Learn English – say “stuffs” as a plural noun


I know that "stuff" is a collective noun, but other collective nouns like "family" can be pluralized, but "stuffs" doesn't sound quite right to me. However, the spell check on my browser says that "stuffs" is a word.

If "stuffs" is correct, why does it sound wrong to me? If it isn't, then why is it different from other collective nouns?

Best Answer

There are several cases where collective nouns are pluralized. "Fish" can mean one fish or several fish, but "fishes" usually refer to groupings of different types of fish - so it's a pluralization of the collective, not of the singular.

This could be generalized to this case as well. "Stuff" is a collective noun, but "stuffs" would probably be understood to mean distinctly separated groups of stuff.