fellow alumni?

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Hi,

I have got a few questions about the term fellow alumnus and its plural forms. If you could answer them?

(1) Suppose that Bob and Nick are fellow alumni. What does it mean?
(A) They graduated from the same college (school, university) in the same year?
(B) They graduated from the same department (faculty) in the same year?
(C) They graduated from the same chair (of the same faculty) in the same year?

(2) What is the plural of alumna? Is it alumnae? Or can it be either alumnae or alumni?

Hope these questions make sense...

Thank you!

mus-te
Contributing Member1,542
MUSCOVITEIf you could answer them?(1) Suppose that Bob and Nick are fellow alumni. What does it mean? They graduated from the same college (school, university) in the same year?(B) They graduated from the same department (faculty) in the same year?(C) They graduated from the same chair (of the same faculty) in the same year?
The answer is ( A ). From Collins Dictionary: "alumni n. (mainly US& Canadian) a graduate of a school, college, etc."
MUSCOVITE(2) What is the plural of alumna? Is it alumnae? Or can it be either alumnae or alumni?
Yes, the plural of alumna is alumnae when referring to females. The plural of alumnus is alumni when referring to males or a mixed group of males and females. The female forms are less common (see Google results below). Often people use the plural form alumni as a substitute for all the other forms, even when referring to just one person of either sex, as seen in the above definition ("a graduate").

Results from a Google search:

alumni - About 250,000,000 results
alumnus - About 28,600,000 results
alumna - About 13,800,000 results
alumnae - About 4,870,000 results
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Perfect answer. You just forgot to correct "in the same year" in the answer (A).
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chiachenPerfect answer. You just forgot to correct "in the same year" in the answer .
Ah, good point! So none of the answers are correct. Emotion: wink
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Shawn79Often people use the plural form alumni as a substitute for all the other forms, even when referring to just one person of either sex, as seen in the above definition ("a graduate").
It is a very interesting point for English learners like me... Thank you!
I just made some simple googling ... and indeed "He is a Harvard alumni" is found more often than "He is a Harvard alumnus" in the Internet...

Just off the top of your head ... what nouns can be used in the plural as if they were in the singular (similar to alumnus/alumni)?
I can only think of criteria/criterion... there must be many more?

(1) John is an Oxford alumnus/alumni
(2) It is an optimal criterion/criteria
(3) ????
(4) ????
.......
Looking forward to new entries for this list

mus-te
You can't use "alumni" in the singular. You also can't determine good English with a Google search; in fact; Google is usually wrong, in my experience. You must observe the correct plurals for all Latin words in English, except "data" and "media", which have become more fully English than the others.

You can still find people who insist that "data" is always plural and that "datum" must always be used for the singular, but they are dying off fast from old age. "The media" is "the press" now.
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After some simple googling, you'd get this already: Use “alumna” for a woman. Use “alumnae” for a group of women. Use “alumnus” for a man. Use “alumni” for a group of men or for a group of men and women. Never call an individual “an alumni” of a school, college, or university.
Hi,

John is an Oxford alumnus.

A small and tangential point about this example.

In recent years, Oxford has adopted this terminology, particularly in fund-raising activities,
But the traditional term has always been John is an Oxford graduate, and some members of the University still dislike and resist being called an alumnus or alumna.

Clive
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chiachenNever call an individual “an alumni” of a school, college, or university.
People do. It's incredibly common, but plain wrong. If you do, you'll be embarrassing your "alma mater". From Wikipedia:

"Alumni" (a plural form) is often incorrectly used as a singular form for both genders; for example, "I am an alumni of the university", as opposed to "I am an alumnus/alumna of the university." This usage is erroneous in formal or historic usage. The prevalence of this usage is probably due to an ignorance of Latin grammar and the fact that printed documents and university merchandise almost always use the plural form of the word.
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