Why Do We Say Roofs and Not Rooves?

Roofs is the plural of roof in all varieties of English, and it is the only form that is considered standard. Roots is an old secondary form, but it is not commonly used anymore. When it comes to roofs and ceilings, it can be confusing to know which one to use. In fact, although the Macquarie dictionary only includes “ceilings” in the plural form, it does observe two types of pronunciation: one that sounds in a V even if “ceilings” is still spelled.

Therefore, when you need a noun to refer to more than one roof, you should always think of roofs first. Throughout history, roofs have been constructed with a variety of materials such as straw, clay, palm leaves, wood and many others. The archetypal image of a roof is that of a peak-shaped structure that covers an entire building and is elegantly tilted from a central high point to join the walls on all sides. It is important to remember that roofs is the only standard plural form for roof.

Although roots may appear occasionally by analogy with other irregular plurals such as hooves, it is not common enough to be considered standard. Therefore, when you need to refer to more than one roof, you should always use roofs.

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