The English language is full of words that are spelled and pronounced similarly. There are even times when incorrect words become more popular than the correct spelling! Many new writers get confused about the difference between lifes and lives. Is lifes even a word? In this post, we’ll explain both these words & show how they can be used in your writing!
What’s The Difference: Lives or Lifes?
Takeaway: Lives is the correct plural form of the word life. Lifes is a common misspelling & is not correct to use in any context.
It is easy to see why new writers confuse the words lifes and lives in their writing. After all, they are homophones and are pronounced the same. This is very similar to what we saw when analyzing the words Sargent & Sergeant. Here is the difference:
- Lives: Correct spelling of the plural form of the word life.
- Lifes: Not a word & should not be used.
How To Use Lives
Lives is the plural form life. Just like Monkeys or Monkies is the plural form of monkey.
- Mark saved 1,000 lives during the earthquake.
- More than 15 lives were lost during the most recent natural disaster.
The word lives is also the plural form of the word live. Live means to be alive. It can also be used to show the location of your home.
- “I live behind the bagel shop down by the beach.”
Like most verbs, simply adding the -S at the end of the word creates the plural form. Understanding how to properly use plural words will make you a far better writer! We found a spelling rule when analyzing the nouns tomatoes vs tomatos in your writing!
Here are some sentence examples that illustrate how to use the word lives in your writing.
- We all have different lives and experience a different existence.
- Some people live in poverty.
- Others live in luxury while I live on the poor side of town.
- Some people live happy lives, while others do not.
- The lives of children are often more simplistic and happier than adults.
Just like we saw when analyzing the words paid vs payed, even words that are spelled similarly can have completely different meanings!
How To Use Lifes
Lifes is not a word and should not be used in your writing. This is a very common spelling mistake that new writers make.
However, the word life’s is the correct singular possessive form of the word life. Consider these examples:
- I was so upset when a fire burned down the laboratory and ruined my life’s work.
- Lebron James life’s work was to become the best basketball player that ever lived.
Consider using the Chegg Plagiarism Checker and Grammar Checker to ensure you don’t make simple typos like this.
Our Lives vs Our Life
The word lives is plural and the word life is singular. If you are talking to a group of people than you should use the phrase “our lives”.
- All our lives have been much better since moving to Los Angeles.
The phrase “our life” is used in reference to a single person. Here is an example:
- Our life together has been amazing since we got married 10 years ago.
Takeaway: Both phrases can be used correctly depending on the context of the sentence.
By examining Google’s N Gram data you can see that the word lives is used far more frequently than the word lifes. And that makes perfect sense because lifes is not a word!
Just like we saw in our analysis of the phrase paid attention, data can change over time. Certain words become more popular throughout the years for a variety of reasons. Another such example is the phrase at least! This phrase has become much more popular in recent years!
Frequently Asked Questions
Lives is the correct plural form of the word life. However, the word life’s can be used as a singular possessive noun. For example “The Harry Potter series was JK Rowling’s life’s work.”
Lifes is not the plural form of the noun life. The spelling lives is the correct way to two lives (or more). Lives can also be the third person singular of the verb live.
It is correct to say people’s lives. The word life can only be used when referring to a single person. For example, you might say “people’s lives end at death.”
The word lives is the plural form of the word life. The two words lifes and lives are often confused by new writers. However, lifes is not a word! Most people believe that you have only one life. A smaller group of people believe that we get to live many lives.
Here is an example of how to use the plural noun lives. I read an article summary about the daily lives of people who work as coal miners. I learned that they are living a much tougher life than most people.
The Bottom Line
By now you should be an expert on the difference between lives and lifes. Lives is the correct plural form of the word life. The word lifes is incorrect and should not be used in your writing. If you need some extra help, consider using our online correction grammar tool for FREE. This tool will check your writing in seconds to identify any potential errors!