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Question for you.
I am a mother tongue english teacher in Italy and I used to work for my sister in law. I recently went into parntership with a friend.
My question is my sister in law that you cannot plural FISH. I have used the word fishes before. Am I incorrect in using FISHES?
My sister in law said it remains FISH for one or more then one.

HELP ME !!!! I am confused.

Thanks
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Comments  
It does indeed remain "fish" in the plural. One fish, two fish, three fish...
Some people say "fishes," but that is because they are wrong. If you look it up in some dictionaries, it may give "fishes" as an alternate plural form for "fish," but that is only because many dictionaries are too wussy to differentiate between an evolving language phenomenon and a commonly made mistake. So don't listen to them. The plural is "fish."
Oh, that is also new to me - I was always told "fish" has two plurals: fish and fishes!
Plural "fishes" would be used when you can count them, e.g.: two fishes, ten fishes; and plural "fish" would be used when you just have an undefinite amount of fish, like e.g.: lots of fish, hundreds of fish, dozens of fish.

Thank you for clearing that up tho, I'll have to correct my dictionary as well...
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That's right Kitkattail, Plural of 'fish' is 'fish'.
It seems to appear every now and then though it's not correct. It even appeared in a popular quite a few years ago about 'all the fishes in the deep blue sea' I think it was called 'joy to the world' or something like that.
They frequently distort the grammar and pronunciation in songs in order to fit in with the beat or the rhythm. I get so many questions from students when they ask why something appears differently in a certain song when I have just taught the grammatical rule as being something else.
After fishing around on this fishy subject I found that both my Oxford dictionaries are either wrong, or you can indeed choose either fish or fishes. Personally I prefer lamb(s).
lol. So if sb says " fishes" is not that bad, I suppose?
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Perfectly acceptable. Acceptably perfect, I don't know.
I use the A.S. Hornby's "Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary of Current English" which was recommended to me by a good friend and I've to say it is a real good one in my opinion - and also a Langenscheidt pocket dictionary for translations ***

Both Hornby and Langenscheidt give both plural forms fish and fishes.
Maybe this is just because of the fact that the dictionaries want to give you a good view to current English - and when even native speakers use both forms, they just had to add them to show that both forms are possible (regardless whether correct or not).

Language is also always changing even though rules keep a standard.
A "Standard Laguage" always has differences to what is actually used and spoken, noone really speaks a standard but is more or less biased by his/her dialect.
That's why there can be great differences between the correct standardized form and e.g. a dialect or an accent.
fishes should only be used as a very inclusive collective term, referring to the vast numbers of swimming creatures in the earth's waters AND when there is a desire to include the many varities as well.

ex- fisherman A caught 100 fish, including some cod, some tuna, some x, some y, and some z.
(it is the number that he caught that is important - the naming of the kinds are just superfluous detailed information)

BUT...
fisherman B caught 100 fish, but out of all the fishes in the sea, he caught only cod, cod, and more cod!

(fishes is often, but not always, synonymous with "kinds of fish". again, it must be in a global concept of numbers and species.)
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