Monkies or Monkeys: Which is Correct?

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There is some debate over whether the correct plural of monkey is “monkeys” or “monkies.” This is due to the often recited rule “change y to i and add ies,” which your teacher may have drilled into you over the years. However, that only portrays part of the picture.

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“Monkies” is an incorrect plural word for monkey. It is not possible to write “monkies.”


The correct plural for monkey is “monkeys.” When you are writing about more than one monkey, you should use the word “monkeys.”

  • One monkey
  • Two monkeys
  • Three monkeys…

How to Form the Singular Possessive of Monkey

To form the singular possessive of monkey, you would add an apostrophe + s to the end of the word. This demonstrates ownership or belonging.

Examples of Sentences with the Singular Possessive:

  • The monkey’s tail was long.
  • The monkey’s fur is soft.
  • The monkey’s eyes were big.
  • The monkey’s nose is pointy.

How to Form the Plural Possessive of Monkey

To show ownership and indicate that something belongs to “monkeys” (more than one monkey), you can add an apostrophe after the letter s.

Examples of Sentences with the Plural Possessive:

  • The monkeys’ cage was too small.
  • The monkeys’ food was stolen.
  • The monkeys’ toys were taken away.
  • The monkeys’ noses are pink.

Other Words That Follow the Same Rule

Other words follow the same rule as monkey, such as donkeys and turkeys.

  • Monkey-> monkeys
  • Donkey-> donkeys
  • Turkey-> turkeys

The reason these words end in ‘s’ and not ‘ies’ is because of the ey. When a vowel follows the y, the plural word ends in s. Here are some other examples:

  • Toy-> toys
  • Play-> plays
  • Bay-> bays

When Should You Use -ies

The rule “change y to i and add ies” applies when the word ends in a consonant followed by y. In these cases, you would use ‘-ies’ as the plural form.

  • Fly-> flies
  • Duty-> duties
  • Cherry-> cherries
  • Fantasy-> fantasies
  • Bunny-> bunnies

Examples of Sentences with Monkey

  • The monkeys are climbing the trees.
  • I saw two monkeys at the zoo.
  • Do you like monkeys?
  • There are three monkeys in that cage.
  • The monkey is eating a banana.
  • Monkeys are very intelligent animals.
  • I wish I could go to the zoo and see the monkeys.
  • Some monkeys are born with tails, while others are not.
  • All of the monkeys at the zoo have been vaccinated against the flu.
  • The monkey on the ground is picking up bugs and eating them.

Tip: If English is not your first language, it may be worth knowing that a monkey can also refer to a naughty person.

Here are some example sentences:

  • He’s such a monkey! He just wrecked my car!
  • Quit being such monkeys, and do your homework!
  • Stop acting like cheeky monkeys, and be quiet!
  • All the kids were monkeys in the store, and the parents were getting frustrated.

In Conclusion

The plural of monkey is “monkeys,” not “monkies.” Just remember the rule: when a vowel follows the y, the plural term ends in ‘s.’ Other than that, if you see a word ending in y, you can usually add ‘ies’ to form the plural.

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Caitriona Maria is an education writer and founder of TPR Teaching, crafting inspiring pieces that promote the importance of developing new skills. For 7 years, she has been committed to providing students with the best learning opportunities possible, both domestically and abroad. Dedicated to unlocking students' potential, Caitriona has taught English in several countries and continues to explore new cultures through her travels.

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