Gooses or Geese – Which Is Correct?

Probably one of the most commonly confused words by new & experienced writers alike is gooses & geese. Creating the plural form of a word can often be a tricky process. For some reason, the plural form of goose seems to trip up many writers. In this post, we’ll teach you exactly how to choose between gooses or geese in your writing.

Which is Correct: Geese or Gooses?

picture comparing the difference between goose vs geese

I think it’s safe to say we are all familiar with the noun goose. A goose is a large bird with a long neck and webbed feet that is closely related to ducks and swans. This spelling rule is almost identical to that of freshmen or freshman! Here is a simple way to remember this grammar rule for the plural form of ‘goose’.

  • Geese: The standard plural form of “goose,” and it is used when referring to a group of geese collectively.
  • Gooses: Incorrect usage. Gooses cannot be used to represent the plural form of goose (noun). It can be used as a noun meaning a foolish person.

Takeaway: If you are referring just a single bird, use the word “goose”. If you are referring to a group of white geese or grey geese, use the word “geese”.

Examples

Here are some examples of using plural Geese in sentences:

  1. There’s no need to honk your horn at the geese crossing the road- they’re not going to get out of your way.
  2. After a long day of shopping, I like to relax by watching the black geese in the park.
  3. My little sister loves feeding the geese, but she’s always disappointed when they don’t come up to her.

Here are some examples of using goose correctly in sentences:

  1. According to my 6-year-old daughter, a female goose is the most beautiful animal in the world!
  2. I love having jake in my class, he is such a silly goose always making the other kids laugh.
  3. The teacher asked if we knew what a baby goose was called.

Goose Is An Ablaut

The plural of goose is geese. This is an example of an ablaut, which is a phonological process in which the pronunciation of vowels changes in a systematic way. This is slightly different than the traditional spelling rules to create plural words.

Are there others like this? Here are some other words that follow a similar rule as goose.

  • The plural of mouse is mice

Here are some more traditional examples

  • The plural of dog is dogs
  • The plural of cat is cats
  • The plural of pillow is pillows

Silly Gooses or Silly Geese

We now know the plural of goose is geese. These words are confused almost as much as however or how ever! But what is the plural of silly goose?

The plural of silly goose is actually silly gooses. If you have a bunch of kids acting silly or foolish, you would call them ‘silly gooses’ not ‘silly geese’! So, if you’re ever in a situation where you need to pluralize a silly goose, say silly goose. Just like with the words in or within, spelling makes a huge difference!

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do we say geese instead of gooses?

The plural of goose is geese, based on the Old English rules for forming plurals. The original Indo-European root word also yielded the Modern German word Gans, the Dutch word ganzen, and the Swedish word gasa. So it appears that the English name for this bird has been more or less unchanged for a few hundred years.

Is it Canada gooses or Canada geese?

It’s Canada geese, not Canada gooses. The proper plural of goose is geese, not gooses. If you want to show off your knowledge of Canadian wildlife, you can call them Canuck geese.

What is a group of geese called?

A group of geese is called a gaggle.

What is a flock of crows called?

A flock of crows is called a murder. The term “murder of crows” comes from the Old English word “murdre,” which means “murder.”

Final Thoughts – Gooses vs Geese

Now you know the difference between gooses vs geese in your writing. Just like the words is it play it by ear or year, these words can be tricky! The correct plural form of goose is geese. You should not be using gooses in reference to a group of geese! By now you should know that a small spelling difference, just like with the words idea and ideal, can make a huge difference. Follow these grammar tips to improve your writing today!