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Eseys or Essays – Which is Correct?

  • by Sarah Thompson
  • March 3, 2024

Let’s have a conversation about the common mistake people make when writing the word “Essays.” Many individuals seem to get confused between “Eseys” and “Essays” and find themselves wondering which spelling is correct. Today, we will debunk this confusion and establish the correct spelling once and for all.

To address this issue, it is pertinent to emphasize that “Essays” is the correct spelling of the word. The incorrect term “Eseys” is a common misspelling resulting from a typographical error or a lack of familiarity with the correct spelling.

Now, let’s learn the reasons why “Essays” is the right spelling. Firstly, “Essays” is the plural form of the singular noun “Essay.” When we want to refer to more than one essay, we simply add an “s” to the end of the word. This is the conventional English rule for forming plurals of nouns, and it applies to “Essay” as well. For example, “I have written multiple essays on various topics.” Here, the correct plural form of “Essay” is used to convey the idea that the speaker has written more than one essay.

Moreover, we can also look at past forms of verbs to further solidify the correct spelling. For instance, the verb form of “Essay” is “Essayed.” “Essayed” is the past tense form, and by examining the conjugation of the verb, we can recognize that “Essays” is indeed the accurate plural form. You might say, “He essayed his thoughts on the subject,” to convey that someone expressed their ideas in the form of an essay.

To illustrate the incorrect spelling, “Eseys,” it is crucial to emphasize that this word does not exist in Standard English. It is a mistake that has often emerged due to a lack of knowledge or inattentiveness during writing. Therefore, it is essential to be attentive and avoid this misspelling in formal writing, as it may weaken your language skills and leave a negative impression on the reader.

In conclusion, we have effectively established that the correct spelling of the word referring to multiple essays is “Essays.” “Eseys” is an erroneous form that should be avoided. Remember, using proper grammar and spelling not only enhances your communication skills, but it also showcases your proficiency in the English language. So, the next time you find yourself unsure about whether to write “Eseys” or “Essays,” confidently choose the latter for an accurate and grammatically correct sentence!

So, keep practicing your writing skills, pay attention to proper grammar, and remember the correct spelling of “Essays.” With dedication and practice, you will become an exceptional writer and expert in the English language.

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Meaning of essay in English

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  • I want to finish off this essay before I go to bed .
  • His essay was full of spelling errors .
  • Have you given that essay in yet ?
  • Have you handed in your history essay yet ?
  • I'd like to discuss the first point in your essay.
  • boilerplate
  • composition
  • dissertation
  • essay question
  • peer review
  • go after someone
  • go all out idiom
  • go down swinging/fighting idiom
  • go for it idiom
  • go for someone
  • shoot the works idiom
  • smarten (someone/something) up
  • smarten up your act idiom
  • square the circle idiom
  • step on the gas idiom

essay | American Dictionary

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  • 1.1 Pronunciation
  • 1.4 Anagrams
  • 2.1 Pronunciation

English [ edit ]

Pronunciation [ edit ].

  • IPA ( key ) : /ˈɛseɪz/
  • IPA ( key ) : /ɛˈseɪz/
  • Rhymes: -eɪz
  • Hyphenation: es‧says

Noun [ edit ]

  • plural of essay

Verb [ edit ]

  • third-person singular simple present indicative of essay

Anagrams [ edit ]

  • Sesays , Sessay

Dutch [ edit ]

plural from of essay

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Pronunciation [ change ]

Noun [ change ].

  • The plural form of essay ; more than one (kind of) essay.

Verb [ change ]

  • The third-person singular form of essay .

plural from of essay

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Definition of essay noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary

Join our community to access the latest language learning and assessment tips from Oxford University Press!

  • 3 essay (in something) ( formal ) an attempt to do something His first essay in politics was a complete disaster.

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Essay in british english, examples of 'essay' in a sentence essay, related word partners essay, trends of essay.

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The plural form of most nouns is formed by adding s to the end of the word.

There are twelve boys and thirteen girls in that class.

When a word ends in sh , ch , s , z , or x , the plural is usually formed by adding es to the end.

We need three batches of cookies for three different classes at school.

When a word ends in [consonant] + y , the plural is formed by changing the y to ie and adding s .

I may live in only one country at a time, but I feel like a citizen of many countries .

In compound nouns, the principal word is the one made plural.

daughters-in-law , governors general , passers-by , ladies in waiting

Many nouns referring to animals have the same form in the singular and in the plural.

The land sustained an abundance of deer and moose , and could also be used to raise sheep .

If a noun ends in f or fe the plural is usually formed by adding s , but is sometimes formed by changing the f or fe to a ve and adding s .

His beliefs told him that those loaves required sharp knives .

If a noun ends in o , the plural is usually formed by adding s , but is sometimes formed by adding es .

My heroes all play banjos .

Words borrowed into English from other languages sometimes follow the rules for pluralisation in English and sometimes those for pluralisation in the original language.

phenomenon , phenomena and thesis , theses from Greek; alumnus , alumni and alumna , alumnae from Latin; tableau , tableaux and corps , corps from French

Special Cases

Plurals of symbols, numbers (including years), and uppercase letters are usually formed by adding s .

He was concerned with the use of @s in formal writing since the 1990s . I could not suppress a smile when I saw so many As on my transcript.

Plurals of lowercase letters are usually formed by adding ’s after the letter.

He wondered how many c’s and m’s were in the word “accommodate.”

For most proper names, the plural is formed simply by adding s to the end of the name, though when a proper name ends in s the plural is formed by adding es .

The three Jacks joined the three Jills to fetch three pails of water. We always worked very hard to keep up with the Joneses .

Collective nouns (referring to groups of people, animals, or things) are usually treated as singular. If, however, you want to lay stress on the individual members rather than on the overall unit, you may treat the noun as plural:

A flock of birds is flying in a V formation , but A flock of birds are threatening our crops . My family is strange , but My family are unpredictable in their tastes .

To 'Essay' or 'Assay'?

You know what an essay is. It's that piece you had to write in school, hopefully not (but probably) the night before it was due, about a subject such as What Freedom Means to You—at least five pages, double-spaced, and don't even try to get away with anything larger than a 12-point font. (Kudos for thinking to tweak the margins, though.)

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Remember the difference and get an 'A' for effort.

You might also know that essay can be a verb, with its most common meaning being "to try, attempt, or undertake":

A very close approach to the evil of Idi Amin is essayed in Giles Foden's 1998 novel The Last King of Scotland , whose narrator is the Scottish personal physician to the dictator. — Norman Rush, The New York Review of Books , 7 Oct. 2004 The principal accidents she remembers, before last summer's, involved chipping a couple of teeth while, as a fifth grader, she was essaying a back flip off a diving board,... — E. J. Kahn, Jr., The New Yorker , 17 Aug. 1987

The verb assay , meanwhile, is used to mean "to test or evaluate" and can be applied to anything from laboratory samples to contest entries:

He bounced from job to job, working on a shrimp boat and later for Pan American Laboratories assaying chemicals coming in from Mexico. — Steve Clark, The Brownville Herald , 21 Apr. 2017 "Each burger will be assayed by visitors and a panel of judges, including local chefs Jen Knox, Gina Sansonia, Judith Able, Bret Hauser, Camilo Cuartas and Peter Farrand." — Phillip Valys, , 19 May 2017

While this distinction might seem clear-cut on the surface, there exists a great deal of historical overlap between essay and assay . The two words derive from the same root—the Middle French essai , which ultimately derives from a Late Latin noun, exagium , meaning "act of weighing."

At one time, assay and essay were synonyms, sharing the meaning "try" or "attempt." In the 17th century, an essay was an effort to test or prove something:

Edmond: I hope, for my brother's justification, he wrote this but as an essay or taste of my virtue. — William Shakespeare, King Lear , 1606

For the modern noun use of essay to mean "a written exploration of a topic," we can almost certainly thank Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592), a French writer noted for working in the form. Borrowing a word that emphasized their identity as literary "attempts," Montaigne devised Essais as a title for the vignette-typed pieces that he began publishing in 1580 and spanned over a thousand pages, covering subjects as varied and wide-ranging as solitude, cannibalism, and drunkenness.

Those last ones probably won't be in the final exam.

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Grammar Tips: Plural Nouns

Grammar Tips: Plural Nouns

7-minute read

  • 10th March 2023

If someone asked you what a noun is , you’d probably say it’s a person, place, or thing. Pretty simple, right? But what about plural nouns? For example, what is the plural form for cat ? If you said cats , you’re right! What about the plural for foot ? If you said foots , you’re incorrect. The correct form is feet. Simply adding an s at the end works for some nouns – but not all.

Plural nouns can be confusing for many English learners. Most students struggle with regular versus irregular plurals as well as apostrophe usage with some plurals. Nevertheless, understanding plural nouns is important for effective communication. After all, you’ll encounter them in many contexts!

If you find plural nouns confusing, read on! This blog will provide essential grammar tips for using plural nouns correctly in written and spoken English. We’ll discuss pluralization rules as well as irregular and tricky plural noun forms. By the time you finish reading, you’ll feel confident using plural nouns effectively in any context. And understanding plural nouns can go a long way to improving your English grammar .

What Are Plural Nouns?

Plural nouns refer to more than one person, place, or thing. You can easily recognize most of them by their s or es ending:

There’s not much to pluralizing such nouns. However, things get tricky with irregular plurals, as they have their own unique forms. For example:

English language learners often struggle to distinguish regular plurals from irregular ones . Fortunately, to form irregular plurals, you just need to know which letters to change.

How to Make Nouns Plural

As we stated above, you can make most singular nouns plural by adding s or es to the end of the word, depending on the word’s ending. Likewise, collective nouns (nouns that represent groups) can be made plural by adding s or es . For example:

Regular Plural Nouns

Nouns such as bottle, toy, bike , and chair are the easiest to pluralize, as you simply add s to the end. However, some nouns require the es ending:

Irregular Plurals

The rules for forming these plurals are different from the rules for forming regular plurals, and interestingly enough, there are multiple ways to form irregular plurals. Examples of nouns that have irregular plurals include mouse , man , goose , wolf , and wife . Their pluralization looks like this:

Pluralizing these is usually a matter of knowing the rules regarding certain noun endings. If a noun ends in f or fe , you change the ending to ve before adding an s to form the plural:

The only exceptions to this rule are roof, belief, chef, chief , and café , which take the s ending. For nouns such as goose, foot, and tooth , you change the double o into a double e to make the plural. So the plural forms are geese, feet, and teeth , respectively.

Booth and book are exceptions: their plurals use the s ending. Therefore, changing the double o to a double e is incorrect. And for nouns such as man and woman , you only need to change the a to e to make the plural.

How to Pluralize the Word Mouse

The word mouse has a unique plural form. You simply change mouse to mice :

However, you wouldn’t apply this rule to other words ending in ouse , such as house . You would simply add the s ending for those.

More Rules for Plural Nouns

The final letter of a noun often dictates the correct spelling of the pluralized form. But just as we saw with irregular plurals, you must be aware of special rules.

Singular Nouns Ending in Y

If a singular noun ends in y and the letter before the y is a consonant, you change the ending to ies to make the plural:

If a singular noun ends in y and the letter before the y is a vowel, just add an s to make the plural:

Singular Nouns Ending in O

If a singular noun ends in o , add es to make the plural:

However, you would not apply this rule to nouns such as piano , halo , and photo , which take the s ending for the plural.

Which Nouns Take the es Ending?

We know you’ve probably been asking this question from the beginning. The simple answer is that the es ending applies to nouns that end in s , ss , sh , ch , x , and z . For example:

Plural Noun Exceptions

While we’ve already mentioned a few exceptions, more exist. If a singular noun ends in us , the plural ending is i . For example:

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If a singular noun ends in is , the plural ending is es :

If a singular noun ends in on , the plural ending is a :

Believe it or not, some nouns don’t change at all when you pluralize them. Such nouns include sheep, fish, deer, series , aircraft , and species . They can be singular or plural:

Plural Nouns Versus Possessive Nouns

Possessive nouns demonstrate ownership, generally with the ’ s ending. Let’s say your cousin Bill owns a boat (lucky Bill!). You would indicate it like this:

Most students confuse plural nouns with possessive nouns because of the s endings. Understanding how to use apostrophes with plurals and possessives can be tricky. Plural nouns don’t have apostrophes unless they’re also possessive. Let’s consider the following examples:

Common Mistakes When Using Plural Nouns

1. Adding s or es endings to irregular nouns (e.g., goose , man , child , foot )

2. Adding an apostrophe to a plural noun when it’s not possessive

3. Adding s endings with nouns that actually need the es ending

4. Adding pluralizing endings to nouns that don’t change at all (e.g., deer , fish , series )

5. Adding the wrong ending to nouns that end in us , is , and on

Tips for Avoiding Errors in Writing and Speaking

1. Remember that plural nouns don’t use apostrophes unless they’re also possessive.

2. You cannot pluralize all nouns simply by using s or es endings.

3. Remember which letters need to be changed to form irregular plurals (which all have unique forms).

4. Know which nouns use the s and es endings.

5. Know which nouns are singular and plural in sentences.

Tips for Identifying Singular and Plural Nouns in Sentences

Looking at how much of something a noun is referring to can tell you whether that noun is singular or plural. It’s singular if it refers to one person or thing. It’s plural if it refers to more than one person or thing.

When reading a sentence, look for any nouns with s or es endings. If so, they’re likely plural. Furthermore, by understanding how much of something the noun refers to, you can recognize the tricky irregular plural nouns we’ve covered.

Incorrect Plural Nouns Lead to Different Meanings

It’s important to use the correct forms of plural and possessive nouns, as incorrect plurals can change the meaning of a sentence. Take these examples:

We encourage you to practice using plural nouns correctly. One way to do this is by trying a worksheet on singular and plural nouns . The more practice you have, the more comfortable you’ll be. For our visual learners, we recommend this video on how to form plural nouns . Finally, we encourage you to proofread your written work for correct plural noun usage.

If you’re currently working on an essay or a paper, you might be interested in letting our proofreading experts review your writing. They can check for grammar and punctuation errors and make sure the spelling is perfect. They’ll also ensure the correct use of plural nouns! Consider submitting a 500-word document for free today.

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Singular and Plural Forms in Scientific Writing

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Although plurals can sometimes be relatively simple, there are situations that cause confusion, including mass nouns. Learn more about how to avoid mistakes in scientific writing.

Updated on June 19, 2012

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In most cases, forming the plural in English is relatively simple (just add an 's'). However, authors frequently make a few mistakes when forming plurals, especially with mass nouns.

Count nouns are discrete, individual entities -- items that you can count. Mass nouns , sometimes called uncountable or non-count nouns, refer to an undifferentiated mass or collection of material. For example, you would not say, “I'm all out of a water.” It is correct to say “I need a little water” or “I need a few bottles of water.” In this example, water is a mass noun, and bottle is a count noun. Likewise, when describing an experiment, you would quantify a mass noun by adding a specific measurement (e.g., “2 ml of water”); in fact, whether you choose bottles or milliliters, the mass noun requires some unit of measurement to be quantified. Note that the unit is plural and the mass noun ('water') remains unchanged.

Data and research are two nouns that are frequently used in the sciences and are much more tricky than they appear.

It is often taught that data (like media or spectra) is a plural word (the singular is 'datum'). In most contexts, the word data refers to specific numerical results and should therefore be treated as a plural count noun, with a corresponding plural verb form.

  • The patient data are sorted in Table 1.
  • Data were collected retrospectively from patient medical records.

However, this rule is not strict; it depends on the scientific context. Data can sometimes be used in the singular as a mass noun. For example, in Ars Technica, Chris Foresman examines how securely “user data is stored” by Apple's iCloud service. Likewise, the following PLOS ONE article uses the singular form of data in its title: “ Clickstream Data Yields High-Resolution Maps of Science. ” In computer science, data is often used in the singular form as an mass noun; that is, computer scientists use the word data to describe a mass of information to be accessed, stored, or processed ( information is another great example of a mass noun).

Unlike data , research should always be used as a mass noun, and its verb must be singular. Some writers attempt to force research to take a plural form (researches); however, this usage is incredibly rare, and it will almost certainly trouble a reviewer. Because research is a mass noun, it can refer to a wide body of literature (e.g., “current research in the field”) or the work involved in a specific project (e.g., “our research focused on the following objectives”). If you need to quantify the research in question, try using study/studies (e.g., “In total, 28 studies were included in this review”). Consider the following examples, also from PLOS ONE :

  • A Comparison of rpoB and 16S rRNA as Markers in Pyrosequencing Studies of Bacterial Diversity
  • Aggregating, Tagging and Integrating Biodiversity Research (not researches)

We hope these tips and examples help avoid the grammatical confusion that often surrounds data and research . Are there other singular or plural forms that cause you trouble in your scientific writing? Write to [email protected] , and we will work with you to find the answer. Best of luck!

Brandon Jernigan, PhD, Strategic Communications Partner and Operations UX English, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Brandon Jernigan, PhD

Strategic Communications Partner and Operations UX

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Academic Essay Writing Made Simple: 4 types and tips

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The pen is mightier than the sword, they say, and nowhere is this more evident than in academia. From the quick scribbles of eager students to the inquisitive thoughts of renowned scholars, academic essays depict the power of the written word. These well-crafted writings propel ideas forward and expand the existing boundaries of human intellect.

What is an Academic Essay

An academic essay is a nonfictional piece of writing that analyzes and evaluates an argument around a specific topic or research question. It serves as a medium to share the author’s views and is also used by institutions to assess the critical thinking, research skills, and writing abilities of a students and researchers.  

Importance of Academic Essays

4 main types of academic essays.

While academic essays may vary in length, style, and purpose, they generally fall into four main categories. Despite their differences, these essay types share a common goal: to convey information, insights, and perspectives effectively.

1. Expository Essay

2. Descriptive Essay

3. Narrative Essay

4. Argumentative Essay

Expository and persuasive essays mainly deal with facts to explain ideas clearly. Narrative and descriptive essays are informal and have a creative edge. Despite their differences, these essay types share a common goal ― to convey information, insights, and perspectives effectively.

Expository Essays: Illuminating ideas

An expository essay is a type of academic writing that explains, illustrates, or clarifies a particular subject or idea. Its primary purpose is to inform the reader by presenting a comprehensive and objective analysis of a topic.

By breaking down complex topics into digestible pieces and providing relevant examples and explanations, expository essays allow writers to share their knowledge.

What are the Key Features of an Expository Essay

plural from of essay

Provides factual information without bias

plural from of essay

Presents multiple viewpoints while maintaining objectivity

plural from of essay

Uses direct and concise language to ensure clarity for the reader

plural from of essay

Composed of a logical structure with an introduction, body paragraphs and a conclusion

When is an expository essay written.

1. For academic assignments to evaluate the understanding of research skills.

2. As instructional content to provide step-by-step guidance for tasks or problem-solving.

3. In journalism for objective reporting in news or investigative pieces.

4. As a form of communication in the professional field to convey factual information in business or healthcare.

How to Write an Expository Essay

Expository essays are typically structured in a logical and organized manner.

1. Topic Selection and Research

  • Choose a topic that can be explored objectively
  • Gather relevant facts and information from credible sources
  • Develop a clear thesis statement

2. Outline and Structure

  • Create an outline with an introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion
  • Introduce the topic and state the thesis in the introduction
  • Dedicate each body paragraph to a specific point supporting the thesis
  • Use transitions to maintain a logical flow

3. Objective and Informative Writing

  • Maintain an impartial and informative tone
  • Avoid personal opinions or biases
  • Support points with factual evidence, examples, and explanations

4. Conclusion

  • Summarize the key points
  • Reinforce the significance of the thesis

Descriptive Essays: Painting with words

Descriptive essays transport readers into vivid scenes, allowing them to experience the world through the writer ‘s lens. These essays use rich sensory details, metaphors, and figurative language to create a vivid and immersive experience . Its primary purpose is to engage readers’ senses and imagination.

It allows writers to demonstrate their ability to observe and describe subjects with precision and creativity.

What are the Key Features of Descriptive Essay

plural from of essay

Employs figurative language and imagery to paint a vivid picture for the reader

plural from of essay

Demonstrates creativity and expressiveness in narration

plural from of essay

Includes close attention to detail, engaging the reader’s senses

plural from of essay

Engages the reader’s imagination and emotions through immersive storytelling using analogies, metaphors, similes, etc.

When is a descriptive essay written.

1. Personal narratives or memoirs that describe significant events, people, or places.

2. Travel writing to capture the essence of a destination or experience.

3. Character sketches in fiction writing to introduce and describe characters.

4. Poetry or literary analyses to explore the use of descriptive language and imagery.

How to Write a Descriptive Essay

The descriptive essay lacks a defined structural requirement but typically includes: an introduction introducing the subject, a thorough description, and a concluding summary with insightful reflection.

1. Subject Selection and Observation

  • Choose a subject (person, place, object, or experience) to describe
  • Gather sensory details and observations

2. Engaging Introduction

  • Set the scene and provide the context
  • Use of descriptive language and figurative techniques

3. Descriptive Body Paragraphs

  • Focus on specific aspects or details of the subject
  • Engage the reader ’s senses with vivid imagery and descriptions
  • Maintain a consistent tone and viewpoint

4. Impactful Conclusion

  • Provide a final impression or insight
  • Leave a lasting impact on the reader

Narrative Essays: Storytelling in Action

Narrative essays are personal accounts that tell a story, often drawing from the writer’s own experiences or observations. These essays rely on a well-structured plot, character development, and vivid descriptions to engage readers and convey a deeper meaning or lesson.

What are the Key features of Narrative Essays

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Written from a first-person perspective and hence subjective

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Based on real personal experiences

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Uses an informal and expressive tone

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Presents events and characters in sequential order

When is a narrative essay written.

It is commonly assigned in high school and college writing courses to assess a student’s ability to convey a meaningful message or lesson through a personal narrative. They are written in situations where a personal experience or story needs to be recounted, such as:

1. Reflective essays on significant life events or personal growth.

2. Autobiographical writing to share one’s life story or experiences.

3. Creative writing exercises to practice narrative techniques and character development.

4. College application essays to showcase personal qualities and experiences.

How to Write a Narrative Essay

Narrative essays typically follow a chronological structure, with an introduction that sets the scene, a body that develops the plot and characters, and a conclusion that provides a sense of resolution or lesson learned.

1. Experience Selection and Reflection

  • Choose a significant personal experience or event
  • Reflect on the impact and deeper meaning

2. Immersive Introduction

  • Introduce characters and establish the tone and point of view

3. Plotline and Character Development

  • Advance   the  plot and character development through body paragraphs
  • Incorporate dialog , conflict, and resolution
  • Maintain a logical and chronological flow

4. Insightful Conclusion

  • Reflect on lessons learned or insights gained
  • Leave the reader with a lasting impression

Argumentative Essays: Persuasion and Critical Thinking

Argumentative essays are the quintessential form of academic writing in which writers present a clear thesis and support it with well-researched evidence and logical reasoning. These essays require a deep understanding of the topic, critical analysis of multiple perspectives, and the ability to construct a compelling argument.

What are the Key Features of an Argumentative Essay?

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Logical and well-structured arguments

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Credible and relevant evidence from reputable sources

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Consideration and refutation of counterarguments

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Critical analysis and evaluation of the issue 

When is an argumentative essay written.

Argumentative essays are written to present a clear argument or stance on a particular issue or topic. In academic settings they are used to develop critical thinking, research, and persuasive writing skills. However, argumentative essays can also be written in various other contexts, such as:

1. Opinion pieces or editorials in newspapers, magazines, or online publications.

2. Policy proposals or position papers in government, nonprofit, or advocacy settings.

3. Persuasive speeches or debates in academic, professional, or competitive environments.

4. Marketing or advertising materials to promote a product, service, or idea.

How to write an Argumentative Essay

Argumentative essays begin with an introduction that states the thesis and provides context. The body paragraphs develop the argument with evidence, address counterarguments, and use logical reasoning. The conclusion restates the main argument and makes a final persuasive appeal.

  • Choose a debatable and controversial issue
  • Conduct thorough research and gather evidence and counterarguments

2. Thesis and Introduction

  • Craft a clear and concise thesis statement
  • Provide background information and establish importance

3. Structured Body Paragraphs

  • Focus each paragraph on a specific aspect of the argument
  • Support with logical reasoning, factual evidence, and refutation

4. Persuasive Techniques

  • Adopt a formal and objective tone
  • Use persuasive techniques (rhetorical questions, analogies, appeals)

5. Impactful Conclusion

  • Summarize the main points
  • Leave the reader with a strong final impression and call to action

To learn more about argumentative essay, check out this article .

5 Quick Tips for Researchers to Improve Academic Essay Writing Skills

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Use clear and concise language to convey ideas effectively without unnecessary words

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Use well-researched, credible sources to substantiate your arguments with data, expert opinions, and scholarly references

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Ensure a coherent structure with effective transitions, clear topic sentences, and a logical flow to enhance readability 

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To elevate your academic essay, consider submitting your draft to a community-based platform like Open Platform  for editorial review 

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Review your work multiple times for clarity, coherence, and adherence to academic guidelines to ensure a polished final product

By mastering the art of academic essay writing, researchers and scholars can effectively communicate their ideas, contribute to the advancement of knowledge, and engage in meaningful scholarly discourse.

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Parts Of Speech

Caleb S.

Understanding What is A Pronoun: Definition, Types & Examples

19 min read

Published on: May 31, 2024

Last updated on: Jun 1, 2024


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Pronouns might seem like small words, but they play a big role in how we communicate every day. Imagine if we had to repeat someone's name every time we talked about them – it would make conversations really long and confusing! That's where pronouns come in. 

In this article, we will learn all about pronouns, what they are, why they are important, and how to use them correctly. We'll break it down into easy-to-understand sections so you can learn everything you need to know. 

From basic definitions to examples and even a fun quiz, we've got you covered. Let's explore all the pronouns in the English language.

What is a Pronoun? 

Pronouns are words that replace nouns or noun phrases to avoid repetition in sentences. They are a vital part of speech , just like nouns and verbs. They make communication easier by making sentences smoother and clearer. 

For example, if we had to keep saying the same nouns over and over again in a sentence. It would sound like this: “Noah went to the store. Noah bought groceries. Noah paid for the items.” It gets a bit tiring, doesn't it?

So, instead of saying, “Noah did this” and “Noah did that,” we can simply use “ you ”.  The resulting phrases would be, “She did this” and “She did that.” See how much easier it is?

Some of the most common examples of pronouns are:

What is an Antecedent? 

In the context of pronouns, we need to understand antecedents as well. But, what actually is an antecedent? 

An antecedent is a word that comes before a pronoun and gives it meaning by telling us what the pronoun refers to. It's like the "manager" of the pronoun, giving it a job to do in the sentence.

  • For example , in the sentence "John lost his wallet," "John" is the antecedent of the pronoun "his." "John" tells us who the pronoun "his" refers to.
  • Here's another example : "The dog chased its tail." In this sentence, "dog" is the antecedent of the pronoun "its." The antecedent tells us that the pronoun is talking about the dog's tail.

So, in simple terms, the antecedent is the word that the pronoun stands for or represents in a sentence. It helps us understand what the pronoun means and who or what it's talking about.

Pronoun-Antecedent Agreement 

Pronoun-antecedent agreement means that a pronoun must match its antecedent in number (singular or plural) and gender (masculine, feminine, or neuter). This agreement makes sentences clear and grammatically correct.

For example , if the antecedent is singular, the pronoun replacing it should also be singular. Likewise, if the antecedent is plural, the pronoun should be plural as well.

Pronouns vs Nouns 

Pronouns and nouns are both essential parts of speech in English, but they serve different roles in sentences. Here is how both can be compared to each other:

Pronouns vs. Determiners 

Both are types of words that help us talk about things, but they have different roles in sentences. Let's compare them:

Types of Pronouns with Examples 

In the next section, we will discuss the types of pronouns used in the English language, along with examples. Continue reading!

Indefinite Pronouns 

Indefinite pronouns are words that don't refer to any specific person, thing, or amount. They are used when we're talking about someone or something in a general or non-specific way.

Here are some commonly used indefinite pronoun words:

Here are a bunch of examples : 

  • Anyone: Anyone can learn to play the guitar if they practice regularly.
  • Everyone: Everyone wants to be happy in life.
  • Someone: Someone left their umbrella at the party last night.
  • Nobody: Nobody knows the answer to that question.
  • Somebody: Somebody is knocking on the door. Can you check who it is?

Possessive Pronouns 

Possessive pronouns show ownership or possession, and they indicate that something belongs to someone or something else. Unlike possessive nouns (which use apostrophes), possessive pronouns stand alone and do not need to be followed by a noun.

These are some common possessive pronouns:

Here are some examples : 

  • Mine: The red car is mine; the blue one is yours.
  • Yours: Is this book yours?
  • His: That is his bike parked over there.
  • Hers: The house with the white fence is hers.
  • Its: The cat licked its paw.

Demonstrative Pronouns 

Demonstrative pronouns are used to point to or identify specific nouns in a sentence. They indicate whether the noun being referred to is nearby or far away in space or time. In English, there are four demonstrative pronouns: 

" This " and " these " are used to refer to objects or people that are close in proximity.

  • "This is my book." (referring to a book nearby)
  • "These are my friends." (referring to friends nearby)

On the other hand, "that" and "those" are used to refer to objects or people that are farther away in proximity.

  • "That is your car." (referring to a car at a distance)
  • "Those are the mountains we climbed." (referring to mountains in the distance)

These pronouns can also be used to emphasize or clarify which specific noun is being referred to in a sentence. They play a huge role in indicating spatial or temporal relationships between the speaker and the object that is being talked about.

Personal Pronouns 

Personal pronouns are words used to replace nouns in a sentence to avoid repetition and make the language more efficient. They represent people or things and can vary depending on the role they play in a sentence (e.g., subject, object, possessive). 

These pronouns refer to the person speaking (first person), the person spoken to (second person), or the person or thing being spoken about (third person). 

In English, personal pronouns include:

Take a look at these examples:

  • I went to the store to buy some groceries
  • She is going to the park to meet her friends
  • He loves to play basketball in his free time
  • We are planning a trip to the beach next weekend
  • They are studying for their exams together

In these examples, "I," "she," "he," "we," "they," "you," and "it" are all personal pronouns replacing nouns in the sentences.

Reflexive Pronouns 

Reflexive pronouns are used when the subject and the object of a sentence are the same entity. They are formed by adding "-self" (singular) or "-selves" (plural) to personal pronouns. These parts of speech serve to reflect the action of the verb back onto the subject.

These pronouns refer back to the subject in the sentence, showing the connection between the subject and the action it performs. 

Here are some reflexive pronouns:

Take a look at some examples: 

  • I will do it myself.
  • You should be proud of yourself.
  • He hurt himself while playing soccer.
  • She bought herself a new dress.
  • The cat groomed itself.

In these examples, reflexive pronouns such as myself, yourself, himself, etc. are used to reflect the action of the verb back onto the subject.

Interrogative Pronouns 

Interrogative pronouns are words used to ask questions. They help us get information about people or things. Some common examples are:

We use these pronouns to ask questions like:

  • Who is coming to the party?
  • Whom did you see at the store?
  • Whose book is this?
  • What is your favorite color?
  • Which car do you want to buy?

So, whenever you want to ask about someone or something, you can use interrogative pronouns. They help you gather information by asking questions.

Reciprocal Pronouns 

In the English language, there are only two reciprocal pronouns.

  • One another

These are used when two or more people do something to each other. They indicate a mutual action or relationship between the subjects involved. 

Take a glance at these examples:

  • The students in the class often help one another with assignments and share study tips.
  • In times of crisis, communities come together to support one another and provide assistance.
  • Sarah and Jack are always there for each other, offering encouragement and advice whenever needed.
  • The team members trust one another's abilities and work collaboratively to achieve their goals.

In these sentences, “one another” is used to express the mutual action or relationship between the subjects involved, just like “each other.” 

Intensive Pronouns 

Also known as emphatic or intensive pronouns are used to emphasize or intensify a noun or pronoun in a sentence. They look like reflexive pronouns but serve a different purpose. 

Unlike reflexive pronouns, they don't reflect actions back to the subject. Instead, they add emphasis. They're used to showing strong feelings like pride or shock. 

The most common intensive pronouns are:

Following are some example sentences:

  • Did you yourself see Loretta spill the coffee?
  • She herself solved the difficult math problem.
  • They themselves organized the charity event.
  • The president himself addressed the nation.
  • We ourselves cleaned up the mess.

In these sentences, the intensive pronouns such as myself, yourself and himself emphasize or intensify the noun or pronoun they refer to.

Relative Pronouns

To introduce relative clauses in a sentence, we make use of relative pronouns. These clauses provide additional information about a noun or pronoun mentioned earlier in the sentence. They also relate the clause they introduce to the noun or pronoun they refer to. 

Common relative pronouns include:

  • Who: Refers to people (subject or object).
  • Whom: Refers to people (object).
  • Whose: Shows possession and refers to people or things.
  • Which: Refers to things or animals.
  • That: Refers to people, things, or animals (less formal than "who" or "which").

Look at a handful of example sentences:

  • The man who lives next door is a doctor. ("Who" introduces the relative clause "who lives next door" and refers to "the man.")
  • The car which is parked in front of the house belongs to John. ("Which" introduces the relative clause "which is parked in front of the house" and refers to "the car.")
  • The cat whom we adopted from the shelter is very playful. ("Whom" introduces the relative clause "whom we adopted from the shelter" and refers to "the cat.")

Distributive Pronouns 

Distributive pronouns are used to refer to individual members or things within a group, rather than collectively. They emphasize the individual rather than the group as a whole. 

Common distributive pronouns include:

Take a look at some examples of distributive pronouns used in sentences:

  • Each of the students received a certificate for their achievements.
  • Every employee is responsible for completing their assigned tasks.
  • Either of the options is acceptable for the project.
  • Neither of the candidates met the qualifications for the job.

In these sentences, the distributive pronouns highlight individual members or things within a group.

Dummy Pronouns 

Also known as impersonal or expletive pronouns, dummy pronouns don't refer to any specific noun or entity. Instead, they serve grammatical functions, such as filling a subject or object position in a sentence. 

These pronouns are often used in certain constructions to maintain grammatical structure or to fulfill syntactic requirements. 

Some common examples are:

Let’s take a look at how common pronouns are used in sentences:

"It" as a dummy pronoun in weather expressions:

  • It is raining.
  • It seems that the meeting will be postponed.

"There" as a dummy pronoun in existential constructions:

  • There are many books on the shelf.
  • There seems to be a problem with the computer.

"Itself" as a dummy pronoun in reflexive constructions:

  • The book practically reads itself.
  • The problem resolved itself over time.

In the examples provided above, "it," "there," and "itself" function to enhance sentence structure and syntax without directly referring to specific nouns.

Quiz: Test Your Pronoun Knowledge 

Now that you've learned about pronouns and their types, it's time to put your knowledge to the test! Take this pronoun exercise quiz to see how well you understand this part of speech. In each sentence, identify the type of pronoun used and fill in the corresponding category in the table below.

In conclusion , pronouns are small but mighty words that make our language smoother and conversations less repetitive. By replacing nouns, they help us communicate more efficiently. 

This blog explored an extensive pronouns list, like personal, possessive, and demonstrative, each with its own job in a sentence. We also learned about antecedents, which give meaning to pronouns. We're sure that you now understand pronouns better and can use them confidently.

So, keep practicing and pay attention to how pronouns work in everyday language. 

Are You Lacking Grammar Skills? 

If you're not sure if your writing is correct or following grammar rules, try using the Grammar Checker at . It can quickly point out any spelling, punctuation, or sentence structure mistakes, helping you get better at writing and communicating effectively. Or, try out our essay writer AI free with no sign up to generate an essay on your desired topic. 

Caleb S. (Mass Literature and Linguistics)

Caleb S. is an accomplished author with over five years of experience and a Master's degree from Oxford University. He excels in various writing forms, including articles, press releases, blog posts, and whitepapers. As a valued author at, Caleb assists students and professionals by providing practical tips on research, citation, sentence structure, and style enhancement.

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Plural Representations of Happiness in Contemporary Literature: Between the Dramatic and the Humorous

  • First Online: 01 June 2024

Cite this chapter

plural from of essay

  • José Cândido Oliveira Martins 6  

Part of the book series: Happiness Studies Book Series ((HAPS))

In contemporary narrative texts, in several genres and discursive literary forms (from novel to short story, from essay to chronicle and poetry), several authors build diverse representations of Happiness in today’s world, with some transversal particularities: first, they show awareness of a heritage of classical thought and literature, starting from Greek Antiquity—there is a fruitful and inescapable intertextual memory; second, these aesthetic representations do not hide the existential and even dramatic dimension of the search for happiness by every human being; third, surprisingly or not, a tendency is also manifested to face this serious topic with humour, in a playful attitude that is no less reflective, which allows the topic to be equated with amusing and surprising looks, typical of a post-modern culture and literature. In a panoramic view, these literary narratives and representations bring out an ambiguous and even paradoxical vision of human happiness, mirroring the diversity of human worldviews and expectations, ethical options and religious beliefs.

This study has been carried out under the research project UIDB/00683/2020 (Centre for Philosophical and Humanistic Studies), funded by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology.

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Cf. the synthetic overview by Alexander Schenell ( 2006 ); as well as the light and captivating history of happiness recounted, colloquially, in a dialogue with three expert voices, by André Comte-Sponville et al. ( 2004 ), structured in three major stages: “At the Origins of Wisdom”, from Greek Philosophy; “The Invention of Paradise”, by Christianity and “The Dream of the Moderns”, starting with the French Revolution of 1789. We also owe to the philosopher Nicholas White ( 2006 ) a brief history of Happiness in Western thought.

However, recently, other in-depth interdisciplinary research on the phenomenon of Happiness, in its philosophical but also social and economic dimension (cf. Zevnik, 2014 ) stands out, as well as critical studies the new directions of research on happiness as well as its impact on contemporary society (cf. Hill et al., 2020 ).

Exploring the psychology of love since the medieval legend of Tristan and Isolde, and the idea of happiness associated with amorous passion, Denis de Rougemont (cf. 1983 , p. 50) argues that happy loves have no great literary tradition in Western culture. On the contrary, centered on the powerful myth of love-passion, the force of Eros and dramatic intensity ( pathos ), it is unhappy loves, on the margins of the important social institution of marriage, that are the most explored in Western literature, influencing mystical-religious literature itself. In other words, happy love has little history in Western literature; unhappiness, on the other hand, is much more profitable from the point of view of literary creation... In any case, this does not erase the omnipresence of the human quest for happiness through love throughout Western history.

As a certain common or cultural-philosophical tradition states, living without seeking for happiness is equivalent to forgetting to live—man was born to be free and happy. This imperative of human happiness, as the art of living with well-being and joy, is expressed, among many others, by Epicurus (2008, p. 27) in his popular Letter on Happiness, in the third-century BC: “We should therefore be concerned with that which creates happiness, since with it we possess everything and without it we do everything to obtain it”.

Polish philosopher Zygmunt Bauman’s much-publicised ideas—on affectivity and love, interpersonal relationships and happiness in contemporary society, after all the moral consequences of modernity—also make it possible to sustain some of the critical research on happiness (cf. Hill et al., 2020 , p. 162).

This superficiality in affective relationships and corresponding volatility in the pursuit of happiness is also admirably captured in the poem “A discussão” [“The discussion”], João Luís Barreto Guimarães ( 2020 , pp. 48–50), in a register of manifest irony and grace, recreating a scene of everyday life, in a tone represented in the opening of the poem: “Prepare the discussion between lovers disagree/requires (first of all that/get right/details”. Everything is done in the name of the deified individual authenticity, as observed by G. Lipovetzky ( 2022 , p. 114): “Our age is witnessing the triumph of the right to a developed sexuality, with Eros finding all its value in itself as an indispensable means to individual balance and happiness”.

How not to feel the enormous unease and deep melancholy of those who went through the horrors of the War that ravaged Europe in the mid-nineteenth century and left deep scars on so many writers and intellectuals? W. G. Sebald ( 2016 , p. 9) tells us about this himself, when he approaches several Austrian writers, in which “the unhappiness of the subject who writes” is revealed, visible in states of melancholy, pessimism, in a climate that can even lead to suicide. Writing can constitute a form of resistance and, at the same time, consolation in the face of the world’s unhappiness.

With the growing prolongation of people’s life expectancy (already considered the “longevity revolution”), allowed by remarkable scientific advances, some questions gain new acuity: what is the point of living so long? With what quality of life? With what index of happiness? These and other questions are answered by Luc Ferry ( 2022 ), exploring two possible paths: that of the wisdom of the ancients, associating virtue and happiness (happiness through moderation and resignation), which a certain fashionable positive psychology; and that of secular spirituality, seeking a healthy and balanced life, in a secularisation of the heritage of Christianity, open to the challenges of transhumanism.

It should be remembered here that Stendhal addressed his famous novel The Carthusian of Parma to special readers—“To the happy few”—i.e. those who are able to enjoy reading a book, who take real pleasure in the act of reading.

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João Carlos Onofre Pinto

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Martins, J.C.O. (2024). Plural Representations of Happiness in Contemporary Literature: Between the Dramatic and the Humorous. In: Magalhães, L., Ferreira Lopes, M.J., Nobre, B., Onofre Pinto, J.C. (eds) Humanistic Perspectives in Happiness Research. Happiness Studies Book Series. Springer, Cham.

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Published : 01 June 2024

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  1. What is the plural of essay?

    The plural form of essay is essays. Find more words! Another word for Opposite of Meaning of Rhymes with Sentences with Find word forms Translate from English Translate to English Words With Friends Scrabble Crossword / Codeword Words starting with Words ending with Words containing exactly Words containing letters Pronounce Find conjugations ...

  2. ESSAY definition and meaning

    essay in British English. noun (ˈɛseɪ , for senses 2, 3 also ɛˈseɪ ) 1. a short literary composition dealing with a subject analytically or speculatively. 2. an attempt or endeavour; effort. 3. a test or trial.

  3. essay

    Borrowed from English essay, from Middle French essai. Noun [edit] essay n (definite singular essayet, indefinite plural essay, definite plural essaya) an essay, a written composition of moderate length exploring a particular subject; Derived terms [edit] essaysamling; References [edit] "essay" in The Nynorsk Dictionary.

  4. Eseys or Essays

    Firstly, "Essays" is the plural form of the singular noun "Essay." When we want to refer to more than one essay, we simply add an "s" to the end of the word. This is the conventional English rule for forming plurals of nouns, and it applies to "Essay" as well. For example, "I have written multiple essays on various topics."

  5. ESSAY

    ESSAY definition: 1. a short piece of writing on a particular subject, especially one done by students as part of the…. Learn more.

  6. essay noun

    essay (by somebody) a collection of essays by prominent African American writers; essay on somebody/something The book contains a number of interesting essays on women in society. essay about somebody/something Pierce contributes a long essay about John F. Kennedy. in an essay I discuss this in a forthcoming essay.

  7. Essay Definition & Meaning

    Essay definition: A testing or trial of the value or nature of a thing. Dictionary Thesaurus Sentences ... Other Word Forms of Essay Noun Singular: essay. Plural: essays. Origin of Essay French essai trial, attempt from Old ...

  8. essays

    essays. plural of essay. Categories: English 2-syllable words. English terms with IPA pronunciation. English terms with audio links. Rhymes:English/eɪz. Rhymes:English/eɪz/2 syllables. English non-lemma forms.

  9. essays

    Pronunciation: ·The plural form of essay; more than one (kind of) essay.··The third-person singular form of essay.

  10. essay noun

    Definition of essay noun in Oxford Advanced American Dictionary. Meaning, pronunciation, picture, example sentences, grammar, usage notes, synonyms and more.

  11. Essay Definition & Meaning

    The meaning of ESSAY is an analytic or interpretative literary composition usually dealing with its subject from a limited or personal point of view. How to use essay in a sentence. Synonym Discussion of Essay.

  12. What Is a Plural Noun?

    A plural noun is a noun that refers to more than one of something (as opposed to a singular noun, which refers to just one). Like singular nouns, they may refer to people, animals, things, concepts, or places. Plural nouns are normally formed by adding -s to the singular noun (e.g., the singular "cat" becomes the plural "cats").

  13. Essays Definition & Meaning

    Essays definition: Plural form of essay. . In the youthful Dutch universities the effect of the essays was greater.

  14. ESSAY definition in American English

    essay in American English. (noun for 1, 2 ˈesei, for 3-5 ˈesei, eˈsei, verb eˈsei) noun. 1. a short literary composition on a particular theme or subject, usually in prose and generally analytic, speculative, or interpretative. 2. anything resembling such a composition. a picture essay.

  15. Essay Definition & Meaning

    1 essay / ˈ ɛˌseɪ/ noun. plural essays. Britannica Dictionary definition of ESSAY. [count] : a short piece of writing that tells a person's thoughts or opinions about a subject. Your assignment is to write a 500-word essay on one of Shakespeare's sonnets. The book is a collection of his previously unpublished essays on/about a variety of ...

  16. Plurals

    Regular. The plural form of most nouns is formed by adding s to the end of the word.. There are twelve boys and thirteen girls in that class.. When a word ends in sh, ch, s, z, or x, the plural is usually formed by adding es to the end.. We need three batches of cookies for three different classes at school.. When a word ends in [consonant] + y, the plural is formed by changing the y to ie and ...

  17. To 'Essay' or To 'Assay'?

    You might also know that essay can be a verb, with its most common meaning being "to try, attempt, or undertake":. A very close approach to the evil of Idi Amin is essayed in Giles Foden's 1998 novel The Last King of Scotland, whose narrator is the Scottish personal physician to the dictator. — Norman Rush, The New York Review of Books, 7 Oct. 2004 The principal accidents she remembers ...

  18. English Grammar Rules

    A plural noun is a word that indicates that there is more than one person, animal place, thing, or idea. When you talk about more than one of anything, you're using plural nouns. When you write about more than one of anything, you usually use the same word, simply adding an s, es, or ies to the end. There are a few exceptions to this rule ...

  19. Grammar Tips: Plural Nouns

    The only exceptions to this rule are roof, belief, chef, chief, and café, which take the s ending. For nouns such as goose, foot, and tooth, you change the double o into a double e to make the plural. So the plural forms are geese, feet, and teeth, respectively.. Booth and book are exceptions: their plurals use the s ending. Therefore, changing the double o to a double e is incorrect.

  20. What is the proper way to write the plural of a single letter? Or a

    The Chicago Manual of Style, one of the more widely used style guides in the United States, says:. Capital letters used as words, numerals used as nouns, and abbreviations usually form the plural by adding s.To aid comprehension, lowercase letters form the plural with an apostrophe and an s.. So: Dikkens with two Ks, but mind your p's and q's. (And always CDs, unless you're talking about ...

  21. Singular and Plural Forms in Scientific Writing

    It is often taught that data (like media or spectra) is a plural word (the singular is 'datum'). In most contexts, the word data refers to specific numerical results and should therefore be treated as a plural count noun, with a corresponding plural verb form. The patient data are sorted in Table 1. Data were collected retrospectively from ...

  22. Types of Essays in Academic Writing

    Narrative Essay. 4. Argumentative Essay. Expository and persuasive essays mainly deal with facts to explain ideas clearly. Narrative and descriptive essays are informal and have a creative edge. Despite their differences, these essay types share a common goal ― to convey information, insights, and perspectives effectively.

  23. What is A Pronoun? Description, Types, and Examples

    Pronouns are words that replace nouns or noun phrases to avoid repetition in sentences. They are a vital part of speech, just like nouns and verbs. They make communication easier by making sentences smoother and clearer. For example, if we had to keep saying the same nouns over and over again in a sentence.

  24. Plural Representations of Happiness in Contemporary ...

    In contemporary narrative texts, in several genres and discursive literary forms (from novel to short story, from essay to chronicle and poetry), several authors build diverse representations of Happiness in today's world, with some transversal particularities: first, they show awareness of a heritage of classical thought and literature, starting from Greek Antiquity—there is a fruitful ...

  25. Oriental Despotism Inside Out: On the Global Travels of ...

    This speculative essay analyzes Montesquieu's comparative method in his De l'esprit des lois (1748) and its contemporary legacies. It takes as its focus ... figure in replacing an essentially religious distinction between the Christian world and a heathen Orient with a more plural world divided into continents marked by cultural and ...