:02 z
They are good points iff you concede that there is no non-arbitrary criterion for listing plurals in the inflexion line; however, this is not the case — I gave one above, viz. standardness. My argument did not receive a response at the time. In the case of deus ex machina, there are at least six standard plural forms (viz. dei ex machina, dii ex machina, di ex machina, dei ex machinis, dii ex machinis, and di ex machinis), and there are also other ones, such as deuses ex machina, which we’d usually say are standard, given our liberal tendencies. Anyway, I’ll await a response from whomever.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 04:28, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
Of curiosity, any idea how many of those meet CFI as English terms? Michael Z. 2009-04-14 05:21 z
The following:
  1. dei ex machina
  2. dei ex machinae
  3. dei ex machinas
  4. dei ex machini
  5. dei ex machinis
  6. deorum ex machina (maybe; seems to be über-paedantic use as a genitive plural in English)
  7. deorum ex machinis (unlikely; per
    (deprecated template usage) deorum ex machina
    , but even more paedantic)
  8. deos ex machina (sometimes paedantic use of the accusative plural, others a misspelling)
  9. deus ex machina (probably; most usage is using the term attributively as deus-ex-machina)
  10. deus ex machinae
  11. deus ex machinas
  12. deus ex machinis (maybe)
  13. deuses ex machina
  14. di ex machina
  15. di ex machinis
  16. dii ex machina
  17. dii ex machinae (maybe)
  18. dii ex machinis
They’re all the combinations I could imagine. That’s at least fourteen, at a pinch eighteen, and perhaps even more if some creative person can cite others. I think it is quite clear that a criterion of standardness is necessary.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 15:09, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
What I'm asking is how many meet WT:CFI#Attestation (which also happens to be a criterion of standardization). Michael Z. 2009-04-14 17:31 z
Yes, all of the above satisfy criterion №4, unless they’re succeeded by a parenthetic comment like “maybe”, in which case, those forms may satisfy the fourth criterion for inclusion, if you look hard enough.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 17:43, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
Aah! It was “[t]hey’re all the combinations I could imagine” that confused you, yes? Sorry, I meant that they are all the attestable forms of the combinations that I could imagine. Including the unattestable ones, I imagined fifty-five hypothetical plural forms.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 17:48, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
Yikes. Michael Z. 2009-04-14 19:02 z
Example of an inflection line gone wrong- proove. Nadando 03:28, 11 April 2009 (UTC)
Yes, it was (the entry has since been cleaned up), but that was more because of the lack of logical progression in that verb’s conjugation, as well as the fact that every verb form needs to be praefaced by a long grammatical description (“third-person singular simple present”, “archaic second-person singular simple past”, &c.); nouns’ inflexion lines do not suffer the same awkward display with the addition of supernumerary plural forms because there is only one praefaced grammatical description (“plural”) and each plural form is divided from its neighbours with the conjunction or.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 04:28, 14 April 2009 (UTC)


The only way to omit a noun's plural form is to enter a question mark. Entering a question mark places the entry in the hidden Category:English nouns with unknown or uncertain plurals.

But this is also used in entries for nouns which certainly have no plural, or are already in the plural, e.g. FTP, Madame Tussaud's, New Zealandisms, Rus.. This template parameter is used to structure the headword, not to indicate some special grammatical quality or status. The category name is wrong.

It should be renamed to fit the facts Category:English noun entries without plurals, or better yet just removed. Michael Z. 2009-08-01 21:58 z

Most of the examples you've listed should not have the {{en-noun}} template. is originally a proper noun, for example, for which we use {{en-proper noun}}. is an initialism, and should have the POS indicated at the head of each definition line. is an abbreviation. --EncycloPetey 22:06, 1 August 2009 (UTC)
It looks like our entry Madame Tussaud's is defined as a common noun—do we use {en-proper noun} for all common nouns derived from proper nouns? Re: Initialisms & abbreviations, I found the guideline Wiktionary:Entry_layout_explained/POS_headers#Acronyms.2C_Abbreviations.2C_and_Initialisms, which is unclear, along with its example—is each initialism to appear as a gloss under an Initialism heading and again under its POS? Michael Z. 2009-08-23 22:17 z
There are some options for cases like this. The pluralOnly argument can be used for pluralia tantum (or whatever we're calling them these days). For invariant plurals one would just enter {{en-noun|PAGENAME}}. I'm not sure what you mean about the category name. "Unknown or uncertain" certainly wasn't meant to imply some special grammatical status; simply that the editor wasn't sure (e.g. whether a particular noun is uncountable, or invariant, etc.). Note that {{en-noun|!}} is also available for nouns with no unattested plural, although that wouldn't be applicable to any of your examples. -- Visviva 11:15, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
I find the standard inconsistency quite confusing. The core element of an entry requires a template, except when it doesn't. Most nouns use {en-noun}, except not all. In some cases it goes in the heading instead of the headword. Are you saying an abbreviation isn't supposed to have it's part of speech marked, but an initialism is? And I think you mean ! is used for nouns with no attested plural.
What do you mean “that the editor wasn't sure?” I was quite sure that the plural noun New Zealandisms has no separate plural form, so I entered {en-noun} in such a way that it doesn't display a plural, but you just removed the template completely.[2]
I'm not exactly a newbie editor here, but the inconsistency and lack of basic documentation is a huge waste of time, and I can't even create entries properly half the time. Why not just fix the fucking templates so that we can insert one for every headword? Michael Z. 2009-08-20 14:05 z
Well, FTR I don't ascribe to EP's approach to initialisms (I think they should be sorted by POS, and ==Initialism== should be used only for those few to which no POS can plausibly be assigned). And you're quite right, I suffered from a braino in the middle of my sentence about unattested plurals. But on to the broader points...
I don't understand why we would be using an inflection template in form-of entries. Most new plural entries are created via {{new en noun}} or similar, which does not apply an inflection template. As a consequence, most form-of entries are sorted into their specific form cat (Category:English plurals), but not into the POS cat (Category:English nouns). As a consequence, to add such templates by hand creates inconsistency rather than relieving it, AFAICS. If "New Zealandisms" had a distinct sense of its own, rather than just being the plural of "New Zealandism", that would of course be a different matter.
Regarding {{en-noun|?}}: When creating certain types of entries, e.g. foreign borrowings, it can be problematic to identify the correct English plural(s). The point of "?" was to allow us to avoid creating a misleading impression in these cases, while still applying the correct inflection template and also flagging the entry for cleanup. (this is why the category uses __HIDDENCAT__; it is intended to be purely a maintenance category).
As for adding more functionality to the template, I have no objections. Not sure what the best symbol would be. Maybe "{{en-noun|.}}"? Please do test any changes carefully, though; as I recall, this template is amazingly easy to break. :-) -- Visviva 14:52, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
For New Zealandisms, use {{infl|en|plural|g=p}} thus; FTP looks like an uncountable noun to me, so use {{en-noun|-}} thus; Rus. needs to be split by POS thus (BTW, I doubt the use as a noun); Madame Tussaud’s is tricky, since the 1851 quotation seems to use it as a (presumably invariable) countable noun, the 1885 quotation looks like a proper-noun use, whilst the 1896 quotation looks like an adjectival use, or at least an attributive use of the (proper) noun, all of which could nevertheless be accommodated using {{en-noun|sg=Madame Tussaud’s|pl=<b>Madame Tussaud’s</b>}}, {{en-proper noun|sg=Madame Tussaud’s}}, and {{en-adj|-|pos=Madame Tussaud’s}}.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 14:58, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
Visviva, I'm not familiar with {new en noun}, but I understand that that's a higher-order tool for organizing the use of the basic tools, templates in the entry (shouldn't the tools serve the result rather than vice versa?). I understand that we use inflection templates for consistency of presentation, and for the addition of any hidden structure like class attributes, for all common parts of speech. When I create entries I just enter the basic part-of-speech template. Why shouldn't the standard procedure accommodate the very common instance of plural nouns? Why on earth should we have some random, completely irregular cases like abbreviation and others, where {{en-abbreviation}} doesn't work at all? It's a waste of time to search in the reference every time I try to make such an entry. It's a big wasted opportunity to have such a great method of entering structure in the structured data, and then make it not only completely optional but also have mandatory exceptions. Every headword should have an inflection template.
Doremítzwr, thanks for improving my edits there. Michael Z. 2009-08-23 18:42 z
YW.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 20:13, 23 August 2009 (UTC)

the - link not working?[edit]

DIdn't this template generate before a page in Category:English uncountable nouns? At the moment, that isn't working. --Volants 14:40, 22 January 2010 (UTC)


See paunch:

paunch (plural [[paunches#{{{{{lang}}}|l=}}|paunches]])

--Nemo 23:18, 5 June 2010 (UTC)

It's ok now. Cache problems? --Nemo 07:05, 6 June 2010 (UTC)

Categorize plurals[edit]

How about {{#ifeq:{{{1|{{{pl|}}}}}}|{{PAGENAME}}|{{#ifeq:{{NAMESPACE}}||[[Category:English plurals]]}}}}. In other words, if the plural is the same as the page name, categorize in English plurals. Example: sheep or aircraft. Mglovesfun (talk) 13:59, 3 May 2011 (UTC)

"en-noun (plural en-nouns)"[edit]

I don't think it should say "(plural en-nouns)" at the top? Facts707 14:21, 14 September 2011 (UTC)

The plural form is in error at shout out. According to this, the plural of "shout out" should be "shouts out", not "shout outs" as listed. --Arthur Smart 14:32, 24 September 2011 (UTC)
That's not an error with this template though, simply nobody has specified a plural form, so the default is {{PAGENAME}}s. You're free to change {{en-noun}} in the entry to {{en-noun|shouts out}}. --Mglovesfun (talk) 14:35, 24 September 2011 (UTC)
Great. Thanks! --Arthur Smart 20:31, 24 September 2011 (UTC)

Self-link when plural is the same[edit]

See Bungi. {{en-noun|Bungi}} makes the plural appear as a self-link to the same page. It should be bold but not linked. Michael Z. 2012-01-27 23:00 z

Neither definition given lends itself to a plural; both are proper nouns. It's a single people and a single language. --EncycloPetey 02:44, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
“Three Bungi walk into a bar...” CanOD gives “pl. same,” while the DCHP cites “Bungays” and “Bungees.” I will update the entry.
In any case, this template's output needs improvement. Self-links are needless and potentially confusing. Michael Z. 2012-01-28 16:14 z

Singular only[edit]

Using this when the singular does not occur does not give a satisfactory result. In the case of many phrases (eg, last night) the plural does not exist, except in a mentiony sort of use ("Too many 'last nights'"). (This is last#Determiner, not last#Adjective.) AFAICT we do not have something like {{en-singular noun}}. I dislike using {{head}} for English terms. DCDuring TALK 13:02, 18 August 2012 (UTC)

Rejected categorization[edit]

Categorization into countable and uncountable has been specifically rejected as stupid. DCDuring TALK 20:54, 23 May 2013 (UTC)

Detailed information[edit]

Can this template be edited so that detailed information on plural forms can be added as in Template:en-verb? Esszet (talk) 02:38, 20 October 2013 (UTC)

What kind of information? —CodeCat 03:09, 20 October 2013 (UTC)

Usually countable?[edit]

I didn't see this as an option. DCDuring TALK 05:21, 11 January 2014 (UTC)

Rare/usual plurals?[edit]

[3] says that the plural of status#Noun is usually "statuses", although sometimes "status" or "statusses". Is there any way in the template to specify which plurals are used frequently, and which, rarely? It Is Me Here t / c 14:35, 26 April 2014 (UTC)

That should probably be put in a usage note. —CodeCat 14:38, 26 April 2014 (UTC)
I think we probably try or should try to put the plurals in decreasing order of commonness in current use. It would be easy to make a case for excluding obsolete, rare, and archaic plurals from the inflection line altogether, relegating them to a usage note, if including them would clutter the inflection line, making it harder for language learners to get what is important to them from the entry. Some of our entries seem more like linguistic curiosity cabinets than useful tools for people using the contemporary spoken language or even reading English classical literature. DCDuring TALK 17:02, 26 April 2014 (UTC)
I think we should cater to both groups, though. We have to, really, because by CFI all attested forms of English since 1500 must be allowed. So we shouldn't just omit obsolete or rarely used plurals, and I think that adding notes in the headword line itself would make it overly long and cluttered. So usage notes would be the way to go. I definitely agree with putting the most common forms first, but I thought that was the general practice across Wiktionary already. —CodeCat 17:44, 26 April 2014 (UTC)
It's just a question of where or how we link to the more obscure forms on the lemma entry, not whether there is an entry for the obscure forms. Similarly, that we include an obsolete, archaic, dated, rare, non-standard, or dialectal term does not mean we ever should use it in the definiens of an entry. DCDuring TALK 17:51, 26 April 2014 (UTC)
  • If {{en-noun}} isn't amended suitably, we should go back to using {{head|en}} and "hard-code" the appropriate information. It's just more work for contibutors that a well-designed template should help them do. That work comes on top of the attestation work (say, checking the BYU corpora: COCA, BNC, COHA, GloWBE) that should be done to confirm the relative frequencies. DCDuring TALK 14:39, 9 November 2014 (UTC)
Another approach is to subordinate rare and obsolete plurals by having them hidden by a template on the inflection line. I think that would work at least for all browsers that support CSSJS. DCDuring TALK 14:42, 9 November 2014 (UTC)
I've added the possibility of adding qualifiers before forms, like {{en-verb}} already supports. It's done using the plqual=, pl2qual=, pl3qual= etc. parameters. —CodeCat 14:51, 9 November 2014 (UTC)
Good. When will it be "out of beta"? Documented? DCDuring TALK 17:30, 9 November 2014 (UTC)
But what about using show/hide to conceal rare, archaic, and obsolete plurals of current terms, under a button labeled "more"? Something similar would be useful for such alternative forms as well. By default, it could not display. Custom CSS could allow registered users to see it by default. It would be a better way IMO to serve both types of users. DCDuring TALK 17:30, 9 November 2014 (UTC)
(Responding more to DCDuring's and CodeCat's discussion than to the OP): when I raised the subject of obsolete and uncommon dialectal verb forms in July of 2013, I understood there to be enough agreement to relegate those forms to the usage notes rather than clutter up headword-line with them that I edited entries accordingly, e.g. laugh. (Note how the headword-line would balloon onto two or three lines if all six obsolete forms were included.) I see no reason not to relegate obsolete plurals of still-current nouns similarly, though we should probably create a template to standardize how the usage notes are worded. Note that the same thread also came to discuss putting {{en-conj-simple}} and other conjugation templates into English verb entries, although there's been little effort to do that widely. - -sche (discuss) 18:37, 9 November 2014 (UTC)

Rarely uncountable[edit]

I see we can mark something as "usually uncountable", but there doesn't seem to be a way of marking the opposite? heat stroke is usually countable, but sometimes people say things like "he had a touch of heat stroke", so I wanted to mark it as either "usually countable" or "occasionally uncountable". Is there no way to do that? WurdSnatcher (talk) 15:20, 14 October 2015 (UTC)

In a smoothly working bottom-up system, one would use {{head|en|noun|head=}} and insert any supportable labels, such as you suggest. From time to time the content of head= would be reviewed and considered for incorporation into {{en-noun}} or some other form of standardization. At one time such things occurred. I don't think they do now. DCDuring TALK 19:13, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
You should really just use context labels to indicate countability. The headword-line can only do so much, and honestly I don't know if countability should be there at all. Perhaps something simple like "no plural" would be enough, with sense-level labels handling the finer details. —CodeCat 19:15, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
Okay, thanks both of you, I've used a context label and a usage note to explain it. WurdSnatcher (talk)