English might be the only language that serves as a global medium of communication since it is spoken by over 1.5 billion natives and non-natives alike. Being a non-native, you need a proper roadmap that you can follow to master this language. And after sometime you will be fluent enough in its usage like a local speaker.
It is essential to note that spoken English differs from written English. If you speak this language, you don’t need to be a grammar expert. Though, while writing in English, you need to keep an eye on various things; grammar and composition.
Now, when we communicate in English, the nouns vary for plurality. But, this isn’t true for all languages.
Several languages, including Japanese, have no concept of plurality in their grammar. So, they have a hard time learning the concepts of singularity and plurality.
Alum and alumni are two nouns that non-natives have a hard time differentiating.
Alum is a short form used for an alumnus. An alumnus is a singular form used for male students. Whereas alumni are the plural form of an alumnus. Though, both the nouns are used to refer to former graduates.
In this article, I will discuss additional nouns related to alumni and alumnus. Be sure to read on.
Let’s get into it…
Rules For Singular And Plural
There are rules to turn singular into plurals. Let’s have a look at the rules along with examples;
|Singular Noun Ends With||Plural Noun Ends With||Singular||Plural|
|O||Es or s||Potato/Photo||Potatoes/Photos|
|F or fe||Ves||Half/Knife||Halves/Knives|
Learning English isn’t as hard as you may think. You just need to learn these rules if you want to make singular and plural sense.
Proper Use Of Alum, Alumnus, Alums, Alumna, and Alumnae
While some of these nouns are singular, others are plural, indicating either masculine or feminine gender. They all indicate former students of school or college.
Let’s have a look at the meaning and use of all these nouns;
- Alum: You can use it in two ways. It is a slang word used for both alumnus and alumna. Another meaning of alum is that it’s a chemical compound.
Eg; Jason is an alum of Manchester University.
Lara is an alum of Manchester University.
- Alums: it is a plural used for the slang word alum.
- Alumnus: it is a singular noun used for a former male graduate.
Eg Jason is an alumnus of Manchester University.
- Alumna: it is a singular noun used for the feminine gender.
Eg Lara is an alumna of Manchester University.
- Alumni: it’s a plural noun for masculine gender.
Eg Jason and Justin are alumni of Manchester University.
- Alumnae: it’s a plural noun for the feminine gender.
Eg Lara and Lily are alumnae of Manchester University.
“I Am An Alum” VS. “I Am An Alumnus” – The Correct Usage
Both the sentences are grammatically and context-wise correct. However, you can’t use both in similar situations. When you’re a former male graduate, you can specifically say “I am an alumnus.”
Now, the other sentence “I am an alum” can be used for both males and females. This neutral noun is more common than the other gender-specified noun. You must be wondering about the noun that specifically indicates a woman. When you’re a female student, you can say “I am an alumna.”
What Does A Person Who Went to School/College With You Is Called?
You can use different names to refer to a person who used to study at school with you. You use words depending on how well you get along with a person.
- Classmates: You can call someone a classmate if you both study or used to study in the same class.
- Peer is also a word that is usually used to refer to someone you know but don’t get along well.
- Fellow alum is a word that describes a person who went to the same school or college.
- A friend is someone who knows you well and has a special relationship with you.
There are five words in English that you generally use to describe former students. When the students are male, you can use both alum and alumnus. When there is more than one male student, the term alumni is used.
In addition to alum, you can also use alumna for former female students. When there are a group of female students, you can use alumnae, which is a plural noun.