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ESL forum > Grammar and Linguistics > help     



i raed  astory yesterday and i noticed sth wrong (harcourt curriculum)  look at this sentence>>>>>>>>>>I catch two fishes )
according to my information fish is irregular plural >>>>>>>we have to say two fish,,,,,,,,,,, do you have an explanation for this new phenmenon to me.
thanks my dears.

3 Mar 2011      


As far as I know fish has a plural also fish when you speak about fish in general. But when you have different kinds of fish in mind it can have a plural of fishes.  E.g. There are lots of fish in this lake, but only a few fishes. Meaning: not too many types, but those few are in large numbers.
In the example you have it looks as though it has nothing to do with fish species, but is simply a mistake. 

3 Mar 2011     


You are right Loli, "fish" has always been irregular, but in the last years the use of "fishes"  has become common and accepted.

Anyway, the best thing is to look it up in a good dictionry or grammar.
Here you have one:   Oxford Advanced Learner�s Dictionary

Definition of fish noun from the OALD

fish or fishes
Fish is the usual plural form. The older form, fishes, can be used to refer to different kinds of fish.

1 [countable]a creature that lives in water, breathes through gills, and uses fins and a tail for swimming

They caught several fish.
tropical/marine/freshwater fish
shoals (= groups) of fisha fish tank/pond
There are about 30000 species of fish in the world.
The list of endangered species includes nearly 600 fishes.
Fish stocks in the Baltic are in decline.

In the pool she could see little silvery fish darting around.


Hope it helps!

3 Mar 2011