Fish or Fishes

Discussion in 'English Only' started by eddiemel7778, Oct 6, 2006.

  1. eddiemel7778 Senior Member

    São Paulo
    Portuguese/Brazil
    Hi, guys! I have learnt that fish is singular and plural. Ex: "I ate 2 fish for lunch today." But I can possibly use fishes if I am talking about different spieces of fish. Ex: "The list of endangered species includes nearly 600 fishes." Have I learnt correctly? Thank you all.
    Eddie.
     
  2. Lee Sing Senior Member

    Cheshire
    English from England
    You can speak of various types of fish or fishes.

    According to the New Testament (King James version), Jesus fed the five thousand on five loaves and two fishes.
     
  3. eddiemel7778 Senior Member

    São Paulo
    Portuguese/Brazil
    But wouldn't it be old English? Currently, would you use fishes as plural of fish?
     
  4. Kelly B

    Kelly B Senior Member

    USA English
  5. Lee Sing Senior Member

    Cheshire
    English from England
    I always use fish as the plural, except when referring to that story, but it is not incorrect to use fishes, as far as I am aware.
     
  6. JamesM

    JamesM Senior Member

    Except when quoting the Bible, "fishes" has a child-like sound to it, in my opinion. It is a "cute" word. Both "fish" and "fishes" are listed as possible plurals in dictionaries, though. I would go with "fish", personally, unless I was talking to a child.
     
  7. . 1 Banned

    Ferntree Gully
    Australian Australia
    Fishes sounds like sheeps.
    The meaning is clear but there is something not quite right about it.

    .,,
     
  8. twins1 Senior Member

    Arabic
    1- Fish have different colors.
    2- Fish has different colors.

    or we can say:
    3- Fishes have different colors.

    I go with number2 and number3.


    I am talking about Fishes in general not one fish.
     
  9. nigromante00

    nigromante00 Senior Member

    zaragoza
    turkish
    They have talked about that in an earlier thread. Maybe it can help you.

    http://forum.wordreference.com/thre...he-government-company-team-fish-have-has.272/
     
  10. The Newt

    The Newt Senior Member

    USA / EEUU
    English - US
    We can never say "fish has" unless we specify that we are talking about one particular fish (the fish has, that fish has, etc.). The plural of "fish" can be "fish" (common) or "fishes" (mostly in scientific contexts, when referring to multiple species).
     
  11. twins1 Senior Member

    Arabic
    Thanks as I understand I can use both:
    1-Fish has different colors. (one fish)
    2- Fish have different colors.(more than one fish)

    Am I right?
     
  12. The Newt

    The Newt Senior Member

    USA / EEUU
    English - US
    No. See my previous comment.
     
  13. Cenzontle

    Cenzontle Senior Member

    English, U.S.
    1- Fish have different colors. Count noun, plural. There are thousands of individual creatures of this kind; each one is "a fish"; different ones have different colors.
    2- Fish has different colors. Mass noun, singular. I may serve you a few ounces of fish for dinner; it may be part of one fish, or pieces from several fish, mixed together; within that stuff called "fish", you may find different colors.
    3- Fishes have different colors. Count noun, plural. As The Newt said, these are species of fish. Codfish are one color, haddock another color,...

    (Edited to remove some odd formatting -- JustKate, English Only moderator)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 26, 2015
  14. twins1 Senior Member

    Arabic
    Thank you very much.
     
  15. JustKate

    JustKate Moderate Mod

    I have merged twins1's thread with one of the many previous threads on the topic of a fish/several fish/several fishes.

    JustKate
    English Only moderator
     

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