Puzzling Plurals: Resident

The plural of the word resident is residents.  Just add an -s.  Why is it puzzling?  The plural residents sounds like the word residence.  If you get confused, this might help:

  • resident – one person who lives in a place (a resident of Virginia, the resident of this house)
  • residents – people (2 or more) who live in a place (residents of Virginia, the residents of this house)
  • residence – the place where one or more people stay or live (a college student’s permanent residence is in Florida, but their current residence is at the university).
  • residences* – the places where one or more people stay, live, or have lived.

*When you change residence to the plural form, remember to add a syllable /Iz/ when you pronounce it.

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